Just got back from lunch with Roberto Guldener of Terrabianca, the well-known wine estate in Chianti Classico. You probably know some of his wines, such as the Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese blend, Campaccio, or the Cab and Merlot, Ceppate.
We spoke about his wines that are currently on the market, which I was slightly less impressed with than I had been in the past. But he said that they suffered from being recently bottled before I tasted them early this summer.
Anyway, he brought some brand new oil. Yes. He brought fresh-off-the-presses extra-virgin olive oil from his estate in Maremma, called Il Tesoro. The oil is sold under the Terrabianca label, and it was fab. It was green-colored, spicy and peppery in character, yet creamy and rich. Wonderful. Look at my video blog to see the color!
Roberto said that 2007 is an excellent year for olive oil as well as wine. He makes about 2,500 gallons of fresh, high-end olive oil every year in Tuscany and sells most of it in the United States. Specialty retailer Dean & Deluca is apparently a big buyer.
Personally, I have lots of different olive oils at home. I absolutely love the stuff. I find that rich and flavorful Tuscan oil is better with salads and raw foods, while more delicate oils from Liguria or Veneto are better with fish and poultry. The buttery and rich oils of the south go well with meats.
Roberto said that he harvests olives for about 40 days each year, in October and November, and the workers on his wine estates in Tuscany do all the picking. Most other olive oil producers in Tuscany use a system whereby olive pickers get to keep half the crop to make and sell their own oil. But Roberto says that it makes more economic sense, and he can control the quality better, if his workers do the olive harvest.
I really can't comment, either way. But his oil this year from Terrabianca is really delicious. Today, I ate it on its own with Tuscan bread, and then drizzled it over a Capri salad of fresh tomatoes and mozzarella. It was delicious. And it¹s good for you.
Roberto Cassis Phillips — October 18, 2007 12:21pm ET
Doug Daniell — Ontario/Canada — October 18, 2007 5:02pm ET
Chris Lavin — Long Beach, CA — October 20, 2007 1:10pm ET
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