FRANTOIO DI SANTA TEA
History and technology go hand-in-hand at Santa Tea and the result is superlative extra-virgin olive oil.
The land was originally owned by the Carmine Monastery in Florence and there are records of its sale to the Gonnelli family in 1585. The farm, now owned by the Bettali family, is situated in the parish of Santa Tea near Reggello on the eastern hills of the Arno Valley not far from Florence.
Years of experience in the cultivation of olives are now complemented by modern scientific methods. Carolea olives are the chosen variety. The trees are planted at about 400 metres in an area which is sheltered by the Vallombrosa hills.
The olives are harvested at different stages in their development to produce oils with different characteristics. In November the first batch of olives is harvested when they are not fully ripened and are therefore still fairly green in colour. The oil from these olives is labelled Fruttato-Intenso and you easily pick the right bottle as the illustration on the label shows green olives.
This oil is very intense with a strong aroma of fresh olives, salad leaves and mown grass. The taste is equally strong with flavours of rocket and sorrel. This bitter, almost chocolaty flavour moves on to a peppery kick followed by a really sweet and smooth aftertaste. It is an oil for strongly defined tastes such as game, roasts and winter vegetables. It also goes well with rocket and artichokes.
Some of the olives are left to ripen on the trees until January when they are fully ripe. These olives are crushed to make the Dolce-Delicato oil. This oil is sweeter and more softly vegetal with apples and almonds but it is still quite peppery.
Santa Tea also produce another olive oil from the Frantoio olive. This has a good grassy aroma tempered by lemons and a similar taste softened by toasted nuts. It is very peppery but the aftertaste is not too fiery.
Fruttato-Intenso extra-virgin olive oil Dolce-Delicato extra-virgin olive oil Cultivar Frantoio extra-virgin olive oil Rocca di Cerbaia extra-virgin olive oil Leccino olives in brine (green and black). Green and black olive paste Vegetable sauces with olive oil.