Few things get us more excited than seeing our food expert friends fall in love with our farmers. Just last October, we spent a week with our olive oil producers at Frantoio Gaudenzi. We brought along a group of passionate chefs and journalists from the US. Everyone helped out with the harvest of our favorite Umbrian EVOO: Quinta Luna. It was love at first sight for everyone wandering through the groves and picking olives with us.
You can’t help but fall in love when you meet these incredible people. They spend their life taking care of the Italian countryside and create these edible jewels that make Italian gastronomy what it is. That’s what happened to our friend and internationally recognized journalist Luciana Squadrilli. Her fascination for the Gaudenzi’s story and their delicious olive oil shines through in her article for Olive Oil Professor, “How Frantoio Gaudenzi is Building an Umbrian Family Legacy in Olive Oil”.
“Family legacy, regional heritage and a strong dedication to quality and innovation mark the story of one of Italy’s best extra virgin olive oil brands,” to summarize Luciana’s profile of the Gaudenzi family.
A Family Legacy
Things have come a long way since nonno Vittorio’s successful Molino di Cipolla farm in the 1950s. Next came mamma Rossana and papà Francesco’s forward-looking vision, and then finally Andrea and Stefano, the youngest generation, and their modern approach. The Gaudenzi family’s key to success is grounded in their “technological innovations and precise goal: searching for quality at any cost. Starting from 300 trees and their will, they worked hard both in the mill and the fields, gradually increasing the number of trees and raising the bar of quality.”
It took three generations of Gaudenzi’s to give birth to their flagship product Quinta Luna, which Luciana describes as:
“An intense and balanced oil, with lovely scents of almond, artichoke, fresh grass, and olive leaf, obtained from the olives harvested after only five moons (months) since blossoming- is a huge success and a favorite both by professional tasters and consumers.”
What do the Gaudenzi’s have in store for the future? As Andrea told Luciana,
“we are constantly studying how to improve quality. Together with University, we changed the pruning methods, practicing lighter cuts every year, all made by hand without using heavy tools or chainsaws.”
The Umbrian landscape gives its thanks. When farmers invest in the land around them, they build a better natural environment and create healthier ecosystems. That’s what we mean when we say that our food choices shape our world.
The Gaudenzi’s create quite a lot of beauty in their corner of Umbria.
“This year we will harvest 45,000 trees. We are waiting for the first true harvest from the new Spoleto grove, where the drought of the last two years created some delays.”
Oh, we remember that grove! Last year, our extra virgin olive oil squad spent a morning pruning those young trees. Hopefully the Gaudenzi’s will be able to reap the fruit of our labor soon!
Luciana, grazie mille for your beautiful article. Read the full “How Frantoio Gaudenzi is Building an Umbrian Family Legacy in Olive Oil” here.