Barcho is fortunate to work with the best producers of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and authentic traditional delicacies from the Mediterranean. The production method and microclimate are different, which can be recognized in scent and taste.
Frantoio Franci, Toscana, Italy
Frantoio Franci was founded in 1958 in the small village of Montenero d 'Orcia, a small mountain cliff over the Orcia Valley at the foot of Monte Amiata. The founders, brothers Franco and Fernando Franci also bought the olive grove Villa Magra, known for its rich microclimate and exceptional olive quality. In 1995, Fernando's son Giorgio joined the company. His energy, sense of quality and business concepts were then combined with existing knowledge. It has brought Frantoio Franci to the top of Italy and the world's star producers.
The Tega family goes back to the 17th century, and has been operating with olive oil since. Luigi bears his grandfather's name and it was he who bought the farm with the olive press from the 1400s in 1950. Luigi has restructured and expanded the olive press to include cooking classes, olive tastings and a Bed and Breakfast. One day in October 2004, Luigi Tega had invited friends for dinner. He wanted them to taste his new oil made entirely of Moraiolo olives. They were very excited and one of them said, “This oil is like a lyrical opera. Thus, «Lirys Monocultivar Moraiolo» was a fact. Since then, Luigi Tega has reaped countless prices for the olive oil, which is considered one of Umbria's finest.
Acetaia Terra del Tuono has been run by the Bertolani family since 1892. They have more than 2,000 barrels of balsamic vinegar lying in their cellars by the town of Reggio Emillia. As in wine production, grapes are harvested and pressed. The grape must is then cooked over an open flame and then stored on wooden barrels of various types of wood for many years.
Seggiano is the name of a small village situated at a height of 450 meters above sea level at Monte Amiata in southern Tuscany. There, Peri Eagleton and David Harrison began producing olive oil on the local olive type Olivastra Seggianese in 1985. This distinctive olive oil aroused enthusiasm in the English market and its success inspired them to look for more products of genuine, traditional, Italian delicacies. Their quest ended in the brand name Seggiano, which represents a number of small-scale producers who are passionate about the best in Italian food crafts, free of preservatives or industrial finishes.
Even they say that it is their good relationship with the food-producing neighbors in Seggiano that is the basis for their success. Without them, they would not have been able to offer as many and good products as they do. Of course, the fact that they speak the language and know the culture is important because they have associated with many of the best producers in the area and in Italy as well.
Miguel Torres is probably best known for his wine production, but both olive oils and wine vinegar are among Torres' quality products. 1999 marked the year when Miguel Torres expanded its gastronomic offerings. Then the Torres family bought the large Los Desterrados property with centuries-old olive trees. This property is located in Lleida in Les Garrigues, an area of Cataluña known for its fine olive oils. Under Torre's leadership, the quality of the olive oil has increased significantly and they also produce olive oil in Jaen in Andalucia, all the way to the south of Spain.
Ravida's family estate La Gurra is located in Menfi, southwest of Sicily. In the 1970s, Nicolò Ravidà reorganized the property that has been owned by the family since the 18th century. And in 1993, the bottling of olive oil started. Since then, they have received numerous awards for their Ravidá Premium, often referred to as one of Sicily's finest olive oils. Today, Nicolo’s daughter Natalia Ravida takes care of the over 100 year old olive trees. They count over 10,000 and are of the type Cerasuola, Biancolilla and Nocarella.
Catherine and Jean Benoit Hugo's great passion is olive production. Their career as "oliverons" gained momentum when in 1996 they bought an olive grove in the Vallée des Beaux de Provence, considered by many to be the best olive grove area in France. Today, the property is 45 acres with 12,000 olive trees, most of them over 100 years old. The olive oils reap many awards annually and are considered the best France can offer.
OliveBranch founder Maria Koinaki is from Crete. And like most of Crete, her family owns its own olive trees. As a child, Mary participated in the annual olive harvest and helped her father with the shipping to the local olive press.
After schooling in Greece, she continued her education in England. In the longing for the fresh taste of Crete, Maria was sent packets from home, packed with fresh olive oil, Cretan herbs and other local foods.
Maria decided to make her father's olive oil a brand, and together with her partner Kamil, she launched Olive Branch in the summer of 2011. Her father works closely with the local community and co-operative where his olives are pressed.
Since the launch of OliveBranch, Maria has developed many more products, including the popular Greek Mezze, the rough-cut tapenades and The Greek Kitchen products. They have won several awards, including the Good Taste Awards (UK) and Le Prix des Epicures (France).