Laudemio: the excellence of Italian oil
A true precursor of the excellence of Italian extra virgin olive oil: in medieval times the name Laudemio indicated the part of the harvest reserved for the landowner. He received the best part of the harvest called “Laudemio”, and the term has been synonymous with value and quality ever since. Already in that time, the Frescobaldi family produced olive oil in Tuscany. Today, Laudemio Frescobaldi represents the maximum expression of extra virgin olive oil from the Frescobaldi olive groves.
The history of Laudemio Frescobaldi
In agriculture for seven hundred years, in 1984 the Frescobaldi estate farm installed a new, latest generation, continuous cycle mechanical press to improve the quality of olive oil. (source: Olive Oil Times)
Then, in 1985 a historical freeze hit Italy and the story of Italy's best oil begins with a natural disaster.
In fact, the great snowfall of 1985 whitened all the olive trees, a resistant evergreen that does not do well in certain temperatures. Then came the freeze, unexpected and devastating. In Tuscany the temperature dipped to -15°, -20°, even -25°C at times, the precious olive trees that have always covered the gentle convexity of the hills lost all their branches.
For the Frescobaldi family, which dedicates hectares of its historic estates exclusively to olive oil, it was the signal for a definitive reset of the approach to production and qualitative yield: in a word, it was time for change and to apply the same philosophy used in the wine world, with its rhythms and parameters of excellence used for years.
Thus Laudemio was created, the selection that will forever define the haute couture of evo oils, beginning with the name. "The etymology already implies excellence, it comes from the Latin laude, praise; in the Middle Ages it was used in Tuscany to refer to the excellent part of the harvest that was donated by farmers to landowners. The name Laudemio therefore indicates a product of excellence that comes from a careful selection, a true speciality, and a tribute to the region," is today’s explanation from Matteo Frescobaldi, 30th generation of the family among the oldest in agricultural history and culture in Italy. (source: Marie Claire)
The Frescobaldi family essentially decided to transform such a negative event into a real opportunity. In this sense, we can affirm that their intuition was visionary because Laudemio Frescobaldi oil, born from the need to guarantee to consumers the oil’s origin, production methods and organoleptic characteristics, is today a guarantee of excellence. Since 1989 the production of Laudemio has been regulated by a specification that was a precursor in those times, to protect the highest quality of extra virgin olive oil. The regulations of the European Union and the subsequent IGP and DOP, in fact, were formulated only later, around the 1990s. (Source: La Cucina Italiana)
The current regulation of the European community relating to the characteristics of olive oils and olive pomace oils as well as the methods relating to them is the COMMISSION REGULATION (EEC) No. 2568/91 of 11 July 1991. (source : EU)
Laudemio oil is already more than 30 years old, while the first Italian DOP oil - Sabina, year of origin: 1996 or 7 years after Laudemio (source: Sabina PDO) - has yet to turn 25. The Tuscan oil IGP, on the other hand, was founded in even more recent times, precisely in 1998 (source: olio Toscana IGP).
So, when we talk about extra virgin olive oil of excellence, we immediately think of this enlightened Tuscan company. And therefore it is not really an exaggeration to argue that the real revolution in the field of oil started in 1988, when Vittorio Frescobaldi created Laudemio. (source: Oil Officina).
Excellence in five rules
1) The Frescobaldi olive groves are located in Tuscany, around Florence, between 200 and 500 metres above sea level and the terroir and the microclimate ensure that the olive trees produce fruits that are unique in the world for the intensity of their nutritional and organoleptic properties.
2) Harvesting always takes place before the olives ripen, in October and before the end of November. This way, all the properties that generally decrease with the ageing process remain intact in the product.
3) The pressing takes place in the shortest possible time, no later than 24 hours after the harvest. Frescobaldi owns its own oil mill and in this way is able to follow the entire production chain, guaranteeing the highest quality.
4) Frescobaldi oil is filtered and for this reason it is clear and without residues. This feature not only makes it particularly long-lasting because it is free of substances that can deteriorate over time, but also allows it to maintain its bright green colour for longer. Just store it correctly, always in its packaging, tightly closed and away from heat sources.
5) Once produced, the extra virgin olive oil is tasted and evaluated by a committee of experts and only the highest quality is selected as Laudemio Frescobaldi.
(Source: La Cucina Italiana)
How to tell if an oil is good?
"Let's start with three senses: sight, smell and taste. On viewing, there must be brilliance and clarity: a high quality oil must be transparent. We Tuscans prefer the colour to be bright emerald green ... The more intense the colour, the younger the oil. But that doesn’t mean that in the following months, when the colour is less vivid, the oil isn’t as good. The important thing is that it is not cloudy or dull. If the oil is cloudy, it is not perfect," explains Matteo Frescobaldi.
Be wary of marketing claims that unfiltered oil is better: impurities are not good for oil longevity or flavour. As for the sense of smell, the analysis needs to go back to where the oil begins, the mill. "You definitely must have a sensation of freshness, of the fruit that it comes from, fresh olives. It means that the olives were harvested at the right time, pressed after a short time and managed well from start to finish. There should not be “fusty” tastes or smells, the technical term used in Italian is “riscaldo”. When the oil has oxidized or if the olives were too ripe, it gives a sensation of warm smell, like a woollen sweater." The sense of smell also reinforces the notes and makes the taste stronger. Furthermore, there is a small, delicious paradox that characterizes the tasting of good extra virgin olive oil. "Even if it is correct to say that the flavour should be persistent, perhaps pleasantly pungent, it should not feel greasy in the mouth or coat the tongue. Technically, it is called clean" specifies the producer with a smile. It gives the idea of something exquisite, which leaves an impression and dominates the palate with absolute clarity. (source: Maire Claire).
Characteristics of Laudemio Frescobaldi oil
What first catches the eye is the packaging of this product, unusual, original and especially elegant. The choice of an iconic octagonal shaped bottle with a retro design similar to that of a French perfume, was designed to underline and reinforce the excellence of Laudemio. The facets and the transparent glass enhance the colour and the luminous highlights of the oil. Each bottle shows the harvest vintage. This characteristic of Laudemio differentiates it from common extra virgin olive oils. The bottles are packaged in individual cardboard boxes to protect the Laudemio from the effects of light. Once opened, it is advisable to always put it back in the special packaging and store it in a cool place away from heat sources. Laudemio Frescobaldi oil is particularly clear, emerald green in colour and has an aroma of fresh-cut grass and artichokes. On the palate it has a very intense flavour of fresh fruit and a pleasantly spicy aftertaste and has a minimum acidity of less than 0.2%. (Source: La cucina italiana).
Laudemio Frescobaldi Awards and Recognitions
2005, 2006, 2007: 5 Gocce, Associazione Italiana Sommelier
2005, 2011: 3 Olive, Slow Food
2010: Olio dell’Emozione, Slow Food
2015, 2018, 2019, 2020: Grande Olio, Slow Food
2019: Best Of, Armonia
2020: 3 Foglie, Gambero Rosso
2020: Best Olive Oil & Wine, Gambero Rosso
2020: Bicchiere D’Oro, Milan International Olive Oil Award
1997: # 1 Tuscan Oil, Wine Spectator, USA
2001: Best Olive Oil, Summer Fancy Food Show, New York, USA
2009, 2018, 2020: One of The Best Olive Oils, Der Feinshmecker, Germany
2011, 2018: Silver Award, Los Angeles Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition, USA
2017, 2020: Bronze Award, Los Angeles Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition, USA
2017, 2019, 2020: Gold Award, New York International Olive Oil Competition, USA
2019: Silver Medal, Olive Japan, Japan
2020: Gold Medal, Olive Japan, Japan
2019: 1 Star, Great Taste, UK
2020: Gold Medal, EVO International Olive Oil Contest
Laudemio Frescobaldi around the world
Laudemio Frescobaldi oil is sold in Italy and around the world, particularly in the United States and Japan. Distribution takes place through specialized fine food channels including some temples of international gastronomy such as Peck in Milan, Roscioli in Rome, Pegna in Florence, Harrods in London or Wholefoods in the United States and Dean & De Luca in Japan. (Source: La cucina italiana)
As usual, every year in November, on the occasion of his birthday, the first bottle of the new harvest is given to Prince Charles of Britain: a true connoisseur who planted an olive tree 30 years ago at Castello Nipozzano. (Source: Italia a Tavola)