The Frescobaldi family has been at the heart of political, commercial and cultural life of Florence since the Middle Ages. The name Frescobaldi is synonymous with quality and tradition—the family has been making wine and olive oil since the Renaissance. In 1986, Bona Frescobaldi conceived of and and created the Laudemio Consortium of olive oil makers, a governing group that ensures quality and origin. The Frescobaldi family company currently manages 11,000 acres of agricultural land in Tuscany, of which about 2,000 are vineyards and 600 are olive groves.
Laudemio, The Turning Point in Olive Oil Making: In 1985 a terrible frost devastated most of the olive trees in Tuscany. Olive orchards were in many cases reduced by 70%, especially on the central hills near the capital city of Florence. In 1986 Vittorio and Bona Frescobaldi, the husband and wife from the illustrious Florentine family, proposed to a few neighbors and friends the creation of a consortium in order to collaborate in the repair and restoration of their respective olive groves, while at the same time elevating the future of traditional extra virgin olive oil. Applying to olives the experience gained through centuries of grape growing, the Frescobaldi family helped develop a new level of extra virgin olive oil production by emphasizing the concept of terroir, linking the olive’s typicity and quality to the uniqueness of its productive environment. In 1989, the first bottling of the consortium labeled as Laudemio was made, and the quality standards of extra virgin olive oil were set years ahead from what they had been before the freeze. Watch Bona Frescobaldi tell the story of Laudemio during the 30th harvest at their estate.
The Estates & Laudemio Frescobaldi: The Frescobaldi family carefully cultivates 300 hectares (741 acres) of olive groves at different altitudes between 200 and 500 meters (650 and 1650 feet) at the estates of Pomino, Castiglioni, Remole, Valiano, and Castello di Nipozzano. The layers of the terroir and the microclimate allow the olive trees to bear some of the most unique fruit because of the intensity of its nutritional and organoleptic values.
In medieval times the term Laudemio indicated the part of the harvest reserved for the feudal lord. As the best part of the harvest, the “Laudemio” was offered to the nobleman and the name has by now become a byword for prestige and quality. Today the Laudemio Frescobaldi represents the highest expression of the extra virgin olive oil coming from Frescobaldi’s olive groves.
In Autumn the olives are picked early in the ripening season, when blushing from green to purple, to capture the emerald-green colour and fresh flavours. The olives are pressed within a few hours from picking, in the Frescobaldi’s mill, in Castello Nipozzano. These two key processes ensure the ideal composition: perfect low acidity, a great aromatic profile, and abundant phenols. Ultimately, Frescobaldi makes a rigorous selection and only the finest extra virgin olive is selected to become Laudemio.