CORTONA PROFILES - NO. 3

The combination of an exceptional olive oil and a unique balsamic vinegar has won L'Arte dell'Olivo numerous awards

In 2005, about 6 months after Tania and her husband Keith von Barkenhagen moved to Cortona, they experienced their first olive harvest.  That moment would change how they looked at olive oil forever. 
The freshly pressed extra virgin olive oil they tasted at the mill was so completely different to any olive oil they had used in the past that it almost seemed like a different product.  In fact, freshly pressed, extra virgin olive oil has a spicy, nutty flavour which has little to do with anything you will find in your local grocery store. Determined to introduce this amazing – and healthy – product to Americans, they embarked on a new enterprise.
In 2006, they tried a test shipment for friends and family which was met with such enthusiasm, they were sold out in just over a week.  That started the hunt for the perfect olive oil to bring back to the United States on a regular basis. 
It took them four years to find it! In Tuscany, a lot of the olive oil produced is made on a small scale and largely for home consumption, but after a long search they found a local farmer who farmed organically, harvested early, and worked with trees that dated back to 800 A.D.  A match made in heaven and the start of L’Arte dell’Olivo the company they set up to export authentically produced extra virgin olive oil to the States.
That first harvest, air shipped back to the USA, garnered many rave reviews and also landed them a Silver award in the Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil competition.
In 2011, in order to complement their production of olive oil, they visited Modena to check out the balsamic vinegars. They ended up tasting over 200 different examples.
They finally found a family in Modena who had been crafting balsamics, with traditional methods, for over a 100 years. The family was willing to work with them and also happy to help them create their own very special blends and flavours. Their flavored white balsamic vinegars, aged for 4 years in oak barrels and presented in beautiful designed glass jars, were unique to the market and an overnight success. 
The ethos at L'Arte dell'Olivo is to bring back to the States fresh, authentic foods from Italy. This couldn’t have been done without Tania and Keith’s passion for the genuine article.
If you’re planning a trip to Italy, you might like to consider a trip to Cortona and a personalised tasting with Tania herself.  If you’d like to know more, visit her website at www.lartedellolivo.com
Team, 30/12/2021 12:32:05
Other articles that might interest you
It’s no coincidence that sculptor/designer Antonio Massarutto was celebrating World Earth Day – April 22nd – preparing a land-art project in North ...[continue]
Marie Lardino, seems like one of those gifted achievers who has sailed through life without a cloud.  She is a ...[continue]
Walter Venturini is well known in Cortona not only for his art and restoration works, but also for his exceptional ...[continue]
The Molesini family, owners of both the delicatessen and wine shop in Cortona’s main square, have been fixtures in Cortona ...[continue]
Cortona, throughout its long history, has  been the inspiration for many artistic individuals, from Henry James’ “Italian Hours” to local ...[continue]

SOMETHING
TO SHARE ?

Send us your posts, viewpoints
and/or personal experiences
CONTACT US NOW

MY CORTONA

OUR BLOG IS INTENDED AS A CENTRAL HUB FOR CORTONA LOVERS WORLD-WIDE, BRINGING YOU USEFUL INFORMATION, PROFILES OF THE MANY INTERESTING PEOPLE WHO LIVE & VISIT THE TOWN, UP-DATES ON LOCAL NEWS, SPECIAL STORIES & UPCOMING EVENTS


Have a story or an anecdote to recount? Someone interesting you’d like to profile? A place you’ve visited that you’d like to recommend? Whether it’s useful, funny or informative, why not share it on My Cortona blog and add your name to our list of regular contributors? We’d love to hear from you.

IL CASALE DELLE VIGNE

Price: €.1.250.000

CASA DI LEO

Price: €.490.000

THE MANSION

Price: €.850.000