IL CONTE olive oil
Italy is full of wonderful olive oil, so what made IL CONTE olio so special? Our response would simply be that we have never tasted olive oil with so much flavor! We also fell in love with the father and son IL CONTE team we met at the SOL trade show in Verona, Italy five years ago. However, the clincher was seeing the olive groves and getting to know the whole family, including their horse, and understanding the history of this wonderful little FRANTOIO.
IL CONTE is located in a tiny, sleepy town called Sternatia in the province of Lecce in Puglia. They are not easy to find which made our venture to locate them even more exciting. The actual production facility is quite small but spotless in its maintenance. It was the visit to the farm which makes you understand just how unique these producers are. The farm has thirteen hectares of specialized olive groves with approximately 2,800 plants. Some trees are over 150 years old and just reek with olive oil history. IL CONTE produces three monocultivar extra-virgin selections – the Coratina, the Picholine and the Frantoio. They have been been producing olive oil for nine generations which makes this family, well, experts. The Conte family refers to themselves as “simple farmers” even though they are all highly educated. Their horse is rather intelligent too!
In the past three years, this unheard of oil producer became one of the most important names in Italy. They gained recognition from SlowFood as being one of the truly authentic olive oil producers in the country by using only their historic varietals in production. Other international awards followed with gold medals and certificates listing IL CONTE oils amongst the top in the world. But, it was the one special award in 2009 that set them apart from all others. The coveted Ercole Olivario – Premio Nazionale 1* classificato was awarded to IL CONTE and their silent production of spectacular olive oil was silent no more.
We knew they had exceptional olive oil when we first tasted it five years ago and it almost is a shame that the word is out. Like all authentic producers, they will not push their production or blend oils with other producers for a larger volume. And, being one of the first in line to appreciate this spectacular oil, Il Pioppo is guaranteed a certain percentage of their production each year to import. We consider ourselves fortunate to have found IL CONTE and enjoy their oil each day in our homes and offices. It’s difficult but we don’t mind sharing this little slice of oil heaven with you.
Offering unique varietals and special selections, IL PIOPPO brings the most captivating wines, oil and food from targeted boutique Italian producers to your homes, restaurants, specialty stores and taste buds. Our vineyards, farms, and groves are the ones you’ve been looking for – they are the gem of the Italian countryside. Our collection has enriched the lives of generations of artisan producers, their families, and friends and now it’s your turn to enjoy them. Contact IL PIOPPO at firstname.lastname@example.org to special order IL CONTE olive oil or to find the closest retailer near you.