The Olive Oil District
Founded in 1958, Frantoio Franci is set in Montenero d'Orcia, Tuscany, a small hilltop town on the slopes of the Amiata Mountains, overlooking the splendid valley of the River Orcia. In that year the brothers Franco and Fernando Franci purchased the famous Villa Magra olive grove proceeding to transform the old barn into an oil-mill. The year 1995 marks a turning-point in the history of the family firm; it sees the beginning of the precious collaboration between Fernando, with his lifetime of experience, and his son Giorgio, who was to bring a new lease of energy and his modern business skills. Their main priority was to establish a place for their oil on the international market. However, it was clear from the outset that the direct sale of their oil would neither fulfil this ambition nor guarantee their oil-mill the future they hoped for. They soon realised that they were in a difficult position:
“We were virtually unknown. Our size and structure did not allow us to be competitive with the big producers. Furthermore our skills in producing great oils, was not matched by our commercial ability. It was then that we decided to make quality our goal; a challenging prospect, but a challenge which we eagerly embraced as the only way forward; true, genuine quality, absolute with no compromise.”Our Special SelectionFrom this philosophy emerged our first extra virgin olive oil, Villa Magra dei Franci, was released onto the market in 1996. It was produced only and exclusively with the olives from the Villa Magra olive grove. The idea of absolute quality was developed and accompanied by the concepts of selection, interpretation and terroir, and Villa Magra, our intense fruit flavour, became the firm’s flagship, proceeding to generate eight further labels. 1997 saw the first production of Olivastra Seggianese, our light fruit flavour, using a single variety from the centuries’ old olive trees on Mount Amiata. Then, in 1999, Le Trebbiane followed, a medium fruit extra virgin that was immediately awarded the first of our three Leone d’Oro prizes, the top award at most prestigious international olive oil competition.
Villa Magra Grand Cru
As a natural evolution of the new philosophy, new objectives were developed, and the concept of ‘Cru’ emerged. In 2000 Villa Magra Grand Cru was born, the best of the olives from the Chiusello grove, a micro-area where terrain and vegetation have very special features.This extra virgin is the result of a series of extremely careful selections. It is singled out for its elegance, smoothness and aroma, together with its exceptional chemical spectrum: more than 540 mg/kg of polyphenoils (expressed in caffeic acid) guarantee an outstanding antioxidant content. Villa Magra Grand Cru is produced only in the best years and every single bottle is numbered up to a maximum of 2.100 litres.