Health & Gastronomy 31/01/2016

From Taipei to protect Umbria region. Ruth and Nelson love olive oil

Landscape and land conservation are the base of a project by LDC, a big Taiwanese company, which has a passion for Italy and for the true extra-virgin

"The important things for us is the preservation of the landscape and the conservation of the trees that are for many years in these hills". With these words Ruth and Nelson welcome me to Villa Monte Solare, a residence of the late eighteenth century situated in Umbria, Tavernelle di Panicale, close to Perugia ( "We bought this estate that was abandoned because we loved the landscape and from the beginning we worked thinking of its protection. Before we put in order the buildings and after we dedicated ourselves to the ground around them". Walking in the estate immediately I realize this because walls, walkways, buildings and all the trees have been preserved and maintained, and the feeling is really to be in an estate of another century. "A few years ago we started working on the olive grove, which occupies a large part of the land and the plants are far apart from each other, even ten meters! Olive trees are essentially from the Umbria area: Corniolo, Moraiolo, Leccino, Frantoio and 80% of them are over a hundred years. So sparse, lying softly on the hills, the trunks designed by the wind make this unique landscape. For some years we have been manufacturing oil, our oil, that we use in the restaurants of our LDC group: we are really pleased and pride to know that our customers in Italy, in Taiwan, but also in other parts of the world can taste the Italian extra-virgin, fruit of our passion and our work".

The oil has a beautiful rich green color with straw reflections, reminiscent of the Umbrian countryside in spring season. The smell that opens to the nose immediately calls to mind artichoke and cardoon; the scents of the vegetable garden gradually fade as a theatrical curtain to notes of white fruits and almonds. In the mouth the body is full, supported by strong of bitter notes that they get to the mind the feeling of green bark, chlorophyll; on the final part of the tasting an harmonious full and round spicy leaves in the mouth a fresh and green feeling that leads clearly to the leaf of the artichoke, inviting me to repeat the tasting.

"Our idea," go on Ruth "is to be able to certify as organic our oil and other small productions of the estate. We know that this idea will not be easy to do, but we are working in this direction, because the preservation of the landscape and its plant is the dearest idea for me and my husband, and not only in Italy: in the south of Taiwan, where the My family has a farm, we are supporting the largest conservation center seeds of tropical plants island - we already have over 20,000 - just because we believe in biodiversity and its conservation".
Before leaving this charming typical umbrian landscape, Nelson and Ruth make me the last confession: "Next time we meet we will have the oil that we have been manufacturing in Ortaglia, the estate in Pratolino, on the Florence hills... Because yes, we have to say: we are in love with Italy and especially with his extra-virgin! ".

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