- Region: Tuscany
The Frescobaldi family has been at the heart of political, commercial and cultural life of Florence since the Middle Ages, and the name Frescobaldi is synonymous with quality and tradition. The family has been making wine and olive oil since the Renaissance, and in 1986, Bona Frescobaldi was responsible for conceiving and creating 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.
Frescobaldi Laudemio Celebrates 30 Emerald Harvests
Bona Frescobaldi tells the story of Laudemio during the 30th harvest at their estate:
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.
The Frescobaldi family owns approximately 300 hectares (741 acres) of olive groves at the estates of Pomino, Castiglioni, Remole, Valiano, and Castello di Nipozzano, at an altitude of between 650 and 1,650 feet, located northeast of Florence.
The Frescobaldi Family & Florence
The Frescobaldi family has always had close ties with the land and its products, and has produced numerous famous individuals, including poets, musicians, explorers, statesmen, bankers, as well as merchants belonging to the city’s major guilds.
At the end of the 13th century, some members of the Frescobaldi family extended their interests beyond the English Channel and soon became bankers to the English crown. Lending enormous sums to Edward I and Edward II, they won appointments as tax inspectors and collectors for the entire kingdom. After differences with the monarchs forced them out of England, however, the Frescobaldis took their own form of revenge, blockading the court’s wine supply by commandeering the English kings’ French wine shipments and leaving the court high and dry until the following year’s harvest.
Back in Florence in the early 14th century, the Frescobaldis dedicated themselves to agriculture with renewed energy. A 15th century map preserved in the Galleria degli Uffizi lists, under the caption “Frescobaldi estates” lands in the vicinity of Florence. Always enjoying a very close relationship with agriculture, the Frescobaldis never ceased searching out new territories and new growing areas to expand their agricultural interests.
- Street: 11 Via Santo Spirito
- Postcode: 50125
- City: Firenze
- State: Firenze (FI)
- Telephone: +39-055-271-4243
- Fax: +39-055-211-527