We welcome Rastrello to our growing community of Artisan Makers who share, care, and love making fresh food accessible. This interview with Christiane Rastrello, Cofounder, was extremely educational and further reinforces the commitment we all have to the mission of making pure foods available.
Rastrello means “small hand rake used to gently pluck ripe olives from the tree” but this exquisite Extra Virgin Olive Oil is nothing but small. Rastrello chooses to capture their product name as “the symbol of family and friends coming together in the olive grove to share the age-old beauty of the harvest.”
The smooth fresh flavor in this 100% pure product upgrades any meal no matter the complexity or simplicity. However, properly utilizing the title Extra Virgin carries with it a strong commitment of authenticity. (We will get into that in just a bit.)
What is the origination of this business? What is the legacy? Christiane shares her family has owned the land for 25 years. She and her husband visit often from their Miami-base and fell in love with the Village feel and the gorgeous locale nestled between Rome and Florence. Umbria, Italy is a community-based culture.
The couple decided to buy a home in the Village to set up a country Bed and Breakfast. Rastrello Boutique Hotel and EVOO was founded. Timing of this all? Only a short four years ago and they have already won a prestigious award.
Rastrello is a GOLD Award recipient at the 2020 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition
Paolo DeAndreis of the Olive Oil Times shares Christiane’s comments “the secret of Rastrello’s success lies in the “respect for our trees, from the organic fertilization to pruning and harvesting. We take care of our olives; we are very careful about how we handle them and we have a strong relationship with our local oil mill.”
Christiane and her husband are not newcomers to successful consumer and hospitality businesses. They have over two decades in the “craft” brewery spaces internationally and always keep one common factor: Craft. Craft in this sense to be defined that products are made in the traditional or non-mechanized way.
Why do you choose the domaselo community?
“I love the Artisan spirit of domaselo,” says Christiane. “My other Artisan Maker friends from the Farmers Markets respect you and people love your bread!"
Thank you, Christiane and your Artisan Maker friends. (Some are part of our community!)
Quality is first and foremost to Rastrello. How many products do you produce?
“We produce just one for now and we usually sell out by March,” she shares. “I am an Extra Virgin Olive Oil Sommelier and there is a huge difference between making Olive Oil for personal use as opposed to selling it.”
There are 3 top sensory evaluations of Extra Virgin Oil:
How do people feel when they have your Olive Oil?
“People are surprised at how fresh the oil it,” Christiane notes whilst teaching us most sophisticated Oil aficionados say “Olio Nuovo!” She also says customers love the spiciness of the oil, they are not used to the pungyness and fruitiness and they are incredibly pleased.
Rastrello is committed to being eco-friendly and to sustainability.
All water is recycled on the farm. They use no chemicals, and fertilizer is purchased from the Organic Sheep Farmer down the road. Rastrello uses all-natural irrigation systems as they are more sustainable. In addition, they do not til the soil.
What does tillage of the soil do?
Since tillage fractures the soil, it disrupts soil structure, accelerating surface runoff and soil erosion. Without crop residue, soil particles become more easily dislodged, being moved, or 'splashed' away. This process is only the beginning of the problem. (Crops Encyclopedia)
Rastrello does not use high density farming tactics.
High-density monoculture can cause runoff and use up many of the resources that are needed by surrounding crops and have other ecological and social effects. The land with high-density farming may have fertilizer or pesticide runoff that hurts surrounding ecosystems and crops (Honculada Primavera).
What is next for Rastrello?
Environmental goals include exploring the Bag to Box packaging option. Product expansion is in the work but TOP SECRET for now. Of course, you will know when we know!
We love you Rastrello and thanks for being part of our family,