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The Millers Series: Gianfranco Rinaldi from Vantera

We love Olive Oil.

And really, we should. We know the land where it comes from. We have felt the breeze through the hills. We have sat in the shade of its trees. We have smelled the scent of the blossoms and then were there to pick the fruit when it was just right. And when the oil came out of the press, we were there to taste it. But beyond the terroir, what really makes the difference, or rather who – is the miller. The man or woman, who with love, passion, science and gut creates for us – liquid gold. So, actually it’s them we love.

This is the second in a series of mini-interviews with our partners, the artisan farmers who bring us some of the most amazing EVOO available on the planet. We think that once  you know them like we do, you too will feel the love.

Meet the man behind Vantera Extra Virgin Olive Oil:

1. Name, first and last: Gianfranco Rinaldi

2. Where were you born? Pontelandolfo (BN) Campania

3. How has the place where you were born influenced who and how you are? Being born into a community and place that has been somewhat disadvantaged and has been through various ups and downs has an enormous influence on my pride and will to never give up.

4. What did you study? Degree in Economics and Business.

5. Were your studies connected at all to your future work? Yes!

6. How old were you when you knew that making EVOO was your mission?
At the end of my studies I received a job offer from a multinational that would have required me to leave Italy. The idea interested me but in the end I chose the path which allowed me to have something of my own that was linked to the origins of my homeland. I had in my hands an excellent product that my family had been producing for hundreds of years,  so in the end it was only natural that I would dedicate myself 100% to that.

7. What is your favourite dish prepared with your EVOO? Linguine al baccalà with pomodorini and toasted bread crumbs.

8. What makes your EVOO different from others produced in your region, in Italy and in the world? I believe that no oil respects entirely its origins in quite the same way. My oil is quite complex, as is the territory.

9. If you controlled the Olive Oil world, what measures would you put in place to improve it? I would introduce a new subject – Nutrition – into the education system, starting from elementary school.  Unfortunately, there are still many who do not “know” this product and its health benefits.

10. Who or what inspires you and your work? Simplicity and practicality.

11. When you are not working in the olive mill, what are you doing? Playing tennis, going for walks and spending time with friends over a good bottle of wine.

12. If you weren’t an olive miller, what would you be?  Working in the world of finance.

13. What are you addicted to? A good chat with friends.

14. The book on your bedside table: The Da Vinci Code

15. Your favourite song in your iPod: Io vagabondo – Nomadi

16. Your favourite cult classic film: The Godfather

17. Your most memorable vacation: The first time that I went on holiday by myself at 17 years old.

18. Where have you never been, but would love to go? China

19. Accomplishment that you are most proud of: Of having given a notable contribution to the education of my community in how to produce, store and eat an excellent oil.

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