La Collina Blu
In 2020, Åsa Johansson started producing extra virgin olive oil with her husband Stefano and their business partner Francesco Biagiotti. Through Stefano's work as an engineer, specialising in developing olive oil presses, he met Francesco, the steward of a few hectares of olive trees in Bagno a Ripoli. Bagno a Ripoli is a scenic village that sits on the outskirts of Florence. The trio's olive groves are so close to the historical metropolis that you can see the city's iconic duomo peeking out between the trees. A journalist by trade who hails from Sweden, Åsa became fascinated with Italy's culture of food and wine. The name La Collina Blu is a tribute to the beautiful blue light surrounding the Tuscan hill just before sunset - but is also inspired by her upbringing in a working-class enclave in Sweden called "Blue Hill". La Collina Blu’s name and label are a tribute to the apartment building Åsa grew up in as well as a reflection of the Tuscan beauty surrounding her today. As she describes it: in Blue Hill, kids start out with very little, but with a bit of love and trust, they are capable of giving back much more than you could ever imagine, just like olive trees.
We agree this is a fitting metaphor for olive trees, which are common and abundant but whose fruits are strikingly unique and incredibly valuable. The production of La Collina Blu is artisanal, quality minded and has great respect for nature. The trio also has something very rare, an olive oil press in-house, built by Stefano, and just a few steps away from the olive trees. This makes it possible to press very shortly after picking—something fundamental to reach a high-quality extra virgin olive oil. The production is all handmade, from picking and bottling to labelling. The aim is to help the organically grown olives be the best they can be without altering their character. To produce extra virgin olive oil is also a way to maintain a tradition that has been so important to mankind for thousands of years. La Collina Blu is a small project with a big heart.
La Collina Blu is an extra virgin olive oil, hand-picked and cold-pressed within a couple of hours after harvest. The varieties are leccino, frantoio and moraiolo, which give a typical Tuscan flavor of fresh-cut grass, artichokes and with a peppery finish – perfect for spicing up any food.