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Giorgio Franci's reputation and knowledge of extra virgin olive oil can be said to far exceed anyone's expectations!
Johnny Madge explained to me on various occasions his desire to go visit the "grand master" Giorgio Franci at his mill in Montenero d'Orcia, Tuscany. Well, the opportunity finally presented itself during our last excursion in November of 2015.
I recall that day so vividly because it turned out to be a very long day indeed! We had spent most of the day in Modena at the Fattorie Giacobazzi discovering their wonderful Balsamic.
We then drove all afternoon, through some horrific thunderstorms in the mountains of Tuscany to arrive in the early evening at the Frantoio Franci mill.
It became obvious to us, that Giorgio himself also had had a "very long day", as he was in the middle of milling olives. Being in the midst of the olive harvest in the region.
We were first met by one of his office managers, Laura Tiberi, who graciously gave us a tour of the working mill and the tasting room.
The moment we met Giorgio however, it became clear that we indeed had met a "master craftsmen" with a special gift and passion for producing some of the finest extra virgin olive oils in the world!
Despite being late, he spent a great deal of time with us happily taking us into his storage room where we proceeded to have a tasting of his latest production lines, freshly milled extra virgin olive oils from his different groves. We spent nearly 2 hours with him and although we were ALL pretty much exhausted (physically), the excitement in the room was palpable! At the end of this, he was ever the gracious host and called for our hotel accommodations in Brunello di Montalcino!
It was an experience we will always remember as we were witness to the passion and brilliance of "one of the greats" in the cultivation and production of the finest extra virgin olive oils in the world.