Bicycles, road maps, and a hunt for the best juice in Tuscany
Andy Hampsten and Elaine Lauterbach set out each year to Italy where they spend several months guiding cycling tours, cooking with friends, sampling local wines, and enjoying la dolce vita. In 2007, intrigued by the wine of the Montecucco region they set out to explore the green and rolling hill landscape in the south of rural Tuscany by bike.
They stumbled upon a family-owned farm nestled just under the shadow of Monte Amiata, where they were immediately greeted with the typical Tuscan, open-armed welcome. In short they found themselves seated at the family table, where their hosts brought them dishes of garden fresh vegetables, pasta, and meat. Featured with every dish was the farm’s generations-old olive oil. It only took that first meal to confirm their love for the farm, its wine, and olive juice in all.
Sometime between bites, both Andy and Elaine turned to each other and thought the same thing: We need to find a way to share this gift with our community of food lovers in the States.
And so the idea for Extra Virgin Olive Oil Co. was born. Andy and Elaine set out to combine interests: their love of cycling, adventure, community and food, and began to introduce their olive juice to the rest of the world.
From their many trips to the farm and talks with the family in charge of its groves, Andy and Elaine know that they are bringing the highest quality olive oil to those they care about and love best. The farm is certified agricoltura biologica, our equivalent of organic, and much like the organic farmers in our local communities, these growers are providing constant thought and care to the earth and their olives. The relationship between the farm and Extra Virgin Olive Oil Co. is one of respect and delight, and we are truly honored to be able to share their bounty with you. Buon Appetito!