Frescobaldi releases olive oil made by prisoners

Revered Italian wine producer Frescobaldi has partnered with a group of prisoners in Florence on an olive oil made from trees within the prison grounds.

olive trees (1)

Olive trees in the Sollicciano prison grounds in Florence

Working with agronomists from Frescobaldi, inmates at Sollicciano have produced 300 bottles of Olio degli Incontri priced at €19 per 250ml bottle.

As part of the project, the prisoners tended to the olive groves in the prison grounds, where 200 new olive trees have been planted to expand production.

Olive oil

Olio degli Incontri olive oil

Once harvested, the olives are crushed at Frescobaldi’s Castello di Nipozzano estate near Florence and bottled with a label designed by Doni & Associate.

The olive oil takes its name from the garden where meetings between prisoners and their families take place.

The Olio degli Incontri initiative follows on from a successful winemaking partnership between Frescobaldi and prisoners in Gorgona, a tiny island in the Tuscan Archipelago.

Launching in 2012, inmates of the remote penal colony help to produce Frescobaldi per Gorgona DOC, a Vermentino and Ansonica blend from vines planted in a corner of the island to the north of Elba.

Keen to strengthen the initiative in order to rehabilitate prisoners by teaching them agricultural skills, the Frescobaldis sought out a second project. “Our goal is to give these prisoners the skills necessary to reintegrate themselves into the work force and society.

“Our hope is that this model grows beyond our Tuscan-based programmes to become a best practice for penitentiary systems around the world,” Lamberto Frescobaldi, president of Frescobaldi Toscana, said.

“The projects fill our hearts with hope because they are a tangible sign that the public and private sectors can successfully work together for the common good,” he added.

Among the lucky recipients of the olive oil so far are the Pope and the Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi.

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