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It's all about the olives

Updated: Sep 28, 2019

Olive groves, vineyards, olive groves, vineyards…we’re definitely here, in the Drôme Provençale. We’re on a whistle-stop weekend to experience the ‘terroir’ and meet Hervé Poussard, our contact at the Vignolis Co-operative in Nyons, from whom we import the unique – and truly delicious – Tanche olives.

This is the sort of business preparation we like, getting ready to be the new owners of de la Torre’s … and we’re already thinking about Italy next year, then Spain, then Morocco…Being a Mediterranean deli, there’s a good number of countries from both the north and south to cover.

Back to the here and now and while we’ve holidayed before as a family in France in the Alpes-Maritimes and Vendée, this is a trip with a difference, doing research and building relationships. So it was great to meet Hervé and be shown around the Vignolis Espace: a shop, a showroom, a gallery, a museum: an experience of all things olive (and indeed wine and fruits, but we have to keep focused).

Black Tanche olives are unique and the first in France to gain Appellation d’Origine Contôlée (AOP) accreditation. They’re picked at complete maturity in December/January time, lightly wrinkled by the first frosts and dryness in the air. It’s the combination of climate conditions, soil, olive variety, cultivation and preparation that give them their distinctive look and taste.

Tanche is our premium olive: we love it and it has many followers, with its sweet, almost liquorice characteristic. It’s great to cook with or to have as a starter (including a cook’s starter) and we always have to taste just one or two every time we receive a fresh batch.

Come and try for yourself…

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