FIORE Artisan Olive Oils & Vinegars
Featuring Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oils and Aged Balsamic Vinegars
With its roots firmly planted in tradition, FIORE Artisan Olive Oils & Vinegars has forged a new image of the modern artisan.
From a true respect for the olive tree to the insistence on quality and authenticity, FIORE's Ultra Premium extra virgin olive oil (UPEVOO) offers transparency and purity for the consumer who respects the harmony of nature and nutrition.
FIORE features in-store tasting rooms offering a wide selection of Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil from around the world and Aged Balsamic Vinegar from Modena, Italy.
Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oils
To ensure ultimate freshness, FIORE “chases the crush” ensuring a constant supply of the freshest Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil available from regions growing, harvesting and crushing olives each season. Ultra Premium (UP) is a new category of olive oil that distinguishes the highest quality olive oil in the world. The Ultra Premium classification has been developed by a group of growers, laboratories, importers and retailers who share the commitment to authenticity and transparency for the benefit of those consumers interested in knowing the farm to table journey of their food, and the certification of its authenticity. The UP standard was created in response to the growing need to separate high quality extra virgin olive oils from what dominates the so called “gourmet” and “premium” olive oil markets, as well as the broader category sold in mass markets the world over under thousands of brands and private labels.
FIORE and its importer partner with growers in Northern and Southern Hemispheres to identify the latest harvests. The UP standard is reserved for the finest extra virgin olive oils in the world, as such, the UP grade exceeds all existing European Union, North American and IOC (International Olive Council) standard for the grade known as extra virgin olive oil. In order to qualify for the UP grade, the extra virgin olive oil must meet or exceed a comprehensive set of Production, Storage, Transportation, Testing, Chemistry and Organoleptic requirements. The UP program is intended to reward farmers for producing high quality oil while promoting Fair Trade practices and creating a demand for a higher quality product thereby increasing the value in order to effect long term sustainability of the smaller but higher quality grower. Each harvest is analyzed to ensure the consistency of quality and freshness year after year. Once harvested, these oils are available to FIORE and our customers within weeks.
The overemphasis on “Where” extra virgin olive oil is produced continues to dominate perceptions at the expense of the more important “When, What and How” the oil is produced. The principle barometers of the UP standard are Chemistry and Freshness. These two variables can be objectively measured and quantified. Since the highest quality EVOO comes from high quality fruit coupled with high quality production processes, the UP standard encompasses strict requirements for not only the end product but the entire cycle of growth, harvesting and production.
Freshness is the key to quality. When an Extra Virgin Olive Oil is fresh there are significantly more positive sensory attributes detectable by the palate. As any oil ages it oxidizes and loses positive sensory qualities as well as inheriting defects. New testing methods known as the “Fresh Pack” tests objectively quantify Diacylglycerol Content (DAGS) and Pyropheophytins (PPP) the key indicators of freshness of the oil throughout its lifecycle.
Balsamic Vinegars of Modena
Aceto Balsamico Condimento – Traditional Style Aged Balsamic Vinegar
Sourcing from the largest wooden vat capacity producer in Modena, Italy, FIORE presents the highest quality, full array of aceto balsamico condimento. The traditional Solera method, a process of transferring the cooked grape must through a series of large wooden vats yields balsamic vinegar unmatched in the broad commercial market. Trebbiano grapes are harvested and crushed. Then the juice is strained then simmered, inoculated with less than 1% high quality aged red wine vinegar to initiate fermentation. The cooked grape must is then aged for up to 12 and 18 years prior to decanting, packaging and transport to America. Along with the traditional style aged 12 and 18 years infusions of dried fruit, fruit juices and natural flavors are offered.
Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena
Benefitting from a close personal relationship with the source, FIORE has expanded its offering to include Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena. The Trebbiano grapes are cultivated, harvested and crushed at the Villa San Donnino in the autumn of each year. The cooked grape must is stored until mid-winter. At this time of year, the aged grape must is decanted from the batteria in the attics of the Villa and submitted to the Consortio di Produttori in Modena. (The cooked grape must, stored since the autumn is then added to the batteria where it begins its aging.) Three grades of aged balsamic are designated Affinato (Aged a minimum of 12 years), Extravecchio (Aged a minimum of 25 years) and Riserva Oro, (Aged a minimum of 100 years) This prized Aceto Balsamico is the treasure of Modena, and highly regarded by balsamic afficionados worldwide.
From the fruit to the bottle, FIORE maximizes the authenticity of its products by limiting transport and air contamination. By hosting Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Aged Balsamic Vinegars in large stainless steel fusti throughout the stores, the FIORE tasting rooms offer samplings of exact product for bottling. This allows the consumer the ability to craft unique blends of extra virgin olive oils and aged balsamic vinegars to their desired tastes. The oils and vinegars are then individually bottled and sealed on-site for purchase.
The mission of FIORE is to provide you, our consumer, with the freshest - highest quality - authentic - hard to find - specialty oils, vinegars and specialty foods, with excellent personal service in a pleasant educational atmosphere, all wrapped in the warm feel of an Old-World Shop.
FIORE Artisan Olive Oils & Vinegars — “Come In And Taste For Yourself!”
Ya gotta love it! That seems to be one of the main criteria for starting a small business and making it a success. It also was the sentiment of the folks reflecting on what it has taken them to build four vibrant businesses at the close of 2014.
With no background in retail or running a business, Nancy O’Brien opened Fiore, a shop specializing in artisan olive oils and balsamic vinegars, in downtown Bar Harbor in 2009. Now, six years later, the business is going great and O’Brien has five other stores in Maine.