Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Happy 75th Anniversary COLAVITA by Philip S. Kampe and Maria Reveley

COLAVITA  November 12th, 2013

The snow was falling during the early morning as we embarked on the journey to the Culinary Institute of America, known as the CIA, to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Colavita, a name that has been branded into its own word.
A word worthy of a dictionary listing.
To me, Colavita means extra virgin olive oil, or at least it did until the snow stopped falling and the sky opened up this November morning.
As the sun began to shine, our group of one hundred and fifty included company officials, press, retailers, employees, friends and guests from all over the world.
We assembled outside the Colavita Center for Italian Food and Wine at the campus of the CIA in Poughkeepsie, New York.
The history of Colavita and its namesake is more than a brand. It represents family, personal commitment to quality and authenticity.
Founded in 1938, the Italian company from Molise grew into dominance through the  help of sons Enrico, Leonardo and Giovanni.
They marketed the family name, Colavita, domestically, as an olive oil brand.
It was not until fate entered the arena in 1978, when Enrico Colavita, while on vacation in the states met John J. Profaci, a stranger at the time. They discussed extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), the family business and the lack of olive oil awareness in America.
After a handshake, Colavita U.S.A. was founded.
The rest is history.
           Speaker and Colavita U.S.A. founder, John J. Profaci

John J. Profaci’s new mission in life was to educate consumers and industry professionals about olive oil and why Colavita’s oils would open up culinary doors for all that used the product.
The idea took off.
Early success led to an expansion of facilities in Molise.
Family members Joseph, Anthony, Robert and John A. took leadership roles under their father, John J, Profaci, to shape the operations in North America.
Shortly afterward, Colavita experienced unmatched growth and opened a bottling facility near Rome to strategically help with the demand.
Today the success continues, in part due to the Profaci and Colavita families. 
According to Giovanni Colavita, CEO of Colavita U.S.A., America is the largest market in the world for Colavita products.
The company exports to 72 countries worldwide and is still growing.
Colativa has a new partner Terlato, known as a leading marketer of luxury wines. Their passion for wine, like Colavita's passion for olive oil, has created a synergy where the two companies have created a line of wines under the Colavita label.

At the celebration I had the opportunity to sample the four wines Colavita is introducing to the market—Pinot Grigio, Verdicchio, Pinot Noir and Ripasso. The wines were all acidic and asking for food. The entry of these wines through the network that Colavita has set-up will turn them into instant hits.
My belief is that all of these wine pair extremely well with all types of food.
Colavita is all about bringing the most out of food and these wines do exactly that.
The celebration lunch consisted of a Bruschetta with winter squash, ricotta, pistachios and garlic rubbed grilled bread with a 2012 Colavita Pinot Grigio from Trentino.
This course was followed by a mixed green salad topped with baked Coach Farm goat cheese that was paired with Colavita 2012 Verdicchio di Matelica from Marche.
The main attraction and the food star of the day was an amazing fusilli pasta topped with butter, Parmiggiano Regiano and shaved ‘White Truffles. Add a glass of 2012 Colavita Pinot Noir from Pavia and you have a match made in heaven.
The white truffles whet my appetite for another course, my final, roasted chicken perched on top of tarragon polenta and braised greens, which paired perfectly with a glass of 2011 Colavita Ripasso from Veneto.
As you can now see, Colavita means much more than olive oil to me.
In fact, thanks to Colavita’s generous donation to the CIA, the Colavita Center for Italian Food and Wine opened at the CIA in 2001. It is the only teaching facility in America where everything is Italian,that is, it is only made from products made in Italy. All CIA students must take courses at the Colavita Center for Italian Food and Wine to graduate.
The bottom line—Colavita has enriched many lives, from CIA students to chefs and now sommeliers, thanks to the addition of Colavita wines.
Thank you Colavita and Happy 75th Anniversary.

Philip S. Kampe
Maria Reveley

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