A brief history of the Ravidà family
The Ravidà family roots date back to the 14th century in the western town of Trapani were they held high positions in the Church and the governments of the Kingdom of Sicily. Still venerated today, Aloysius Ravidà (1420-1490) was recognized a Beatus for his miracles by Pope Gregorio XVI and rests in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trapani.
When in the 1770s Antonio Ravidà married into the Ferrantelli family, wealthy landowners from nearby Burgio, he moved south to the small town of Menfi.
His young wife Fara Ferrantelli brought as a dowry “La Gurra”, a large estate that produced cork, wine and excellent olive oil and a house in Menfi, an early example of Sicilian neo-classical architecture that her father built as their summer residence.
Smaller than the original feud, “La Gurra” reached the present generation when Nicolo Ravidà took over the farm from his father Luigi, after a successful career as a civil engineer around
the world. “Farming is my passion, it is in my blood”, he says recounting that he had enrolled for University by tossing a coin in the difficult choice between tradition and the future:Agriculture or Engineering. This was a chance to return to his roots.
Under his guidance, the estate was transformed and modernised with one aspiration: quality production whether it be olive oil, grapes for wine or lemons.
By the end of the ‘80s his daughter Natalia, then a London-based press and TV journalist saw a new opening just for that: quality, estate bottled olive oils.
When RAVIDA extra virgin olive oil was introduced in London in March 1991 it was an immediate success with the top London high end retailers. Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, Harrods and The Conran Shop and key journalists were seduced by the grassy flavour and complex, yet smooth taste of our olive oil.
A few months later Vogue UK dedicated a 3 page spread on Sicily’s first estate bottled olive and many other TVs and journalists from all over the world followed suit putting RAVIDA and the small town of Menfi on the world map.
In 1993 RAVIDA was the first ever Sicilian olive oil to win an Italian competition beating 70 other producers from . The first of many Gold awards to follow which over the years have supported our quest for quality production.
RAVIDA Azienda Agricola Srl was set up by Nicolo Ravida and his three daughters Natalia, Patrizia and Nicoletta in 1993 to produce and market RAVIDA Extra Virgin Olive Oil, RAVIDA Sea Salt and other products bearing the RAVIDA brand.
Natalia is the Company President supervising production and marketing now supported by Nicoletta’s French husband Stephane Nataf with his extensive sales experience in Europe and the Far East, has joined as Managing Director. Nicolo and Ninny, with Patrizia and Nicoletta are the closest advisors and best…critics!