Our mission is to produce extra virgin olive oil that is so good, our neighbors will want to use it every day.
While traveling for the weekend during the summer of 2013, we found a beautiful ranch in Templeton, CA, with an existing olive orchard. We purchased the property and split our time between San Francisco and the Paso Robles area. That was the beginning of our journey to discover the delights of growing olives and making great oil.
Unfortunately, the orchard had not been cared for very well so our first efforts were to bring it back to health. We worked the soil, pruned the trees, and fertilized the orchard. We also planted new a few new varieties of trees. The existing orchard consists of four blocks, two for Arbequina and two for a mix of Italian varietals. We have added a block of Picual and a block of Hojiblanco, two Spanish varietals not commonly found in California. In addition, we are experimenting with a few Barnea as well.
We had good crops in both 2013 and 2014, as well as an excellent crop in 2015. The harvest is performed by hand and our goal is to have the olives milled within four hours. Once milled, the richly-scented oil is placed in 50-gallon barrels where it is left to settle any residual pulp left over from the milling process. Samples are tested to ensure the oil meets the strict standards for extra-virgin classification (it does). A limited amount is bottled immediately as Olio Nuovo, the freshest oil possible.
The oil is pumped into new barrels after 30 days and again after another 30 days, resulting in a crystal clear, green oil. Throughout the process, the oil is protected by a layer of Argon to prevent oxidation and protect the flavors. At this point, the oil will be held in barrels until it is bottled and shipped to you, our biggest fans.
We hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Feel free to get in touch to schedule a visit to tour the orchard.