Beyond the rows of grapevines in our Millennium and Oak Glen Vineyards lies another prized crop, standing tall and sheltering our grapes from wind as it hits the valley. The olive trees are a perfect companion to the vines on our valley floor parcels, and have been farmed for more than two centuries. We harvest and press the olives with the same care and attention we pay our grapes, resulting in a premium olive oil that perfectly complements our family’s mission of quality.
It’s a pleasant coincidence that olives grow in the same microclimates as many Mediterranean grape varietals. The temperature and humidity demands are very similar, as is harvest season. And speaking of harvest, we are extremely excited about our second harvest from 2012, especially since we weren’t blessed with much in 2011 and skipped the season.
Biodiversity is the name of the game in modern agriculture. Using our fertile land to grow multiple crops makes sense on many levels. The mix of crops helps keep our soil rich and healthy, while the trees provide a great windbreak for the vines. Olives add a wonderful aesthetic touch to our property, and of course, give us the amazing olive oil to offer our customers.
Our French and Spanish olive trees were sourced from McEvoy Ranch in Marin which is highly praised for its organic olive oils. They are pruned every February to encourage new growth and are then maintained and supplemented with a healthy nutrition regimen throughout the year. We always strive for quality over quantity in our olive grove.
After harvest, the olives are cold pressed and allowed to rest for six weeks before hand bottling the whole batch. This allows the oils to “relax” from the pressing and the flavor to develop. We store the oil in dark barrels inside our cellar to keep it away from light and heat, very similar to our winemaking practices.
The bottling process is a family affair, with all hands on deck to get the luscious oil into bottles and ready to sell. You can pick up a bottle in our tasting room or enjoy it during our food and wine pairing experiences. Our in-house chef, Larry, uses the oil in his cooking demonstrations. His olive oil polenta cake is absolutely divine!
The next time you stop by the winery, make sure to grab a bottle of our family’s olive oil. We’re sure that you will enjoy the dedication to an old-world art as much as we do.