Spend an afternoon with us learning what goes into producing a local olive oil, and tasting the differences among the oils.
Colleen McGlynn, DaVero Farm and Winery
Russ Messing, Deergnaw Olive Oil
Dawn Lindelof, Moon Dog Olive Farm
Nancy Lilly, Tallgrass Ranch
Each producer will describe the production of their olive oil, from the selection of tree varieties through their cultivation, to harvesting and pressing of the olives, and blending and bottling the oil.
To better appreciate our small production local producers, read Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil, by Tom Mueller before attending this event!
“Grow what belongs here. Be patient.” This simple premise summarizes everything we’ve learned, and guides us in everything we do — how we care for our land, how we farm, how we make wine and olive oil and the myriad other products from this magical place.
In 1988, after careful research and some incredible luck, we took cuttings from an ancient olive grove in the hills to the east of Lucca, in the heart of the Tuscan countryside. The trees from which we took the cuttings are over 800 years old, and the farm has been in the same family since the 1400s! While the varieties are common across Tuscany, and the proportions typical (50% Leccino, 25% Frantoio, 15% Maurino, and 10% Pendolino), that grove has very distinct clones — essentially, sub-varietals — whose fruit makes an oil with a flavor profile unlike any other.
Deergnaw Olive Oil is a unique blend. We don’t think that there is any other oil that has the particular varietals of our oil. From Lombardia in the north of Italy, the Cassaliva; from Liguria, also in the north, Taggiasca; from Puglia in the extreme south-east, Coratina; and from Apulia, also in the south, Nocciara. There is also a smattering of Picholine from France and a touch of Pendolino from Tuscany as the pollinator.
Approximately 700 trees comprise our three and a half acre orchard. We planted the trees, mostly one gallon size, fifteen years ago and the first fruit appeared three years later. Since then, each year we have had an ever-greater yield. This year the orchard produced 7 tons of olives, which translated into 150 cases of 500 milliliter bottles compared to 69 cases in ’07.
Planted and farmed by two crazy people that didn’t think about the work–they just wanted to make their slice of the world a little more delicious!
Moon Dog Olive Farm is planted to traditional Tuscan varieties; Leccino, Frantoio, and Pendolino. The 280 trees are organically farmed by Dawn and Chris Lindelof in their “spare time.” Moon Dog Olive Farm is located in the Northern part of Alexander Valley in Cloverdale, not far from the Russian River. This Extra Virgin Olive Oil is only available at the farm and at local markets and special events. Every vintage is a little different. But the fruity fragrance and spicy finish is definitive in every bottling. We can’t wait to show you our place.
Tallgrass Ranch Estate Blend Olive Oil is fruity with a medium amount of bitterness and pungency. This is not achieved merely by combining all the gallons of oil that we produce. Instead, each year we hold the oil from each harvest day separately so that we can gauge the unique qualities of each batch. Only then do we make blending decisions, hoping to be able to use all of the oil produced each year in our Estate Blend, but sometimes needing to exclude some.
The Italian trees, primarily Frantoio and Leccino, supported by pollinators Pendolino, Moraiolo, and Maurino, provide the backbone of the blend, having high levels of fruitiness, green and grassy touches, as well as high polyphenols—that bitterness and pungency that might make you cough, but which also provide the anti-oxidants that protect both the oil and your own body. The French Columella, and its pollinator, Aglandau, provide a more buttery fruitiness, with notes of apple and green banana, and much less bitterness and pungency. The resulting blend is a great complement to many cuisines.