For millenia, olive oil has been a standard staple in many kitchens around the world, especially in the Middle East and Western regions. Today it is both a mass product and a fine food. Some also use it as an elixir of life or medicine. We began producing our own premium extra virgin olive oil from the ground up, by first bringing two thousand olive tree saplings from the Tuscan region of Italy to our California estate in 1999.
Our olive orchard is located high in the grassy oak-covered hills of the Somendo Ranch, a conservation property straddling Sonoma and Mendocino counties right where the scenic highway 128 leads to the legendary Anderson Valley and the Mendocino Coast. We are blessed with a perfect, quasi-mediterranean microclimate that is ideal for growing some of the highest quality olives in the state. We grow five classic Tuscan cutltivars: Leccino, Frantoio, Moraiolo, Pendolino, and Maurino. These were selected specifically for their range of grassy, peppery, fruity, and nutty flavors.
The orchard nows counts nearly 3000 trees and is certified organic by CCOF. Being 100% off the grid, we rely on our own fresh water springs and power our infrastructure with solar and wind energy. Our priority is wildlife protection and land conservation, so we have cultivated it with as little impact as possible by minimizing terracing, keeping the planted acreage to a minimum, and without removing any mature native trees.
To ensure the highest possible premium oil quality, olives must be carefully hand-harvested to prevent any bruising. Immediately after harvesting, we bring our crop to our nearby olive mill in Hopland, where we fully control process from milling to bottling. Our lab results consistently show exceptionally low acidity in the 0.08 to 0.2% range.
We typically harvest when the olives are about 40%-60% ripe, as they turn from green to dark. For our olio nuovo or "new oil", however, we harvest a small batch a little earlier for maximum pungency. This is oil that is harvested, pressed quickly then straight to the bottle without settling or filtering. At the end of the milling season, we also produce lemon extra virgin olive oil, which is made by adding organic Meyer lemons into the crusher when we process riper olives that yield a more buttery oil.
Our premium extra virgin olive oil is available as individual olive cultivars or as a Classic Tuscan blend in 375 or 500ml bottles. We also offer extra virgin olive oil in larger quantity for general kitchen use.