The California Olive Oil Council formed in 1992. Its purpose was to collect and disseminate information about how to grow olive trees and produce extra virgin olive oil. Since then many exceptional American producers have emerged, yet Jeff Martin’s organic grove in Santa Clara Country distinguishes itself.
He planted 3500 trees in 2005 – 95% Frantoio, 3% Pendolino and 2% Leccino – the latter used as pollinators every twenty rows. He built twelve barn owl boxes to handle voles, moles and gophers that bite through the cambium layer of bark and damage sap flow. Towering cypress trees dot his landscape, which shares a similar climate to Central Italy. Both have hot, dry summers with cold, brisk nights – ideal for Frantoio olives to thrive. Wise producers plant the right cultivar in the correct microclimate so they live in a symbiotic relationship. They work with nature without trying to redirect it. It’s aikido, not boxing.
This early hand-harvested Frantoio is immediately milled on site using a two-phase Pieralisi Baby. Notice the unique aromas of cinnamon, mint and freshly cut grass. Its slightly viscous texture has undertones of green grass, rocket, balanced bitterness and a persistent, elongated peppery finish. We recommend using this oil raw to enliven and cut through ingredients.
California produces 90% of all American wine – and for good reason. The weather is ideal, the soil is a perfect mix of fertile and poor, and the accompanying food scene is top notch. American wine producers are not bound to rigid production laws that hamstring some of Europe’s elite, but rather they produce what they want, when they want, and how they want. It’s with these flexible wine laws and sometimes reckless abandon that California’s winemakers have helped elevate the image of American on the world’s stage. We recommend you indulge in the California wine section at your local wine shop and pair with this domestic oil en route to the ultimate American wine and oil experience.