California Olive Oil Connection
The California Olive Oil Connection brings fresh pressed olive oils direct from farms in California. All the oils are certified extra virgin by the California Olive Oil Council.
The oil is stored in bulk containers (called fustis) and dispensed into reusable bottles. Bottles are available for sale for $2, or customers can bring in their own bottles.
This is incredible oil that is not available any where else in Pittsburgh. They are all very flavorful and interesting oils.
The California Olive Oil Connection is operated by the Lagnese family- Cristy, David, Marco and Maria.
The following oils are currently available:
Corto Olive Farm- Arbequina/Arbosana Blend EVO
Corto Olive Farm is one of several agribusiness enterprises owned by the Cortopassi family. The farm is located in Stockton, which is in California’s “Central Valley.” This is the same place where Heinz grows its tomatoes for Ketchup. Corto is a large scale operation that uses a new system for growing olives called “Super High Density.” The trees are small and are planted close together. The olives are harvested mechanically. The advantage is that olives are moved from the tree to finished oil within 24 hours. The olives are milled on the farm in Corto’s state of the olive milling machine.
Learn more at: http://www.corto-olive.com/
Figueroa Farm- "Camino al Cielo" Blend EVO
Figueroa Farm is located in Santa Ynez, and the oil is milled on the farm. It is the original farm owned by Shawn and Antoinette Addison, a prominent family in the California Olive Oil industry. Camino al Cielo is the very first oil we made by the Addisons. It's named after a road on the top of the mountains that can be seen from the ranch. It has won many awards- a Gold Medal at the L.A. County Fair Olive Oils of the World Competition in 2004. It repeated in 2005 and received a Silver medal in 2006. It was selected by Marco Oreggia in his Italian guide book, L'Extravergine, as one of the best extra virgin olive oils in the world, in 2005, 2006 and again in 2007. The Addison's contribute proceeds from the sale of this oil to the California Olive Oil Council and their efforts to promote truth in labeling for olive oil- both domestic and imported. I visited the farm in early 2012 and is an absolutely stunning setting. I got a great tour of the olive groves and of the olive milling facilities. It was all very impressive.
Learn more at: http://www.figueroafarms.com/
Hillcrest Ranch- Manzanillo EVO
Hillcrest Ranch is located in Sunol, a small commnity about 30 minutes north of San Francisco. The property is owned by Kathleen Elliott. I visited the farm in March 2011 and was able to meet Kathleen and spend some time with her on the farm. The farm was purchased in the early 1900s by her great Aunt Grace Elliot. It consists of 137 trees that she estimates to be about 130 years old. There are several varieties- Picholine, Mission and Manzanillo. The grove is located on top of a mountain, and is only accesible by driving up a small narrow road. The trip to the top is a bit harrowing. Kathleen purchased the property from her mother. At the time, the trees were not being harvested, so the property was a mess. She spent a number of years nurturing the trees and getting them back into production. It is an incredible story and shows the sheer grit and determination of Kathleen, and her ancestors. The results of her labor is a very special, delicious oil. The oil is crisp, grassy and peppery. She only makes a few hundred gallons per year so we are lucky to have this incredible nectar in Pittsburgh. There are only a few bottles of this oil left!
Learn more at: http://www.hillcrestrancholiveoil.com/
Olinda RIdge Farm- Organic Mission/Manzanillo Blend EVO
Olinda Ridge is located in Butte county in northern California. The olives are grown on a 10 acre grove. The trees on the property are very old- as olives have been grown on the farm since 1890.
Olinda Ridge uses natural and sustainable farming methods and a small batch-crafted process to ensure that the extra virgin olive oil has superb flavor, are of the freshest and highest quality. This oil is certified organic.
Learn more at: http://www.olindaridge.com/
Olive Hill Farm- 100% Lucca EVO
The olives were grown by Gus Sousoures on a farm in the Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County. This 100% Lucca Olive oil highlights the best of Tuscany's olive oil tradition. Based on the Tuscan varietal Frantoio, Lucca was developed at UC Davis to thrive in California's unique climate. The result is an oil with perfect clarity, medium in body, and a fresh and grassy bouquet. The olives are hand picked and milled locally in Santa Ynez by the mill operated by Shawn and Antoinett Addison.
Gus also owns a retail shop in Los Olivos that sells a variety of olive oils, vinegars and other olive products. I met Gus when I was out to visit in March of 2012. He is a very personable guy and very knowledgeable about olive oil. Stop by and visit Gus if you are ever in the area.
Learn more at: http://www.olivehillfarm.com/store/
Campo Ranch- Picual EVO
Picual is a Spanish varietal. The fruit was grown in a small orchard in Central California called Campo Ranch. The olives were milled in Santa Ynz at Figueroa Farm. The oil has a strong taste which lingers on your palate, with lots of bitterness and pungency.
Stonehouse Olive Oil- House Blend EVO
The olives are grown on Silver Ridge Farm in Oroville California, in the beautiful foothills east of Chico. The century old trees are comprised of Mission, Manzanillo and Barouni olive varieties. We carry their House Blend EVO which is blended to achieve a balanced, medium-bodied oil with grassy and fruity notes suitable for all uses: sautes, vinaigrettes, marinades, as a finishing oil, or simply for dipping with fresh bread. Stonehouse has a booth at the Ferry Building Marketplace in San Francisco. Stop by and visit with them if you are visiting the Bay area.
Learn more at: http://stonehouseoliveoil.com/
Out of stock oils
These are oils are that I have had in the past but are currently out of stock.
Olio Nuevo- Reserve Blend
Olio Nuevo is located in Paso Robles in the heart of wine country. The operation is owned by Art Kishiyama. I visited the farm in March 2011 and got to meet Art in person. Art is an engineer by training. He purchased the farm and planted the Olive trees in 2003. He has done a great job of applying modern technology to his growing operations in terms of irrigation and maintaining the grove. At the same time, almost everything is done by hand in the harvesting and processing the olives. It is a true labor of love and the results can be tasted in the oil. The Early Harvest is a true "Nuevo" oil as it is pressed and shipped immediately, without filtering or blending. The Reserve Blend is created after the oil has a chance to stablise and settle for a few months. Different oils from different segments of the farm are then blended. Art is a master blender and learned many tricks of the trade from the local wine makers in Paso Robles. The Reserve Blend is a Gold Medal winner from the California Olive Oil Council. Art is very proud of his oils and happy to share them with us in Pittsburgh!
Learn more at: www.olionuevo.com