August 19, 2020
If you're not dipping pieces of California sourdough into pure extra virgin olive oil or toasted rosemary focaccia into black truffle extra virgin olive oil, then something's definitely amiss. Whether you're looking to add a more robust or mild olive oil to your kitchen shelf, Bay Area olive oil companies have it all.
For years, the top California olive oil producers have been recognized for creating some of the world’s best olive oils. Many of the Golden State's ripe olives are harvested in the Bay Area, with several of the region's olive oil producers earning certifications from either the North American Olive Oil Association (NAOOA) or the International Olive Council (IOC).
So, you’re bound to find the right Bay Area olive oil to please your palate. From the Napa Valley to the Sacramento Valley, here's where to find the top Bay Area olive oil brands.
The Bay Area's Best Olive Oil Companies
California Olive Ranch
Made in: Chico
In true California fashion, California Olive Ranch plays by its own rules, blending the traditional with the revolutionary. The company's growing and harvesting processes make it possible to harvest the olives at the exact right moment to produce excellent extra virgin oil. California Olive Ranch is also committed to practicing sustainability when growing, milling, and packaging its products. So, it's no wonder the brand's freshly pressed, extra virgin olive oils are certified by the California Olive Oil Council (COOC), Applied Sensory, and Non-GMO Project—North America's only third-party verification for non-GMO food and products.
In 2020, Chico's California Olive Ranch announced the revival of its beloved Destination Series. This product line features a blend of California olive oils produced in tandem with local and global farms. The two most popular Destination Series olive oils are the roasted garlic and the robust blend. The roasted garlic oil features a strong garlicky flavor, which complements roasted vegetables, fresh pasta dishes, salad dressings, and marinades. Meanwhile, the robust blend is a bold combination of Californian, Argentinian, Portuguese, and Chilean olives—resulting in a smooth, buttery oil with a peppery finish.
California Olive Ranch is a hidden gem in Chico, so don't miss out on trying this company's innovative and delicious collection of olive oils.
Corning Olive Oil Co.
Made in: Corning
For superb olive oil in Corning, stop by Corning Olive Oil Co. The company's premium extra virgin oils have a signature fruity flavor and have long been lauded by renowned chefs. Corning Olive Oil Co.'s products have even won awards, including a gold medal at the 2009 Yolo County Fair Olive Oil Competition.
Besides crafting olive oil for the general public, Corning Olive Oil Co. also makes blends for private labels, wineries, and chefs. During the production process, skilled specialists crush, blend, and bottle the state-of-the-art oils. The brand's product line features the Arbequina extra virgin olive oil, basil olive oil, and House Blend extra virgin olive oil. The House Blend is created from the best olives Northern California has to offer and is suitable for salad dressings, marinades, and pastas.
Made in: Woodland
Woodland's Cobram Estate is another major Golden State olive oil producer. The company was founded by two farmers who started growing premium California olives and producing olive oil using state-of-the-art equipment. The growers own land in both California and Australia, allowing them to have two harvest seasons per year without having to compromise on quality. Within four hours after harvesting, the olives are pressed on-site.
The resulting olive oil features a clean flavor profile with medium levels of bitterness and compliments almost every cuisine perfectly. Cobram Estate's California olive oil has won several awards and been a top contender at the New York International Olive Oil Competition, Los Angeles Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition, Napa Valley Olive Oil Competition, and California State Fair.
The Best Napa Valley Olive Oils
Napa Valley Olive Oil Company
Made in: St. Helena
If your ideal afternoon consists of tasting top Napa Valley olive oil with a freshly baked baguette and creamy artisanal cheese, then head to Napa Valley Olive Oil Company. When crafting high-quality California olive oils, the family-owned business stays true to tradition, pressing ripe green olives. The St. Helena storefront also sells high-end balsamic vinegar, pasta, wine, cheese, bread, salami, sausage, and prosciutto (the best things to pair with olive oil).
While it's hard to go wrong here, try the basil, Tuscan herb, or black truffle olive oil. The basil-infused oil is an ideal topping for summer salads and will transport you to the shores of the Mediterranean. The Tuscan herb oil pairs particularly well with pasta and chicken, while the earthy black truffle oil is well-suited for creamy soups, risottos, and mashed potatoes.
Round Pond Estate
Made in: Rutherford
Although Napa Valley is mostly associated with fine wines and endless vineyards, there is a wide range of other activities that don’t involve drinking wine. Amongst the list is an olive oil tour of Napa Valley, and the region's Round Pond Estate puts NorCal on the map for exemplary olive oil production.
Owned by the MacDonnell family, Round Pond Estate is a 468-acre Rutherford winery and farm that has been producing oils for more than 30 years. Aside from featuring exclusive vineyards and winemaking facilities, the estate also boasts 12 acres of olive orchards and only one of two olive mills in the region.
Creating acclaimed oil from carefully grown and hand-harvested olives, Round Pond relies on its own mill to produce freshly pressed olive oils. (Thanks to the on-site facilities, olives are sent to the mill several minutes after they've been harvested.) This olive oil of Napa Valley has a smooth, buttery flavor, complete with light and fruity notes.
While Round Pond also produces flavored olive oils—including blood orange, Meyer lemon, and basil oils—the Italian varietal extra virgin olive oil is a must-try. Launched in 2019, this oil is bold and robust, serving as a wonderful accompaniment to salads and vegetables.
Must-Try Sonoma Olive Oil
Figone Olive Oil CO.
Made in: Sonoma
Although Sonoma County is world-renowned for its wine production, the fertile land is also home to award-winning olive oil producers. Figone Olive Oil Co. has established itself as one of the superb Sonoma olive oil producers. The Tuscan-inspired, family-owned business has been crafting high-quality extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars since 1989.
Head to Sonoma Plaza to visit the tasting room (open daily) and explore this authentic olive oil manufacturer. You can get acquainted with the production facility, learn more about the company's history, and see the sustainable methods used to make superb Californian olive oil. You can also tour the family estate in Sonoma, which is home to over 4,000 olive trees, and taste a variety of olive oils.
One of the longtime favorites is the Tuscan extra virgin olive oil, which is composed of seven different Italian olives, giving it its signature flavor. The olives are harvested during the earlier stages, so the taste is lighter. But thanks to its smooth finish and peppery notes, the Tuscan oil is irresistible when eaten with bread, green salads, and vegetables.
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