May 11, 2007
Four olive oil producers and the California Olive Oil Council (COOC) offered olive oil tasting at the Livermore Wine Country Festival the weekend of May 4th. The Livermore valley is just 30 miles east of San Francisco Bay so has similar weather to nearby wine and olive growing regions Napa and Sonoma.
Olive tree planting has followed the boom in vineyards and wine production in the Livermore valley. Over twenty olive oil companies are headquartered or producing olive oil in the East Bay county of Alameda. At last count there were over twenty thousand trees in the county. (See statistics)
Sunny but blustery weather threatened to overturn booths but brought out a good crowd of people celebrating Livermore Valley farmers and local businesses. Charles Crohare of The Olivina was promoting oil from the family ranch which has Mission, Arbequina and Tuscan varieties.
The Purple Orchid Inn Resort and Spa is surrounded by an olive orchard which produces oil sold locally and used in their spa treatments. They were booking resort reservations and offering oil tasting.
Jim Miille and family operates Genesis Ranch in the southern Livermore valley. They have over a thousand Manzanillo trees on 22 acres.
Also pouring olive oil was Timothy Wood who produces Wood Ranch Estate olive oil grown from both Spanish and Italian varietals, Arbequina and Frantoio.
Nancy Ash and Louie Gonzalez manned the COOC booth for Executive director Patty Darragh who was at the Chicago Fancy Food Show. They gave out information on California olive oil and the seal program.