May 31, 2005
This year's Los Angeles County fair olive oil competition attracted a record number of entries as well as a star studded panel of judges. Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the domestic category went to Saltonstall Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a mix of Tuscan varietals: Frantoio, Leccino, Pendolino, Maurino, Moraiolo. Best flavored olive oil was won by The Olive Press for their Clementine oil.
Deborah Rodgers at The Olive Press was pleased that 30 awards were given to oils produced at the facility in Glen Ellen, ten miles north of Sonoma: 2 Best of Show, 5 Best of Class, 14 Gold Medals, 8 Silver and 1 Bronze Medal. Deborah and founders Ed and Carolyn Stolman started The Olive Press in 1996 . Nearly two hundred olive growers come to crush their olives in the state-of-the-art Italian Pieralisi press.
California Olive Ranch received gold medals and Best of Class for Arbequina Blend, other mono cultivar (Arbosana), other blends (Koroneiki). In addition to the gold medal honors, the Arbosana and Estate Reserve Blend also took Best of Class awards, the second year in a row the Estate Reserve Blend earned the Best of Class honor. They also have a Pieralisi press.
Figueroa Farms in Santa Ynez came up with 3 golds and 2 Silver medals under their company name. Every one of the oils they pressed for others with their Genius System, that was submitted to the fair, won a medal.
La Conda Ranch in Corning, a relative newcomer in the olive oil business, won 2 golds and three silver awards for their Italian varietal oils.
Bob Crohare's Olivina Ranch in Livermore won big with 4 medals; 2 golds and 2 silvers. Two other Livermore ranches garnered awards; Sera Festino with a gold for Manzanillo and Olivas di Morgan won silver for Mission.
Round Pond's Napa trees and Pieralisi Stone mill produced two golds and a silver for their Tuscan blend, orange and lemon olive oils respectively.
Stella Cadente Olive Oil also did well with citrus flavors with awards and an award for their mission blend.
Paso Robles company Willow Creek Ranch did well with their flavored oils with 4 winners
There were international entries from the usual olive producing regions of the world as well as Peru, Slovenia and even Japan.
Click for a complete list of winners.