October 09, 2003
Olive Pressing season is coming up. If you use a public mill, try to anticipate your harvest time to schedule your pressing. Every year local presses get frantic calls from novice olive farmers who have picked their olives and need a place to take them. Many presses are booked solid. Don't assume you can just show up with your olives. See Public Olive Mills for a listing of US mills with contact information. Following is the latest information from some of the presses listed.
Anderson Ranch, Dilley TX is currently pressing. Call David at 830-378-5511 and leave a message. They require a 200 lb minimum for their small Italian toothed mill with centrifugal decanter
Figueroa Farms, Santa Ynez CA will start taking public fruit November 1, with 1 week advance notice, 1 ton minimum. They will take names for smaller amounts and try to combine similar fruit to reach the minimum. Owners Antoinette and Shawn Addison hopes to offer a community pressing for those with very small amounts of olives. Call 805-686-4890 or email Pieralisi double grind mill with centrifugal decanters.
Frantoio, Mill Valley CA Frantoio starts taking fruit October 15. They charge $100/hr with a $250 minimum charge. At a typical throughput of 400 kg/hr the minimum comes out to about 1/2 ton. They request a 2 week advance notice. Contact Roberto at 415-298-5777 to arrange pressing Granite stone mill with hydraulic press.
McEvoy Ranch, Petaluma,CA. Certified Organic Mill will be open October 27. No minimum for Stone Mill – Minimum Charge of $300 or $450/ton. 2 Ton minimum for Blade mill - $400/ton. Combination day for small quantities of Tuscan fruit only is Nov. 22. Call in advance for scheduling info and contract. Shari DeJoseph 707 769 4100. Granite stone mill or blade mill, sinolea or decanter separation
Nick Sciabica & Sons, Modesto CA will start accepting fruit on November 10th with a 10 day advance notice. Email Nick including your phone number and projected tonnage, varieties, etc. for a return call and quote. Pieralisi double grind mill with centrifugal decanters.
Stonehouse/Calio Groves, Corning CA taking fruit with 10 day advance notice. Call Bob at 530-824-2229 to arrange a press date. They have a 4 ton minimum and charge $250/ton or will crush for 50% of your oil. Fruit should be in 1/2 ton orchard bins. Alfa Laval mill with centrifugal decanters
The Olive Press, Glen Ellen CA For the first ton or less (800 lb. minimum) there will be a minimum charge of $400; tonnage over 2,000 lbs. will be prorated. Certified Organic will be charged an additional $30.00 / ton. : Call 707-939-3711 to schedule 2-3 week advance appointments. Please be ready to give a credit card # to secure a press date. Peiralisi mill with centrifugal decanters
Most mills can supply clean containers for your oil but some prefer that you bring your own. Appropriate containers would be 55 gallon plastic or stainless drums for large quantities or 5 gallon plastic head packs, or stainless fusti for smaller amounts. Oil benefits from settling before bottling. Conical bottom stainless tanks which have a floating lid to keep out air are ideal for settling and long term storage - see new products below.
Olive variety and picking time are the biggest determinant of oil flavor. Fruit which has been picked from the ground or which has been infested by the olive fly will produce an inferior oil.
Mill type and operation does have a minor effect on oil taste. Stone mills are popular for their "old world" charm and some claim they offer smoother, "rounder" flavor notes. Most newer mills use toothed grinders or hammermills and the majority of the prize winning oils at this year's Los Angeles County Fair competition were produced on such mills. This year Pieralisi has introduced a double grind mill which prevents heating and creation of an emulsion.
Most mills use centrifugal decanters for the separation of the oil from the olive pulp and water. Frantoio and Oil of Joy offer the older style Hydraulic pressing for those who prefer this method. More information on olive pressing with pros and cons on different methods.