The Perfect Climate
When most people think of California, images of sunshine, beaches, and Hollywood come to mind…but did you know that California’s climate is also perfectly suited for growing olives? In fact, our hot and dry summers are ideal for growing olives with optimal oil and antioxidants! California is actually home to a wide range of olive varieties, including: Manzanillo, Sevillo, Mission, Ascolano, Frantoio, Arbequina, and Leccina.
Of course, simply having the right climate to grow olives does not mean you will get high quality olive oil- a lot of knowledge and care goes into harvesting, milling, and storing the olive oil the local artisans produce. Generally, our olives are harvested between the months of November and January; but knowing when to harvest each varietal to produce the desired flavors takes skill! For example, younger fruit that is still green will produce a bold, grassy, herbaceous, and peppery or spicy flavor; in contrast to a ripe black fruit that yields a milder, buttery, floral, and only slightly peppery taste.
Not a lot of people know this, but all together, there are 350 different crops produced in California. Within this demographic, there are over 100 olive cultivators alone. These cultivators are spread across the myriad of soil types, climates, and microclimates that California has to offer, thus creating a virtually limitless range of flavor possibilities for the olive oil they produce. One of the most exciting aspects of the California olive oil industry is that from harvest to market, consumers can enjoy fresh olive oil within a matter of days or weeks!