California agriculture is in the news lately, and so many readers may be surprised to hear that many of the farms are alive and well. Many of the best crops from our most populous state haven’t been yet hit too hard- grapes are hardy, and wines continue to flourish, though it does become harder for producers to avoid raising prices. Olive oil might not be one of the first things you think of either, but many of America’s best come from the West Coast as well.
Take Grove 45 Extra Virgin Olive Oil for example. Located in the famous Napa Valley within the Chiles Valley District AVA, the company isn’t that old, dating back only to 2005. But the story of it’s creation is interesting- with the two women co-founders basically deciding that they weren’t ready for retirement after all. Olives and EVOO aren’t easy work- each is hand-farmed and harvest- and the founders still do the labeling among many other tasks.
We spotted the olive oil in ABC Home in New York City recently, and the bottles immediately caught our eyes. Delightful and solid aluminum packaging with their raised pewter logo looks great on your counter, and make for a hard to beat gift. The oil inside comes from a blend of ~60% green to 40% black fruits, with a grove made up of 300 Tuscan varieties, including Frantoio, Leccino, Maurino and Pendolino varieties, and 200 Sicilian Noccelara de Belice trees. Brighter green than many olive oils, it shines in a cup, and brings out the best in any bread, crackers, cheese or fresh pastas. It has a fruity front with a bit of a peppery kick at the end, fresh and full-bodied, with a distinctive flavor profile you don’t get from store oils.
Available in two sizes, expect to spend around $50 for the 18 ounce bottle online, or a ten ounce bottle for around $35.