August usually signals the arrival of harvest time in the Napa Valley, which continues until the last grape is picked in late October. However, it isn't until the small green olives of our Tuscan varietal olive trees start to turn an intense dark purplish-black that we even think of harvesting the olives. It is only then that we assemble a crew of about 12-15 men, spread the tarps under the trees, and carefully comb the olives off the trees BY HAND. The olives are then collected into bins that hold about 900 pounds of olives and are whisked away on the scenic, pastoral drive from Oakville, the heart of the Napa Valley, to Sonoma County for immediate pressing.
The 2011 crop was harvested in late November and early December. We press our organically grown olives at The Olive Press in Glen Ellen, Sonoma County. The Olive Press uses a Pieralisi Hammermill press, which uses the centrifuge method of extracting the oil. The centrifuge method does not use extra water; thereby maintaining the delicious, undiluted flavor of the oil. Our oil is cold pressed and unfiltered. The oil is bottled in early February, after it has settled in order to remove any sediment. As olive oil is sensitive to light, great care is taken to preserve the grassy green color, which is why we use dark green bottles. However, the color of the oil is not important to the taste of this exquisite Extra Virgin Olive Oil.