The Farms Behind All Things Olive
In 2004, All Things Olive became the Washington DC area's first retailer to focus solely on olive oil. Since the beginning, we've partnered with a small group of family-owned farms in Northern California.
The farms range from Carmel Valley in the south, up through the Napa and Capay Valleys, and along the Sierra Nevada foothills northeast of Sacramento up toward Lake Tahoe. The wide variety of climates and terrains that our farms enjoy enables us to offer you a selection of olive oils with a complexity of flavors not found elsewhere.
The farms also maintain complete control over the olive oil they produce. They grow and prune their own olive trees and they harvest the olives. The farms also produce, bottle, and label their own olive oil.
Importantly, each farm also has chosen to submit their oil to the California Olive Oil Council for extra virgin certification.
Please take a moment to learn more about the olive oil producers behind All Things Olive. They're making some of the best extra virgin olive oil in the world today.
Apollo Olive Oil
Oregon House, CA
Apollo Olive Oil, founded in 1999, is a small family business located in the the high Sierra foothills in Northern California. Co-owners Steve McCulley and Gianni Stefanini farm three groves that were planted decades ago with more than twenty different olive varieties, many of which are unique to California. The different oils from these French, Italian, Spanish, Greek, and Tunisian varieties give Apollo a broad palette of flavors to work with for creating their Mistral, Sierra, and Barouni olive oils.
Apollo Olive Oil's Gianni Stefanini
Bava Family Grove
Operated by his family's 3rd and 4th generation, Phil Bava's farm is in California's central valley. Phil's estate olive grove consists of 509 organically farmed trees of 18 Mediterranean varieties. All are hand harvested and pressed on the same day at a certified organic mill. Bava Family Grove won a Silver Medal in the 2015 New York International Olive Oil competition!
Phil Bava of Bava Family Grove
Berkeley Olive Grove 1913
When reports were published between 1900 and 1904 regarding the exemplary olive-growing climate around Oroville, California, several faculty members of the University of California took notice. In 1913, as many as 15 professors individually invested in some land and, within the course of their lifetime, managed the largest planting of Mission olive trees in the world. Today, nearly a century later, Darro and Olivia Grieco have begun bringing the historic orchard back to its full potential. Certified organic,
Berkeley Olive Grove uses the most sustainable practices in supporting both orchard and wildlife.
Darro and Olivia Grieco of Berkeley Olive Grove
The Bond family closely follows the spirit of southern Italian and Sicilian family farming methods to produce their remarkable olive oil. Although common in Sicily, their blend of Nocellara, Biancollila, and Cerasuola olive varietals produces an elegant and buttery oil that's unique in California.
Karen Bond of Bondolio with Chef Michael Chiarello
Loma Rica, CA
In 1999, Monica and Michael Keller bought 10 acres in the Northern Sierra Foothills town of Loma Rica. This new property was covered in 100-year old olive trees that hadn't been tended since the 1960's. Armed with a mower and pruning shears, the ambitious Kellers moved in, cleared the brush and blackberries, and brought the trees back to life, and Calolea Olive Oil was born. They attribute their superior tasting oils to their unique growing terroir. Their groves are maintained with organic methods only and their cattle graze the groves, they are happy cows! The Kellers gently harvest their olives and rush them from the field to the mill, ensuring the most flavorful olive oil possible.
Monica, Michael, and Ethan Keller of Calolea
Chacewater Winery & Olive Mill
Chacewater Winery & Olive Mill is family-owned and operated. They are located in Kelseyville, a town tucked away in northern California's Lake County. They take pride in producing wines, extra virgin olive oils and soaps of the highest quality, sourced from select vineyards and estate-grown olive trees. By producing only small lots and using only the finest natural ingredients they are able to produce artisanal products of distinction. The name Chacewater honors their ancestral family in Cornwall, England. Because of their adventurous and hardworking nature, they are able to fulfill their passions today.
Luke, Paul, Kellye, and Matt Manuel of Chacewater
San Martin, CA
For Jeff Martin, the most interesting oils on the market were the Tuscan blends. These oils tend to be more pungent and peppery, and in his mind, more interesting than the super high density oils being produced elsewhere. It was suggested that he consider growing a single variety of olive. After much research and tasting of varietal oils, Jeff decided on the Frantoio variety and then planted Frantoio Grove in 2005. Now, after waiting six long years to taste the fruits of his labor, Jeff says that "it is green, and it is good."
Keith with Pam and Jeff Martin of Frantoio Grove
Grumpy Goats Farm
Stuart Littell and Pamela Marvel are partners in life and in business. When Pamela prepared to make good on a life-long dream—to live in the country as she had growing up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin—Stuart was a full backer and supporter. After some deliberation, they decided to look for the ideal place to locate a small olive orchard, where they could produce their own olive oil. In early 2008 they bought a 20 acre farm in Capay Valley, about 35 miles west of Sacramento. It was just an alfalfa field. Together they have made good progress on the farm: there are 1400 olive trees on 8 acres. Coratina, Picual, Pendolino, Itrana, Barnea and Nocellera varietals have been planted.
Keith with Stuart Littel and Pamela Marvel of Grumpy Goats
A merger of the names Jon and Sylvia, "Jovia" Groves olive oil is produced by Jon and Sylvia Fadhl in Dixon, California. Jovia Farms has planted over 9000 Spanish Arbequina olive trees using the SHD (Super High Density) hedge row method over the last four years. Jovia Groves Olive Oil was awarded the California Olive Oil Council (COOC) Certification in the first year of production.
Jon Fadl of Jovia Groves with Lynn and Keith
Katz and Company
Albert and Kim Katz had taken an inspiring trip to Italy where they tasted many new things, but it was the olive oil that really hit them. As luck would have it, the olive oil production in Northern California was just about to bloom and a large part of it started in the Napa area. Quite serendipitous! Albert became one of the founding members of the California Olive Oil Council in 1993 during this time. Over the last 10 years they have been organically raising olives on 20 acres in the historic Suisun Valley. Their California Certified Organic oils, under the KATZ label, have garnered 18 gold medals at major tasting events. The oils also are featured in some of the most highly acclaimed restaurant kitchens in the country.
Keith with Kim and Albert Katz in the Katz' 150 year old carriage house used to age their unique wine vinegars.
Colline di Santa Cruz
At Colline di Santa Cruz (hills of Santa Cruz), Chris Banthien produces extra virgin olive oil from selected Tuscan varietals grown in the coastal climate of Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. The cool weather and coastal influence yields a fruit-forward oil without losing the balance of bitterness and pungency. From a small group of 100 trees imported from Pescia, Italy in 1994, Chris today has 2000 trees on 20 acres. Her goal is to make only the finest oil from varieties that are historically grown in the central and northern areas of Italy.
Chris Banthien with Keith in the olive grove at Colline di Santa Cruz
The Olive Press
The Olive Press was created in 1995, the very first olive mill in Sonoma, California. The Olive Press was constructed as a unique facility to produce not only the best local extra virgin olive oil of its own, but also to meet the custom pressing needs of commercial producers, growers with small harvests, as well as hobbyists wishing to create "estate" olive oil from their home grown olives.
In their native Patwin language, 'Séka' means 'blue,' and in selecting Séka Hills as the name for their premium tribal products, the native American tribe Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation honors the blue hills that overlook their homeland in Northern California's Capay Valley. The Seka Hills Olive Mill and Tasting Room uses the latest technology and serves the milling needs of both the Tribe and the growing ranks of surrounding olive growers. To preserve the most flavor and the greatest health benefits, the Seka Hills milling process allows minmal air exposure, creating the freshness required in the finest quality extra virgin olive oils.
When Dean Griggs talks of his olive trees, he believes that "this is my soul right here." Dean's olive trees, made mostly of taggiasca olives from the western Italian coast, are grown on rolling hills of Monterey shale within reach of Pacific Ocean's cooling breeze in the Carmel Valley. Dean is committed to organic practices and bottles his oil himself in small batches. When describing his oil, Dean says, "you put it under your nose, the first thing you notice is grass. You pull it back over your tongue, there a little fruitiness, a little nuttiness with that grass. It finishes off, you get that pepper burn."
Dean Griggs of Tres Osos