When it comes to procuring a decent bottle of extra virgin olive oil, most aficionados look to Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Portugal and the like. And while the EVOOs coming out of California are starting to gain a serious toehold in the market, there’s a new player south of the border that’s starting to shake the proverbial tree.Known for producing some fine Pinot Noir wines, a few eclectic distillates and some damn nice suds, Oregon is hoping another liquid will become distinguished among food junkies.
The Oregon Olive Mill (part of the Red Ridge Farms group of operations) in Dayton, Oregon, has been running since 2008 and produces a range of EVOOs from cold-hardy Greek, Italian and Spanish lineage. With 17 acres of olive groves in the picturesque Dundee hills (the heart of wine country) and state-of-the-art pressing facilities, Oregon Olive Mill sculpts oils that are distinctive and that speak clearly of the type of olive used.
The Spanish Arbequina is the mildest of the three samples tasted with aromas of artichoke, mild spice, white pepper and cut grass. Mild spicy/fruity with good length, it is subtle yet distinctive.
The Koroneiki (originally of Greek descent) shows a very fragrant nose with green melon and banana nuances. Fairly viscous yet with a refreshing lightness, it offers up green, leafy flavours with a hint of bitterness on the finish. Peppery notes sneak up on you lest you start to get the impression it is a bit too mild.
The third sample, simply labeled Tuscan, is true-to-type with tomato leaf/green fruit aromas and flavours and strong, very peppery finish that almost takes your breath away.
All-in-all, a very pleasant surprise from the West Coast.
For more info check out www.RedRidgeFarms.com