New Olive Oil Celebration
Planning a trip to the Western United States? How about spending a few days taking in Oregon’s New Olive Oil Celebration?
The Willamette Valley has been growing pinot noir and pinot gris grapes for the past four decades. But recently, Ken and Penny Durant, and others interested in diversifying, have embraced a new agricultural and culinary trend in Oregon – olives. The Durants planted a small olive orchard in 2005 and now have 13, 000 olive trees on 17 acres in the Willamette Valley. Two years ago they built the Oregon Olive Mill, Yamhill County’s first olive oil pressing facility, and Oregon’s largest. To celebrate the 2010 olive harvest, the Oregon Olive Mill will host the 2nd annual Olio Nuovo Festa on the weekend of November 19-21st. This three-day event honours the age-old Italian tradition that exists around the first pressing of artisan olive oil, celebrating the olive, the harvest and the pressing of the new olive oil. Olive varietals pressed at the Oregon Olive Mill include Arbequina from Spain and Koroneiki from Greece, as well as a Tuscan olive blend.
“Our olive oil festival is very similar to the way the French celebrate the young Beaujolais Nouveau wine,” says Paul Durant, co-founder of the Oregon Olive Mill. “In Italy, and now in Oregon, we are celebrating the new olive harvest fresh from the orchard. Fresh cold-pressed olive oil has long been recognized as the finest, best tasting olive oil available and eagerly sought after for its fruity, grassy flavours,” said Durant.
The Oregon Olive Mill houses an Italian olive press, oil storage area, a boutique bottling line and intimate tasting room. When not harvesting and pressing olives, the Oregon Olive Mill is available for private events with a heated outdoor deck overlooking the Willamette Valley.
Locally Sourced Olive Oil Wins with Portland area Chefs
The Oregon Olive Mill olive oil is sought after by some of the area’s top chefs like Scott Dolich of Park Kitchen, Earl Hook of Meriwether’s and Eric Ferguson at Nick’s Italian Kitchen in McMinnville. “Our restaurant guests love the locally milled olive oil,” said Earl Hook, executive chef at Meriwether’s. “The Oregon olive oil was the missing link that finally gave the wholeness to Oregon food, and I am thrilled the Durants have followed their passion to grow olives locally.”
Olio Nuovo Festa – November 19-21, 2010
The weekend events at the Oregon Olive Mill all focus on the newly pressed olive oil and give guests a chance to see first hand how olive oil is made on the imported Italian olive press. Guests will also enjoy tastes of a variety of freshly-pressed olive oils, and sample warm bruschetta grilled and rubbed with garlic, olio nuovo and sea salt. The Durant family will also pour tastes of their estate wines from Durant Vineyards. Guests can also purchase olive oil by hand-filling a bottle from the fusti (stainless steel decanters).
Dates: Friday to Sunday, November 19-21, 2010
Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
Take Home: Fresh-pressed Olio Nuovo available for purchase, along with Durant Vineyards wine
Location: Oregon Olive Mill at Red Ridge, 5700 NW Breyman Orchards Road, Dayton, OR