People drive long distances to taste exceptional wines—why not for olives? For more than a hundred years, Graber Olive House has been producing tree-ripened olives in Ontario, San Bernardino County, 35 miles east of downtown LA. Turns out the historic ranch house and canning plant are still operational, and visitors can take a tour of the grounds, sample the olives, and, of course, browse the gift shop.
Bay Area Chowhound Melanie Wong was first introduced to Graber olives when she was wine-tasting in the Napa Valley. “Graber olives do a great job in counteracting tannins in young wines,” she says. “The only problem is folks get distracted by the olives and neglect the wines.” Unlike commercially canned olives, which are picked early and oxidized until black, Graber olives are harvested mature, when the color is reddish. Then they're sorted, cured on-site, and never allowed to oxidize. The result is an earthy palette of brown, tan, and red olives, all naturally ripened.
A tip: Look for cans of “orchard run" olives, not sorted by size and therefore cheaper.
Graber Olive House [Inland Empire]
315 E. Fourth Street, Ontario
Photo from Graber Olives / Facebook