Earlier this month I had a chance to attend the (free) open house at McEvoy Ranch and taste the two-week old 2010 olio nuovo. This is the freshest oil I’ve tasted and at that point it had a huge kick that bites back. Every green flavor and peppery descriptor can be cut and pasted-in to try to put words to what bounced around my mouth in each taste: artichoke, grass, white pepper, nasturtium, parsley, celery seed, bay, English peas. You name it. Super-aggressive in the fullness of youth, yet once the shock of the intense bite subsided, the unfiltered oil also expressed some rich buttery elements that might show through more once it calms down some with age.
Olio Nuovo flyer
A rainy day, I didn’t take a hike in the groves but hung out in the Frantoio where Community Milling day was in full swing. Backyard olives and picking batches from many small growers were consolidated to make a local blend. The rotating action of the giant stone wheels of the mill was mesmerizing. But the real payoff of the visit was the rare opportunity to breathe in the heady aroma of fresh olives that permeated the mill room.
Photos of the day (select slideshow, click “show info” for captions)
Video of McEvoy’s stone mill in action
5935 Red Hill Rd, Petaluma, CA