Tuesday, January 05, 2010

McEvoy Ranch

I've been a big fan of McEvoy Olive Oil for a some time. I used to drive by the ranch everyday when I worked in Sonoma County. The view from the road is beautiful and I secretly wanted to go in and take a peek. Well silly me, I checked the web site and found that they were having an open house on December 6. We made reservations and arrived with great expectation. My first impression was different than I had predicted. I was expecting pick up trucks and work boots but found high end vehicles and designer logos. I know a lot of hard manual labor goes on here but those representing today were from the marketing side of the equation. I don't mean this in a negative way. I've long since replaced my vision of nearby wineries from an old Italian man selling jug wines from his basement, to a Tuscan inspired villa with $50 vintages. My romantic image is just a little more rustic than some.

We wandered the magnificent grounds and tried some samples. The olive trees have such a unique gray green color that match the California winter palate.
McEvoy Olives

After our self guided tour we wandered back to the sales room to purchase oil. There in the back there was a glass wall to view the high tech looking stainless steel equipment.

I then spotted the stone olive press, opened the door and was amazed at the aroma from the olives being crushed. Talk about a connection to the earth, this was it! The peppery, sweet, earthy essence of the olive had captured me.

McEvoy Olive Oil is what I call a finishing oil. It is exquisite and relatively expensive, so I add it sparingly as you would truffle or caviar. I've used it to drizzle over a grilled T-bone steak just before serving. Most recently I added it to my breakfast of a Redwood Bagel with cream cheese, capers and tomato. Decadent!


Zoomie said...

Mmm-mmm-mmm! Good use for that oil - I like it, too, but not the price. Also like Bariani and the stuff they make out at UC Davis, but all are pricey.

kudzu said...

Glad you got that tour! The ranch is pretty spectacular in so many ways. I think the McEvoy oil is definitely a finishing oil -- you have to be careful with it, especially if you happen to get some of the new oil that is downright peppery...There are a some free demo classes in olive curing coming up in Sonoma, part of the Olive Festival. Check out the activities on the festival's web site (you can google it). They usually include comparative oil tasting, etc. Fun.

Greg said...

Zoomie- I did not know about Davis. On the next runaway weekend there I will check it out.
Kudzu- I always read about the festival but have never gone.Thanks for the tip.

cookiecrumb said...

McEvoy is my favorite. Be sure you use up your precious cargo within the year.

Greg said...

cookiecrumb- Not to worry. Half gone already!