Long Meadow Ranch Releases 2003 Vintage
Prato Lungo and Napa Valley Select Extra Virgin Olive Oils
July, 2004, St. Helena, CA
The 2003-vintage Prato Lungo ultra premium, extra virgin, estate grown, produced and bottled olive oil has been released by Long Meadow Ranch Winery. With an acidity of .18 percent, more than five times below the 1.0-percent-or-less standard required for the extra-virgin designation, the hand-crafted oil presents a fresh nose with green grass, wheat, green apple, and a touch of citrus. The entry into the mouth is silky smooth and the fresh clean flavors and peppery aftertaste reinforce the oil's role as the perfect condiment or finishing oil for fresh vegetables.
Long Meadow Ranch's restored 120 year-old historic orchards provide the fruit for the Prato Lungo, which means "long meadow" in Italian. Acclaimed by noted international olive-oil authority, Anne Dolamore, as "California's Best Olive Oil" in her book A Buyer's Guide to Olive Oil, Prato Lungo is one of just six oils in the world to earn Dolamore's "Top Recommendation." Prato Lungo also won the 2002 Gold Medal at the Los Angeles County Fair for Packaging and Design in the international competition.
World-renown authority Judy Ridgway awards Prato Lungo "Four Stars" in her newest book, Best Olive Oil Buys Round the World (2002, Gardiner Press). Many of the best chefs in the country are discovering Prato Lungo and are using it in their own kitchens. Watch for The Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter featuring Long Meadow Ranch and Prato Lungo on your local PBS channel.
Long Meadow Ranch also crafts Napa Valley Select extra virgin olive oil as an everyday com-panion to the Prato Lungo. Long Meadow has made this oil for the past five years, primarily selling it at the Farmers' Market in St. Helena and to local friends-in-the-know. It was re-leased to the public for the first time two years ago and, along with Prato Lungo, sold out be-fore the holidays.
Made from a blend of oils from Long Meadow Ranch olives and also olives raised by organic-farming neighbors, Napa Valley Select is perfect for leafy salad greens, with bread, or with basil in a fresh pesto. The Manzanillo olives included in the blend provide a touch of natural bitterness that goes well with greens and adds a rustic feel that is perfect with many Tuscan recipes. The Napa Valley Select not only has great flavors, but with an acidity of just .20 per-cent it, also achieves a technical standard that exceeds many of the best oils from Tuscany and Umbria.
"One of the keys to making extraordinary olive oil is the capability of pressing olives within a few hours of picking. We preserve the freshness of the fruit by processing immediately with our state-of-the-art Pieralisi equipment right here on the Ranch," said owner Ted Hall.
For over eleven years, Long Meadow Ranch has been working on the restoration of the his-toric Prato Lungo orchards that were discovered hidden in the dense second growth forest on the Ranch's hillsides. In conjunction with American and Spanish experts, the Halls are trying to identify the origin of the trees that are believed to have come to California as cuttings aboard ships via Cape Horn. Although the olives are clearly oil-producing cultivars, even DNA testing has not yet revealed their specific origin.
Olive oil maker, Mike McDaniel, has mastered the state-of-the-art Italian-made equipment during his six years of processing at Long Meadow Ranch. McDaniel has a finely developed palate and the experience to operate one of the very few newly constructed olive oil facilities in the United States.
Prato Lungo is available in a limited supply for $45 per 500 ml. bottle, plus $6 shipping. The Napa Valley Select is available for $18, per 375 ml. bottle, plus $6 shipping. The oils are available through the website at www.longmeadowranch.com or by calling toll-free 877-NAPA-OIL (877-627-2645). The oils may also be purchased seasonally at the St. Helena Farmer's Market (Friday mornings at Crane Park in St. Helena) and at Long Meadow Ranch's Rutherford Gardens vegetable stand, located at 1796 South St. Helena Highway, Rutherford, CA.
Prato Lungo and Napa Valley Select samples are available by request. Prato Lungo and Napa Valley Select images, and a complete pictorial of the olive picking and crushing process are available by request or by visiting the Long Meadow Ranch website at www.longmeadowranch.com
Long Meadow Ranch is an innovative organic farming operation that produces grapes, olives, beef, eggs, and vegetables as well as ultra premium wines and olive oils, under the Long Meadow Ranch Winery, Prato Lungo, and Napa Valley Select labels.
Long Meadow Ranch has been known as such since 1872 when it was established as an original "patent grant" ranch signed over by President Ulysses S. Grant. Having been home to a variety of uses during its long history, Long Meadow Ranch continues to grow and prosper through Ted, Laddie and Christopher Hall's stewardship. Long Meadow Ranch is an integrated farming system that relies on each part of the Ranch contributing to the health of the whole.
The Halls continue to restore and preserve the historic olive groves, as well as add new plantings of olive trees and vineyard. They produce premium wine and olive oil, organic vegetables and eggs, plus free-range, grass-fed Highland beef. Appaloosa horse breeding, along with an extensive composting operation, round out the integrated activities at the Ranch.
"Excellence through responsible farming" is the motto of Long Meadow Ranch, bolstered by the belief that world-class products can be produced using simple sustainable farming methods. Long Meadow Ranch does not use herbicides or pesticides and its products are organically grown and certified by the California Certified Organic Farmers.
Contact: Monty J. Sander