Long Meadow Ranch Releases 2005 Vintage
Prato Lungo and Napa Valley Select Extra Virgin Olive Oils
June 3, 2005, Rutherford, CA
Long Meadow Ranch proudly released today its award-winning 2005-vintage olive oils. The extra virgin oils released today are the condiment oil, Prato Lungo (which means 'Long Meadow' in Italian) and the "everyday" blending and mixing oil, Napa Valley Select.
Recently featured on celebrity chef Charlie Trotter's PBS television show, The Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter, Prato Lungo once again sets the standard for ultra premium, extra virgin, estate-grown, -produced, and -bottled olive oil from California.
The handcrafted oil presents a fresh nose with green grass, wheat, green apple, and a touch of citrus. The entry into the mouth is silky smooth while the fresh clean flavors and peppery aftertaste reinforce the oil's role as the perfect condiment or finishing oil for fresh vegetables.
With an acidity of just one-tenth of one percent, Prato Lungo is ten times below the one-percent-or-less standard required for the extra-virgin designation.
"Nestled high above Napa Valley is an enclave of organic farming that produces one of the world’s great olive oils. Prato Lungo is an oil that I admire for its intensity. It has a fresh, high-tone flavor and a bit of heat that makes it perfect for finishing a dish when I want to add a final note of complexity or richness," said Charlie Trotter during his recent PBS broadcast. ". . . though it may seem odd to taste olive oil by itself, it is only then that the oil reveals its true subtleties. And, in this case, extraordinary flavors of grass and citrus and pepper . . . LMR . . . the source for the great olive oil, Prato Lungo," Trotter concluded.
Not to be outdone, the 2005-vintage Napa Valley Select was a recent Gold Medal winner at the prestigious 2005 Los Angeles County Fair. "The LA County Fair has emerged as the principal olive oil competition among producers in the United States and has attracted world-class judges and an international following. We are very pleased that our 'everyday oil' received such international recognition," said co-owner Ted Hall. "We entered this oil to make a point," he added wryly.
Long Meadow Ranch crafts Napa Valley Select extra virgin olive oil as an everyday companion to the Prato Lungo. Created from a blend of Long Meadow Ranch's own olives and 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.
"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 co-owner Laddie Hall. "And, of course, our growing and processing practices are certified organic by the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF)."
For more than a decade, Long Meadow Ranch has been working on the restoration of the historic Prato Lungo orchards that were discovered hidden in the dense second growth forest on the Ranch's hillsides. The trees were planted in the 1870s by homesteader E. J. Church in what the the Napa Valley Historical Society has now established as Napa Valley's oldest commercial olive orchards. Napa County Landmarks recently awarded a Certificate of Merit to Long Meadow Ranch for the restoration of the orchards.
The trees 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. "We do know that these olives produce an extraordinary oil and the uncertainty about their true origin only adds to the mystique," said Ted Hall.
Olive oil maker, Mike McDaniel, has mastered the state-of-the-art Italian-made equipment during his nine 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 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 Rutherford Gardens (on Saturdays from July through October), 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.
Long Meadow Ranch is an innovative organic farming operation - and purveyor of fine food - located high above the Napa Valley on the picturesque slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains where it produces extraordinary red wine, extra virgin olive oil, grass-fed beef, eggs, and heirloom fruits and vegetables for Napa Valley's finest restaurants. Long Meadow Ranch produces ultra premium wines and extra virgin olive oils, under the Long Meadow Ranch Winery, Ranch House Red, Prato Lungo, and Napa Valley Select labels. Beyond the Napa Valley, America's top chefs have regularly featured Long Meadow Ranch wines and olive oils.
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.
The Halls continue to restore and preserve Napa Valley's oldest olive groves, as well as add new plantings of olive trees and vineyards. They have also brought cattle, poultry, and vegetables back into commercial production. Appaloosa horse breeding, along with an extensive composting operation, round out the integrated farming 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 sustainable, organic 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: Chris Hall