Prato Lungo Listed As "Best California Olive Oil"
November 2000 Napa Valley, CA
Long Meadow Ranch’s Prato Lungo extra virgin olive oil has been described as the "Best California Olive Oil" and was selected as the "Top Recommendation" in the category of olive oils from the USA by noted author Anne Dolamore in her newest book A Buyer’s Guide to Olive Oil (2000, Grub Street, UK). In her book, Dolamore states, "I tasted this oil as part of a blind tasting and would have been willing to wager a huge sum that I was tasting the finest example of Tuscan oil. . .This is undoubtedly the best Californian oil I have tasted."
In 1988 Anne Dolamore wrote the first book on olive oil to appear in the English language with her highly praised Essential Olive Oil Companion followed by the first consumer guide, A Buyer’s Guide to Olive Oil, also critically acclaimed. Since her first book she has lectured and supervised tutored olive oil tastings throughout the world and has made many radio and television appearances. She is regarded as one of the leading authorities on the subject of olive oil.
The blind tasting referred to by Dolamore was the American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts’ 2000 Festival of Olives, co-sponsored by the International Olive Oil Council in which the 1999 Prato Lungo represented the United States. Extra-virgin olive oils from around the world, including Greece, Spain, United States, Tunisia, Sicily and Tuscany, were poured with their identities concealed.
Introducing the Prato Lungo sample at the tasting was Roberto Zecca, owner of Frantoio Ristorante, President of the California Olive Oil Council and co-leader of the official panel of tasters. He stated, "I want to impress upon you that an olive oil must be 1.0 percent or less acidity for the extra virgin classification. This oil is .055 percent – practically unheard of. Peroxide levels can run up to 20 and this oil is 4.48. That is an astounding peroxide level. The acidity/peroxide levels for this oil are simply superb."
Meaning "long meadow" in Italian, Prato Lungo is produced from the Long Meadow Ranch’s 120 year-old olive grove high on the Mayacamas mountainside and is created in America’s only combined bonded winery and frantoio structure. The historic olive trees, believed to have been shipped around Cape Horn from Provence as cuttings in the 1870’s, are probably related to the French Picholine variety.
With the crusher onsite near the olive groves, Long Meadow Ranch Winery has the ability to process small lots of olives within two hours of picking and, by employing the world’s best methods for low temperature processing, low acid levels and the highest quality product are ensured. The world-class Pieralisi installation at Long Meadow Ranch features a traditional 8-ton Italian granite olive crusher and the latest two-phase horizontal decanting system. Guided by olive oil maker, Mike McDaniel, with a palate trained in the intricacies of coffee roasting and blending as well as winemaking, Prato Lungo has established itself as a premium entry in the United States’ burgeoning olive oil market.
Long Meadow Ranch has pioneered a distinctive approach to farming in the Napa Valley. With the motto, "Excellence through Responsible Farming," owners Ted and Laddie Hall have created an integrated, organic farming system. "I truly believe that world class products can be made using simple, sustainable farming methods, " said Ted Hall. "We are producing the highest quality olive oil, red wine, specialty beef, and organic vegetables in a highly responsible, economically viable fashion. Our products reflect our philosophy of balance and our deep respect for the land."
Prato Lungo is available in a limited supply for $45 per 500 ml. bottle, plus $5 shipping, from Long Meadow Ranch Winery through the website at www.longmeadowranch.com or by calling toll-free to 877-NAPA-OIL (877-627-2645).
Contact: Monty J. Sander