June 5, 2009 | Olive Oil |

Heading Home to Napa Valley

Posted by Jason Moulton

I am heading back to the Napa Valley with mixed emotions.  

Looking back on my journey in South America, I can't help realizing how I ended up here.

PieralisiMy biggest thanks goes out to Marcelo Cena of Pieralisi. Marcelo helped with all my arrangements and communication on the ground in Mendoza. In Chile, the Pieralisi representatives Christian Benevente and Sergio Castello were very gracious to help me get hooked up with Terra Santa. Jorge Nasal and Sebastian, the mill operator of Terra Santa were very kind to have me over for a day in the Curacavi Valley.

Furthermore, I'd like to thank Miguel Zuccardi and Mauricio Castro for looking after me for 2 weeks. Piece-by-piece, I learned how their operation at Familia Zuccardi works. And I must say, these two gentleman are producing the highest quality extra virgin olive oil in all of Argentina. I wish them the best of luck!

Upon review of the past 3 weeks, I've managed to see machine harvesting vs. manual harvesting, filtered oil vs. unfiltered oil, hammermills vs. stonecrushers, and so on.

Each manner of processing or harvesting has an appropriate reason behind it. Our decisions on how we treat our olives and olive oil are based upon our diverse locations (Napa Valley, Chile, and Argentina) and how much olive oil we truly want to make.

The important thing we all abide by is the processing of freshly picked olives. If we can't process them immediately, then our product will be of inferior quality. . . degrading our extra virgin olive oil prospects.

On that note, I'm headed back to Napa Valley, leaving the cold here in Mendoza for the sunshine in California. It has certainly been a great harvest down here.

Hasta la proxima vez che!

Posted by Jason Moulton

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