This week we began bottling our 2009 harvest olive oils. The 2009 Napa Valley Select and Prato Lungo blends are among our best oils as of yet. Upon chemical analysis of these oils, we have confirmed that they are well within the COOC (California Olive Oil Council) standards for quality oil.
The COOC (and international) standards for extra virgin olive oil require oil to be less than 0.5% acidity (oleic free fatty acid) and to have a peroxide index under 20. Prato Lungo achieved 0.08% acidity with a 5.0 peroxide index while the Napa Valley Select came out at 0.04% acidity with a 3.0 peroxide index.
Both of of our 2009 oils are more than six times below the standard for extra virgin olive oil. We are very proud to continue our record of producing some of the lowest acidity (most virgin) olive oils in the world.
To learn more about olive oil see: About Olive Oil
Today we began tasting through and rating oils made from our Italian cultivars. The Italian cultivars (like "varietals" in grape vines) we produce are Frantoio, Moriaolo, Pendolino, and Leccino.
Typically, these Italian cultivar olive oils produce a dramatic amount of spiciness (pungency) in the back of your throat, causing you to cough or clear your throat.
A particularly pungent oil is a "two cough oil" - something we try to make! After much discussion and evaluation of these oils, we are beginning to see the blend for the Napa Valley Select.