Grove 45 Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is a venture that started in 2009 when long time friends Nena Talcott and Bonnie Storm agreed to go into business together. Between them they had 45 years of farming experience and had both produced gold medal award winning extra virgin olive oils under different labels. Nena had sold her vineyards and groves in 2006 and she missed being involved in the farming community. Bonnie was getting tired of doing all of the work on her own and was ready to consider shutting down her operation. Fortunately, after a discussion one afternoon, Grove 45 EVOO was born.
The groves are located on Bonnie’s ranch in a remote corner of the Napa Valley. The trees are all Italian Varieties that Bonnie imported from Italy in 1994. The business partners are involved in every aspect of the oil production from driving the tractor to selling and delivering Grove 45 EVOO.
To showcase the excellent quality of Grove 45 EVOO, Nena and Bonnie wanted a package that would be distinctive. They chose an aluminum bottle with a food grade liner and embossed pewter label that the pair apply by hand. They also decided to name their new oil after the year they were born, 1945. In the year Nena and Bonnie began collecting Social Security and became eligible for Medicare, their new venture took shape.
A co-founder and partner of Grove 45 Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), Bonnie began farming and producing gold medal winning EVOO in 1994 when she imported Tuscan trees, Frantoio, Leccino, Maurino and Pendolino, to her ranch in Chiles Valley, California. Bonnie grew up around agriculture and the wine industry in Sonoma, California, but it was not until she traveled extensively in Italy that she developed the passion for olive trees and olive oil. An early member of the Northern California Olive Oil Council (now the California Olive Oil Council) she became its first secretary. In 2000 the oil produced from Bonnie’s trees won the prestigious “Orciolo d’Oro” award at an International Competition in Pesaro, Italy. In 2004 Bonnie planted a second grove of the Sicilian variety, Nocellara de Belice. The blend of the Tuscan and Sicilian varieties produces a wonderfully fruity and balanced olive oil.
Bonnie attended the University of California at Davis, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1967 and later a teaching certificate. Bonnie is an avid sportsperson who loves golf, cycling, hiking, swimming and rides and shows cutting horses. Bonnie competed in the 1982 Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii, winning her age group and finishing 13th for women overall.
To ensure that her ranch remain as it is she has willed the Storm Olive Ranch to the Land Trust of Napa County.
A co-founder and partner of Grove 45 Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), Nena discovered her passion for farming when she moved to St. Helena in Napa Valley, CA, in 1974. She planted her first vineyard in 1975 and spent the next 30 years managing the family farming business of approximately 100 acres, selling her premium grapes to many of Napa Valley’s finest wineries and eventually building a winery of her own. She also produced gold medal award winning extra virgin olive oil from trees given to her by her friend and now business partner, Bonnie Storm.
In 2006 Nena sold all of her vineyards, groves and winery and moved to town to enjoy retirement. However, something was missing in her life. When Bonnie mentioned that she didn’t think she was going to produce olive oil anymore, Nena suggested they join forces and Grove 45 EVOO was born.
Nena attended San Francisco College For Women (Lone Mountain College) graduating in 1974, Magna Cum Laude, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts/Art History. She continued her education at UC Davis and Napa Valley College studying viticulture, oenology and finance.
Nena has a son and a daughter and volunteered in local schools and sports organizations for many years while raising her children. She enjoys cycling, swimming, kayaking, good food and wine and active vacations to almost anywhere.