After a relatively mild summer, the fall rains have arrived with conviction! Grove 45 picked our first olives on Monday, October 24, and even though this is weeks earlier than in the past, we are happy to report an abundant yield. Grove 45 gives considerable credit for our consistent yields and earlier harvests to the pruning protocol we put in place 5 years ago, faithfully executed by our only pruner, Bev Lincoln.
Our second day of harvest was interrupted by rain, then the sun came out for the third day and the rains closed us down again on the fourth day. Harvest was finally completed on Monday, October 31, just in time for us to don our Halloween best. In spite of all the interruptions, the fruit looks great and Grove 45 is tasting just the way we like it.
We are very proud to share that after three years of intense monitoring and inspections by the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), our groves have once again received esteemed organic certification. Both Bonnie and Bev worked very hard to make this happen through impeccable farming practices and record keeping.
Grove 45 hosted many private tours and tastings this year, something we now offer between May and October by appointment for up to eight people. We have also been the staging point and rest stop for several cycling events, most notably for Chef Michael Chiarello’s Bottega Gran Fondo charity bike ride in April. We were honored to host over 500 riders and volunteers at the Grove 45 ranch for refueling during the race. DuVine Cycling and Adventure Company has also started visiting the ranch regularly as part of their Napa Valley tours. We love these opportunities to meet new people and spread the word about the great extra virgin olive oils being produced in California, especially Grove 45!
We are excited to once again be participating in the Good Food Mercantile Market in San Francisco on January 21, 2017. This is a wonderful opportunity not only for us to interface with other artisanal producers of fine quality goods, but also gives us the forum to meet prospective new customers as well as many of our existing clients. As a small producer we unfortunately can't visit all of our accounts around the country personally which is why we so relish this chance to meet our supporters whom we have only communicated with through email.
The new oil is now safely resting in the barn and will go to the bottling line the first week of January 2017. That said, our 2016 vintage will be ready for shipping by the end of January