OLIVE OIL AND LAND COMPANY CALAVERAS
Ed Rich, President of Calaveras, is one of the new band of Californian olive oil pioneers but his own groves will not come on stream for another year or two.
In the meantime Ed Rich buys the best local olives he can find for his range of olive oils. They are pressed and bottled at the Golden Eagle olive estate in the Portersville area of California.
This year they have pressed and bottled a number of different Calaveras extra-virgin olive oils. The most interesting is the Motherlode Blend. It is pressed from Mission, Manzanillo, Picholine and Navidillo olives grown in two small groves near to Copperopolis. The aroma is very fresh with apple skins and a touch of grass. The flavour is fruity, with almonds and medium pepper. It fades a little on the aftertaste but is nevertheless very good.
The Calaveras company itself is based on an old cattle ranch near Copperopolis, California. The new groves are planted in the Sierra Foothills in an area which used to produce a large quantity of table olives. However, Ed Rich is convinced that the way ahead is not to replant the old Californian olive varieties but to use Italian, Greek, and French varieties. He has already planted 500 trees and plans to add more. To date they include Frantoio, Leccino, Kalamata and San Felicia varieties.