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Aug 29, 2006 11:46 PM

Which Californian olive oil topped the Italians? (or was it French???)

A few months back, an olive oil created a lot of hoopla when it won an award over many celebrated Italian olive oils. This award was compared to the time when wines from the Napa Valley began beating out French wines.

Does this ring a bell? Help please. I've been googling to no avail.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. hello, did you read about it, and do you recall the source? Most newspapers now have a searchable archive on their websites,and you can specify the time span when you estimate you read it. Sounds like something the SF Chronicle would crow about in their food section ( As you probably know, there are many many great oils out there; your tastes probably differ than the judges', and the oils change with the vintage year *and* the part of the season of the harvest/pressing, so something from a retailer close-by to you might exceed anything in that competition,depending on who's tasting! Many well-regarded Calif. oils use Spanish varietals, so t'would be fitting if a Spanish-derived oil beat out 'Italians', given how Italian bottlers used to import from Spain, put 'Tuscan' labels on it, and export to the U.S. enjoy

    1. I think I saw that story, and it wasn't one I recognized.

      If you like an extra virgin olive oil with a lot of "bite," try McEvoy Ranch, which I believe is organic (or it was, before the USDA rewrote the rules). I tasted it after a tour of the grounds and decided that I prefer slightly milder oils. :-)


      At a Summer event at Fort Mason (slow food, etc.), I tasted some citrus oil-flavored olive oils. I think these were the ones. Problem is, I can't remember which were really interesting and which were too bitter. Bummer!

      1. I think that you are talking about my favorite olive oil, Da Vero Dry Creek Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil, from Healdsburg. According to their website (,

        "DaVero was the first American olive oil to win a blind tasting in Italy (Imperia - 1997), was chosen as the Top Tuscan Oil of the Year (Gambero Rosso - 1998), and received the Gold medal at the Olive Oils of the World Competition in both 2002 and 2003."

        They do produce a fabulous Meyer Lemon oil, but I believe that it's their unflavored oil that's won the prizes.