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There’s more to wine country than wine. Both Napa and Sonoma are prime olive growing regions and produce some of the top oils in the world. Though January and February are filled with festivities celebrating the olive in Sonoma Valley, the splendors of the tiny Mediterranean fruit can be appreciated year-round through guided tastings and tours at orchards and mills, and at the many wineries that also have olive orchards and bottle their own estate grown oil.
McEvoy Olive Ranch, Petaluma
Discover a bit of Tuscany in Petaluma at the 550-acre McEvoy ranch, which features a working orchard, olive tree nursery and community mill. Tours of the mill and orchards are offered by appointment. Year-round, you can find the award-winning McEvoy olive oils at its store in the San Francisco Ferry Building.
Dry Creek Olive Company Tasting Room, Healdsburg
Sample and evaluate oils pressed from the on-premise mill and learn the basics of olive oil flavor and style in guided tastings. Get expert advice on what type of oil flavors —buttery, tangy or peppery — pair best with different foods.
The Olive Press, Sonoma Valley
Take a tour of the facility to see how the oil is made and enjoy a complimentary tasting of the award-winning olive oils and tapenades.
Olive Trees in Sonoma State Historic Par, Sonoma
Olive trees can live to be more than 1,000 years old and are one of the hardiest species of trees. Stroll among the majestic heritage olive trees at Sonoma State Historic Park and find a picnic spot under the historic trees at the General Vallejo home site, or sip some wine in the shade of the olive grove at Mission San Francisco Solano de Sonoma.
B.R. Cohn Winery, Glen Ellen
Surrounded by vineyards and French Picholine olive trees planted in the 1870s, the B.R. Cohn estate in Sonoma Valley has almost a cult-like following for its oils and wines. Partake of an estate olive oil, vinegar and wine tasting at this family-operated establishment.
Round Pond Winery and Olive Mill, Napa
One of the best wineries for an estate-grown olive oil tasting is Round Pond in Napa. For a $35 per person fee, visitors learn about harvest techniques and are immersed in the sights, sounds and aromas of a working olive mill, followed by oil and vinegar pairings with fruits, cheese, and breads.