Good, fresh, cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil is pungent and hearty in flavor. While it is oil, it is not like the basically tasteless vegetable oils people in the U.S. are accustomed to using.

We do many, many tasting events and carefully register the looks on people’s faces and their comments when they take their first sip. Yes, experts and some intrepid customers drink the oil from a small cup but, mostly, the tasting is accomplished with a piece of crusty bread in the cup with the oil. Experts also draw air into their mouths, through their teeth, to enhance the flavor, much like wine tasters do, when they are assessing the quality of an oil.
Eyes light up with pleasure with the first sniff of this aromatic elixir, then a smile crosses the face as the oil leaves traces of peppery taste on the tongue as it passes down the throat. Since most people in this country don’t know about olive oil they are surprised at how delicious the oil is. Now they know what REAL olive oil is supposed to taste like.

The Orchard

The Joëlle olive orchard is located in the foothills 70 miles north of the City of Sacramento, CA, in Bangor, a one-intersection town with population of about 300. It is 15 miles south, south-east of Lake Oroville. The neighborhood abounds with other olive orchards and other producers of olive oil, some of the best in the world. The soil is rich and red, the climate hot and dry. Perfect for olive trees.
We have 60 acres and about 4,500 trees. Joëlle products are estate grown, meaning, we only press and bottle fruit that is grown in our orchards.

The Joëlle History and Philosophy

For the past three years, we have embarked on an intense learning curve. After a couple of years of negotiations, we purchased the ranch in 2003 expecting to begin to press a few olives but to send most of our fruit to the cannery to make plump, juicy, table olives. Growers will tell you that that was the year the cannery quit buying California fruit for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was a glut of cheaper, imported olives from Spain.

Thus, left with many tons of beautiful fruit, we went directly into pressing our fruit for oil. What we have learned, we want to impart to our customers. Questions such as, how is the oil made? What are the health benefits? What is the history of this commodity? How do these products compare with imported oils? How does Trader Joe’s compare? How is this oil different? (We answered this one already!)