To celebrate its 2010 harvest, the Oregon Olive Mill is hosting the second annual Olio Nuovo Festa on the weekend of Nov. 19-21. Clients can stop by from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. daily; admission is free.
Set in the Willamette Valley, the three-day event honors the time-honored Italian tradition surrounding the first pressing of artisan olive oil. Olive varietals pressed at the Oregon Olive Mill include Arbequina from Spain and Koroneiki from Greece, as well as a Tuscan olive blend.
In 2005, Ken and Penny Durant embraced a new agricultural and culinary trend by planting a small olive orchard in the Willamette Valley. They now have 13,000 olive trees on 17 acres. Two years ago they built the Oregon Olive Mill, Yamhill County’s first olive oil pressing facility, and Oregon’s largest.
“Our olive oil festival is very similar to the way the French celebrate the young Beaujolais Nouveau wine,” said Paul Durant. “In Italy, and now in Oregon, we are celebrating the new olive harvest in the same fashion. Fresh cold-pressed olive oil has long been recognized as the finest, best tasting olive oil available and eagerly sought after for its fruity, grassy flavors."
The Oregon Olive Mill houses an Italian olive press, oil storage area, a boutique bottling line and intimate tasting room. When not harvesting and pressing olives, the Oregon Olive Mill is available for private events with a heated outdoor deck overlooking the Willamette Valley.
During the festival, clients can see firsthand how olive oil is made on the imported Italian olive press. They can also enjoy tastes of various oils and sample warm bruschetta grilled and rubbed with garlic, olive oil and sea salt. The Durants plan to pour tastes of their estate wines from Durant Vineyards.
The Oregon Olive Mill