Extra Virgin Olive Oil From Italian Varietal Olives
Italian Style Extra Virgin Olive Oil made in a lively classic style must start with high quality Italian varietal olives grown for olive oil production. We selected four of the best Italian olive varietals for our orchard.
Estate Grown Coratina, Frantoio, Leccino, and Pendolino Olives
Coratina, Frantoio, Leccino, and Pendolino Olives are the Italian varietal olives used to make Alta Cresta's classic Italian style Extra Virgin Olive Oil blends. Our olive oil is made exclusively from estate grown olives.
Our olive orchard is located on a high ridge in Paso Robles Wine Country, overlooking the Templeton Gap. The olive orchard location was selected for its classic Mediterranean climate and local terroir. The climate and soil of the Paso Robles area is exceptionally well suited for Italian varietal olives. Olive trees are native to areas with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters and prefer alkaline soil conditions, growing particularly well in limestone soils where the water is retained deeply.
The olive orchard is planted with approximately 1,200 olive trees comprised of:
- 33% Coratina Olives
- 10% Frantoio Olives
- 50% Leccino OLives
- 7% Pendolino Olives
From these four olive varietals, Alta Cresta produces three award winning 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil Blends:
- Coratina: A single varietal Coratina olive oil from the Coratina olives that are native to southern Italy.
- Tuscan Blend: A blend made from our Frantoio, Leccino and Pendolino olives native to Tuscany.
- Italian Blend: A blend created from all four of our Italian varietals.
The harvested fruit is taken on the same day to a local mill and cold-pressed. Hand harvesting of the fruit and immediately pressing enhances the flavors of the olive oil and maintains its healthful benefits.
Coratina olives adapt well to different olive-growing environments and are predominately grown in the Puglia region of Italy. The tree grows erect with a dense canopy. The fruit is medium sized, egg shaped with an olive oil yield between 21%-26%. Coratina olive produces olive oil with one of the highest polyphenol levels. The olive oil is strong, green, fruity, bitter and peppery with a hint of sweetness.
Frantoio olives have high constant productivity and are predominately grown in the Tuscan region of Italy. The tree growth is spreading with a medium canopy. The fruit is medium sized, egg shaped with an olive oil yield between 17%-22%. The olive oil is very fruity with a good balance of pepperiness and bitterness.
Leccino olives also adapt well to different olive-growing environments and are predominately grown in the Tuscan region of Italy. The tree growth is erect with a dense canopy and the fruit is medium to small in size, egg shaped and has an olive oil yield between 16%-21%. The olive oil is mildly fruity and delicate with little in the way of bitterness or pepperiness.
Pendolino olives with their high pollen count are prized as pollinators and are predominately grown in the Tuscan region of Italy. The tree has a weeping appearance with a dense canopy. The fruit is medium to small in size, elongated and has an olive oil yield between 22%-23%. The olive oil is mild with a delicate flavor and pleasant taste.
Alta Cresta is Committed to Environmentally Sound Sustainable Farming Practices.
Alta Cresta Orchard is concerned about the environment and is committed to sustainable farming practices. 95% of all the energy consumed on the property is generated by an 8kW Solar-Electric System. The orchard is watered at night by an automatic drip irrigation system optimized to achieve high levels of water-soil absorption with minimal evaporation. It is our belief that the olive trees will produce the highest quality fruit by cultivating them without the aid of chemical fertilizers. All of the orchard tree trimmings and green wastes are returned to the soil to replenish its nutrients.