Finding Romance in Central California at Pasolivo

By | December 01, 2015
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 Whether you have time to get away for a few days over the holidays in December and January, or you are planning a romantic holiday for Valentine’s Day, this February, California Central offers beautiful country, fine wines, great dining and one of our favorite spots in olive California – Pasolivo – a place that offers a journey through taste only a few hours away from Orange County.

Crafting award-winning olive oils is the business of Pasolivo, but creating a truly amazing “tree to table” experience is their passion. Transitioning to organic, their sustainably farmed olive trees are harvested at prime, and each olive is hand-picked and pressed at the on-site mill within hours of leaving the tree. Our friends at Pasolivo claim the fruit of their labor is the freshest and most delicious olive oil you will ever taste. Deep, rich flavor and a wonderful peppery finish awaits each customer. Their harvest is built on years of caring for the land, the trees, and cultivating a premium olive oil like no other.

The Pasolivo Ranch is home to nearly a dozen varietals, including Frantoio, Leccino, Pendolino, Lucca, Mission, Manzanillo, Coratina, and Maurino olives. Their trees are never treated with harmful chemicals and they hand pick the olives to prevent bruising and to create the freshest, healthiest, and most flavorful oils. The orchards contain more than 6,000 beautiful trees, and they welcome guests to visit the golden, rolling hills and tasting room at the beautiful Paso Robles property.

In the heart of the lovely Paso Robles wine country rests the beautiful Pasolivo Ranch. Blessed by a combination of temperate Coastal California weather and rich, fertile soil, they have been producing award-winning olive oils and welcoming visitors to their orchards and tasting room for over a decade.

Situated on over 140 acres of rolling hills along the central coast, this slice of heaven was originally owned by legendary Hollywood director and producer King Vidor, who called this place Willow Creek Ranch. Vidor directed such classics as War & Peace, Stella Dallas, Northwest Passage, and The Champ, as well as the black and white portion of The Wizard of Oz. Vidor, himself a survivor of a legendary tornado in his native Galveston, Texas, created the classic film’s epic tornado sequence as well as directed the iconic scene in which Judy Garland sings “Somewhere over the Rainbow.”

Purchased in 2012 by the Dirk family who fell in love with the magic of this place, Pasolivo Ranch still embraces the wild beauty that brought King Vidor here. All around the property you will find majestic, towering oaks, flocks of lively wild turkeys, and families of deer. The splendor and tranquility of the ranch are embraced by the staff, who are each dedicated to providing visitors with a warm, educational experience and hospitality that is second to none.

Those at Pasolivo Ranch welcome you to their ranch to tour the orchards, sample the world-class olive oils and specialty foods, experience luxurious bath and beauty products, or take part in one of the many special events and you can experience all of this seven days a week.

If travel to the central California is not on your agenda this Winter, you can visit Pasolivo online and take part in a virtual experience that will only enhance your appetite for further exploration on your next long weekend, family vacation or romantic getaway.


What Does Extra Virgin Mean?

Extra Virgin signifies the highest quality olive oil based on internationally recognized standards. Oil must be mechanically extracted without chemical or excessive heat. The resulting oil must have no more than .5% acidity, as determined in a lab test. It must also have positive taste elements and no taste defects, as determined by a certified taste panel.

In California, there is an Extra Virgin Certification program that ensures that the oil you buy is, in fact, extra virgin. Look for the COOC seal on extra virgin (non-flavored) olive oils. For more info, visit the California Olive Oil Council at
What Should I Be Looking For When I Taste Olive Oil?

Fruitiness, bitterness and pungency are the three positive attributes of fresh olive oil. Oils don’t have to have all three, and the attributes they do have should be balanced. Pasolivo’s oils are big and bold, so they’re a good example of fruity, bitter and pungent (peppery) oils.

What Causes Olive Oil To Go Bad?

Light is very damaging to olive oil, as is heat. Oil can become defective from poor handling or processing of the fruit or from poor storage after bottling. Unlike wine, olive oil does not get better with age. It starts out at its most intense, and then softens over time until it finally turns. Your best bet is to keep your oil in a cool, dark place (and tin is an excellent choice for protection!)

How Long Does Olive Oil Keep And How Should It Be Stored?

Olive oil may keep up to two years but it is usually best when used within 18 months. Keep olive oil stored in a cool, dark place in tightly sealed containers.

What Makes One Olive Oil Taste  Different From Another?

The two main elements in determining how an extra virgin oil taste are the varietals of olives used and the time of season when they were picked (early vs. late harvest, for example). But, as is the case with all of farming, nature impacts the flavor in many ways, from how much rain we get to how long the temperatures were above 90 degrees.

Why Are Some Oils Cloudy, And Some Have Sediment On The Bottom Of The Tin?

Cloudiness depends on the method by which the oil is made and whether or not it is filtered. Sediment in small amounts is normal for unfiltered oils and is not detrimental to the quality or taste of oil. Sometimes when oils are really new they are cloudy until the sediment has a chance to settle.

Is Extra Virgin Olive Oil Better Than Other Grades Of Olive Oil?

Yes! It will have more flavor than lower grades of oil. It is also a natural product extracted with only mechanical means (meaning no heat or solvents like some seed or pomace oils). It also contains natural antioxidants and polyphenols, which are proven to improve your health. These compounds are very low or absent from seed oils and non-virgin olive oil.

Why Do Some Olive Oils Cost More Than Others?

The real factor is how much it costs to make the oil. Extra virgin olive oil is a natural product, produced from very high quality, fresh olives that require careful handling and processing. Many low cost oils are labeled as extra virgin but are actually lesser grade oils.

How Can I Be Sure That The Oil I’m Buying Is Actually Extra Virgin?

The California Olive Oil Council Seal Program assures customers that the oil they are buying is actually extra virgin. Currently, neither the USDA nor the FDA enforces labeling rules for extra virgin olive oils. Many oils are mislabeled and some are adulterated with seed oils. Look for the COOC seal as a symbol of quality.

Article from Edible Orange County at
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