Our2020 EVOO releaseis just around the corner, and we're excited to share how & why things will appear a bit differently this year ~
Starting with full disclosure, this past harvest was shrouded in uncertainty for us - due in part to a general lack of olive fruit in the valley, but also as a consequence of the wildfires and various stay-at-home orders throughout the county.
We were ultimately faced with two options - 1) procure olives more generally from California, or 2) connect with our network outside of the Napa Valley to source olives from growers we felt connected to. Although a far less certain road, we chose the second option.
As they often do when you follow an instinct, things unfolded organically after that decision was made. After months of Zoom calls, import paperwork and metric system conversions, we're excited to finally share that we've brought in a small lot of organically farmed EVOO from friends in both Italy and Portugal this year!
The terroir of our olive oil reads a bit differently this season, but the premise of what we do holds true - producing orchard designated EVOO from growers with integrity and a sense of stewardship to their land.
The first lot of our 2020 harvest comes by way of Guido Gualandi - archaeologist, painter, professor & producer of organic extra virgin olive oil.
Our connection with Guido stems from a time in our lives many of you are familiar with - when in 2008 the olive oil company led us and our mom on a six-month stint to Florence, Italy.
Although teenagers at the time, we developed a deep respect and understanding for the culture around us - especially the obsession with quality olive oil and emphasis on time spent around a table enjoying it. In hindsight, we were also cultivating a deeper respect and understanding within our own household at the time - namely, of our mom's hustle.
After weekdays of Italian lessons and ensuring we took the correct bus routes to school, our mom would typically spend the weekends out - connecting to our balsamic vinegar producers in Modena, spending time with local friends and forging relationships with the many admirable olive cultivators who surround Florence.
On one of these occasions, a friend led her to a podere just outside of the city, nestled in the rolling hillsides of the Montespertoli region. It is here she met Guido Gualandi amongst his organic olive orchards and hectares of vines. It is also here the seed of our 2020 harvest was planted!
We owe this harvest to many people - to our mom, for planting that seed so many years ago, to the friend who led her to the podere (more on this later), and ultimately, to Guido Gualandi & his family.
Guido cares deeply for the land of his ancestors, and Podere Gualandi EVOO is a direct result of his dedication to both quality and sustainability. We're so honored to share his story and soon, his olive oil.
Learn more about Guido & his growing practices here. Podere Gualandi EVOO will be available as part of our Lot No. 1 release at the end of March, with Lot No. 2 to follow shortly. We hope you are as excited as we are for the season to come!