In 1992, Kay and Vincent Bouchard stumbled upon a run down 18th-century estate while on a hiking trip in Northern Portugal. Enthralled with the landscape and local culture, they decided to purchase the property to restore as a hospitality project with an aim to preserve and promote regional traditions.
Today the Bouchard's welcome guests at their quinta* for a sample of Douro Valley life and produce estate wine and olive oil. Kay oversees the 14 acres of olive groves alongside her team, tending to the 50 to 100 year old trees using organic and regenerative farming methods. The olives are harvested in late fall using traditional hand and stick techniques and pressed at a local, organic mill.
*quinta: country estate
Bouchard Family EVOO is a result of the character of this land and the careful adherence to traditional harvesting techniques. An arid, Mediterranean climate with mineral-heavy soils and later harvest make for a softer oil with concentrated flavor and lasting persistency.
Our connection to the Bouchard’s starts half a world away from their quinta, back in the Napa Valley. We grew up down the street from them in a forested town overlooking the Napa Valley, playing hide and seek as kids together in their olive orchards while our parents shared glasses of wine and stories.
They eventually moved to Europe, splitting their time between the valley and their home in Florence. The childhood memories faded but were subtly reimagined around the holidays when we received their annual Christmas card ~ always as creative, intentional and quirky as we remembered them.
Then in 2008, our paths crossed once again when we decided to move to Florence for 6 months. Kay became our moms guiding light while in Florence ~ helping get the lay of the city and going along with her to explore olive farms in the Tuscan countryside and visit our balsamic producers in Modena. It was on one such trip that our mom was introduced to Guido Gualandi, laying the foundation for this harvest. Kay played an integral role in how our Tuscan experiences unfolded, so when we decided to look outside of California for olives last year, Kay was the first person who came to mind. Learn more about the Bouchard's and sign up for Kay's newsletter here.