This week I met with Stefanie, an Olive Oil specialist, from The Rio Bravo Ranch, along the Kern River. I had the opportunity to taste their Extra Virgin Olive Oils and learn about their orchards. I was so impressed!

How I learned about this ranch and their Olive Oil is a funny and I think an auspicious story. About 2 years ago, I met this woman while I was on a flight to Salt Lake City.

We started chatting and I told her about my dream to start an Olive Oil business. I don’t know why I told her this, but something told me to. At that time, I wasn’t sure what I was actually going to do but I knew it was something around importing olive oil from Italy.

She then told me that her family had a ranch in California and they grew olives and were beginning to make Extra Virgin Olive Oil. She told me about some of the awards they won and what other crops they grew.

I thought, what a coincidence that I met this woman – and who knows – maybe I’ll export her Olive Oil to Italy someday.

Well, as things usually happen, time passed, I was still unsure of what I was actually going to do and we lost contact.

I decided to take the Olive Oil Sommelier class in New York. I took my seat and started introducing myself to the classmates closest to me. The man sitting in directly in front of me introduced himself to me and his last name rang a bell. It took me a minute but I figured it out. He was the nephew of the woman I met on the plane and he was here learning more about Olive Oil to help in the business.

Now, more than 2 years later, my business is starting in April. I am going to be offering Extra Virgin Olive Oil from The Rio Bravo Ranch here in the US, not Italy. I have come full circle.

I chose 2 olive varieties of EVOO from The Rio Bravo Ranch to offer my clients:

  • Coratina – this variety originated in Puglia, Italy. Puglia grows the majority of olives in Italy, which seems incredible because there are many many olive trees in the Tuscany region. This oil is high in polyphenols and will have a peppery taste. Peppery taste means lots of good healthy ingredients.
  • Picual  – this variety originated in Spain. This variety produces a buttery tasting olive oil with a peppery finish, which is a great, everyday oil.

They also produce an excellent infused EVOO that I am going to offer as well.

  • Lemon infused
  • Garlic infused
  • Jalapeno infused.

I don’t know what the future holds, but I’m sure excited to experience it!

Ciao for now,



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