Old Chatham Ranch olive oil is hand crafted. Starting in the field, the olive trees are hand tilled and pests are managed by natural techniques and organic farming practices. In the late fall, the Lee family and their friends gather to handpick the olives and celebrate the harvest. That same day, the olives are taken to a mill in Hopland where the olives are stone crushed.
Old Chatham Ranch olive oil is made in a traditional method similar to the Etruscan process that has been used for thousands of years to make the highest quality and purest of olive oils.
1. Harvesting: Premium
oils come from olives that are hand-picked.
2. Cleaning: Stems, leaves and twigs are often harvested with the fruit and must be separated from the olives by hand.
3. Milling: Stones are applied in an olive mill to grind or hammer the olives and pits into a thick paste or mash.
4. Separation: At this point the mash or paste is mixed slowly to encourage the oil to merge into larger globules. The oil is then separated from the surrounding vegetable matter and water.
5. Resting: New oil rests in bulk for a settling period before the golden green oil is bottled and made available to you.
Each ton of olives produces about 25 gallons of oil. Old
Chatham Ranch oil is certified extra virgin by the California Olive Oil Council.
Since the U.S. has no legal definition for 'extra virgin', the certification
seal is the your best guarantee that you have purchased the 100% extra virgin
olive oil. Extra virgin is the best, reserved for oils with very low acidity
and free of any defects. It is completely natural and made using only mechanical
methods. Old Chatham Ranch oil is robust, fruity and pungent, all very desirable
The first commercial vintage of Old Chatham Ranch olive oil was made in 2005. In 2006 it started winning awards, receiving Silver Medals from both the Los Angeles County Fair and the San Diego Food and Wine Festival.
Old Chatham Ranch extra virgin olive oil was awarded Gold Medals at the California Olive Oil Council Competition for 2011, 2012, 2013.