Paso Robles’ famous Mediterranean climate isn’t just a blessing for growers of wine grapes. Olives of all ilk flourish in these softly undulating hills. Whether buttery, grassy, spicy, peppery, or fruity, discover outstanding oils that deserve a prized place in your pantry. Go on, drizzle a little fun into your next wine tasting. What could possibly be more sumptuous?
Tree to Table Olive Oil: Pasolivo
You simply cannot talk about estate grown Paso Robles olive oil without tipping your hat to the folks at Pasolivo, who produce extraordinary, award-winning oils in a bevy of flavors, textures, and blends. Located off Vineyard Drive in Paso Robles, the family-owned, sustainably farmed operation has even been named as Food & Wines’s Top 10 Oils in the World. The bucolic ranch grows more than a dozen varietals, including Frantoio, Leccino, Pendolino, Lucca, Mission, Manzanillo, Coratina, and Maurino olives—and you can taste them all. Pasolivo’s sunny tasting room is located on the ranch, allowing for an immersive olive oil experience that truly travels from tree to table. Guests are invited to sop up a rainbow of oils, including offerings infused with basil, lemon, and rosemary. Want to add a savory, sassy kick your next homemade salad dressing or steak Florentine? Want to find out the secret ingredient to perfectly moist, smack-your-lips brownies? Recipes await you at this world class olive oil mecca.
Wine, Cheese, and Estate Olive Oil: Jada
So, you’ve savored the delicious wine flight and cheese pairing at Jada and you’re feeling pretty darn lucky. Could your day get any better? Don’t head for the door just yet. Ask about the winery’s fantastic Tuscan-style estate olive oil—the perfect end to you a day of tasting on Highway 46 West in Paso Robles.
Produced from a blend of over 300 Frantoio, Leccino, Maruino, Manzanillo, Pandolino, and Mission olive trees located on the breathtaking estate, this olive oil reflects terroir with intensity and inspiration.
Offered in a sleek, elegant flask, the flavor is bright and complex with fruit notes and whispers of cut grass, lemon peel, and roasted corn. Harvested by hand at the peak of ripeness and farmed without the use of pesticides or fertilizers, these high quality extra virgin olive oils are the purest expression of the land (and the brand) at Jada: small, boutique, and bottled for the pure joy of it.
A Balanced Blend (by the bottle or jug): Dubost Winery
It doesn’t get more “down home Paso Wine Country” than Dubost Ranch, but make no mistake about it: the winery’s estate-grown olive oils are absolutely upscale and lavish. After tasting through the bold wines at this charming Paso Robles tasting room, be sure to wrap your lips around the winery’s Estate Olive Oil, a gorgeous golden blend of Estate Olive Oil blended with Manzanillo, Mission, Tuscan, and Spanish varieties. Picked and pressed in November 2012, the offering showcases the perfect balance between buttery and grassy with just enough pepper on the finish.
How exactly does Dubost do this balancing act? Ripening variations—allowing some ripe and less ripe olives in to the mix—means that this olive oil aint a one-trick pony! Love it and can’t get enough of it? Your heart will jump at the fact that Dubost offers bulk pricing, too. Who doesn’t need a few gallons of good olive oil stashed in the pantry?
Wondrous Walnut Oil: Limerock Orchards
Before Paso Robles was covered in crisscrossing vineyards as far as the eye can see, the land was planted to world-renowned nuts, including almonds and—my absolute favorite—walnuts. Tannic, fatty, slightly sweet, and full of intense, complex flavor, few walnuts are as delicious as those plucked from the Limerock Orchards ranch in Paso Robles. Dry farmed without pesticides, these organic varietals (heirloom English varieties, including Hartley and Franquette) are pressed into outrageously delicious oils and butters perfect for incorporating into recipes or simply eating straight with some good, crusty bread. Maybe it’s the fact that these trees are some 40 years old, or maybe it’s the care in which the folks at Limerock Orchards take to ensure that each batch soars above and beyond expectations.
Stop by the tasting room off Vineyard Drive at Peachy Canyon Road and be sure to sample an array of red, white, and authentic port wines. Artisan food tasting flights are also available Friday through Monday—perfect for enjoying while looking out over the serene walnut orchard and pond.
A Local EVO Selection: Grab and Go!
Sextant Winery is the place to be for incredible wines and gourmet deli grub so good you’d swear you were sitting at a European bistro. But did you know that Sextant’s two locations—in Paso Robles and Edna Valley—offer an incredible new local olive oil ready to take home and enjoy? Grown in Paso Robles, Oliveto Olive Oil’s 2015 Tuscan Blend makes a welcome gift, whether you want to delight a friend or yourself (you earned it!). Bold aromas of fresh wheat grass mingle with floral undertones and a satisfying bite of pepper. The grower’s mission is all about “nature determining the flavor,” so you know you’re going to get a vivid snapshot of Paso Robles in each and every bottle. What greater gift could you ever hope to give or receive?
Cass Winery is also known for its incredible food courtesy of Executive Chef Jacob Lovejoy (he loves working with his onsite garden and is known to smoke meats over Syrah vines). However, don’t forget to peruse this backroads Paso Robles winery’s vast shelves filled with gourmet items while you’re there munching and sipping. Among these delicacies, you will find many shimmering bottles of local olive oils, including delicious offerings from three top notch Paso Robles producers: Eleon, Fandango, and Olio Nuevo.
Eleon offers up super-yummy oil made with Koroneiki olives presented in a stylish, twine-wrapped bottles and sleek gray tins (style and substance—we love that). The second—Fandango—offers up a rainbow of playful options, so you can find a flavor to suit anyone (bottles include a buttery Elegante 2015 Late Harvest Arbequina, a grassy Valiente 2015 Early Harvest Arbequina, a nutty and herbaceous Fiesta 2015 Arbequina-Koroneiki Blend, and spicy Cocina 2015 Arbequina). Olio Nuevo oils are award winning, artisanal offerings grown on a small Paso Robles farm with a lot of heart. Made from Arbequina, Mission, and Manzinillo trees, these Spanish oils are hand-picked, custom-milled, and totally delicious.
DISCLAIMER: We understand that it might be hard to decide just which oil to pick. May we suggest starting a collection? As long as you keep bottles in a cool, dry place, these luscious oils will last you up to two years. Consider it a flavor investment!