A vacation in Italy led Karen Goth, a mortgage banker by trade, to study olive cultivation at the University of California, Davis. Now, just seven years after her trip, Goth’s Willow Creek Olive Ranch oils (805.227.0186, www.willowcreekoliveranch.com) rival those from the Old World.
Surrounded by grape vineyards in Paso Robles, Calif., Willow Creek produces extra virgin olive oils that include a harvest date on their bottles. “There’s no such thing as a vintage olive oil,” says Goth.
Willow Creek’s Pasolivo blend combines the distinctly vegetal essences of five Italian olive varieties. The California blend offers a milder taste, while Nuovo Olio has the line’s strongest vegetal flavors, the hallmark of a fresh olive oil.