The Saltonstalls first needed to find the right location with the best climate to grow their olives. Warm days with cool nights create the most ideal growing conditions. This diurnal range of temperature insures the olives will mature slowly, giving them time to develop the antioxidants which the best olive oil medicinal products are known for. Additionally, a 40 to 50 degree difference from night to day gives the fruit more intense varietal flavors.
They found the location that met their requirements five miles east of the village of Petaluma. The rolling 170-acre property is situated in an area known as the Petaluma Gap where the cool morning fog flows in from the nearby ocean to cool the land from the day’s warm temperatures. The “gap” in the coastal hills funneling the cool air inland.
Sam and Marina Saltonstall had their property and now needed to decide what olive varieties would thrive there. With the assistance of the Olive Oil Center at the University of California at Davis, they decided on a mix of four varieties. They chose their trees in the proportion of what they wanted their final olive oil blend to be. They selected Tuscan Frantoio, Leccino, Maurino and the Pendolino. They broke ground in 1999 and planted ten acres of trees on an idyllic hilltop surrounded by an open county, dotted with native oaks and grasslands.
Tuscan Frantoio was decided to be the workhorse of the orchard with 65% of the hillside planted with this spicy variety. It also has some of the highest levels of monounsaturated fats to meet the Saltonstall’s goal to produce one of the healthiest oils available -- i.e. a medicinal olive oil with great health benefits.
The Leccino and the Maurino varieties were also planted and make up 20% of the orchard. They provide fruity components that give the oil a wonderful fresh and fruity aroma. The Pendolino fills out the orchard and is the pollinator for the other trees.
The organic oil that is produced from this orchard is everything the Saltonstall’s were looking for -- packed with monounsaturated fats, a wonderful sweet nutty flavor and high purity levels.
Starting with the fruit, the Saltonstall’s hard work paid off when they took home a Gold Medal in the Los Angeles International Super Premium Olive Oil Competition. Try our organic Super Premium Olive Oil today and enjoy the medicinal and gourmet benefits of a truly special olive oil.