The Ranch at Birch Creek, located in Livermore, has received a gold medal for its Extra Virgin Olive Oil from the California Olive Oil Council (COOC). On April 26-27, the COOC held its annual meeting in Monterey. With 180 Extra Virgin Oil Oils entering the competition, the Ranch at Birch Creek was one of 40 to received the award.
Linda Marshall, Birch Creek's grower, began planting olive trees four years ago. In 2017, the first crop was harvested, processed and bottled. Marshall said, "I was thrilled to have our inaugural harvest received this gold medal. We only produced a small quantity this, but hope to see that amount increase as our trees mature."
A total of 700 trees line the front of The Ranch at Birch Creek, located on Patterson Pass Road. The first two blocks, harvest this year, contain a varietal combination of Hojiblanca and Picual olive trees. Hojiblanca has a medium robust intensity with an aroma reminiscent of fresh cut grass and apples. The Picual features an aroma of wheat grass and the taste of green vegetables with a medium body and a sweet, buttery taste. It finishes with a peppery kick that gives it an extra layer of flavor. Combining the two results in winning the award.