Current Press

May 8, 2024

Gold Ridge Organic Farms Picholine Blend EVOO Wins Good Food Award

16 North Bay Artisan Producers Win ‘Good Food’ Awards

[...]The Good Food Foundation has announced this year’s “Good Food Award” winners at an event in Portland, Oregon. Among the winners this year were 16 food, cider and spirit producers in the North Bay, which were ranked among the best of the best.

The arbiter of taste for artisan producers, the Good Food Awards sift through thousands of entries each year—from honey and snacks to charcuterie and beer—to find the up-and-coming makers to watch... [Winners represent] sustainably made, socially conscious, credibly crafted items that are an “honest reflection of the best food and drink in America,” according to the Good Food Foundation.


[Among this year’s list of local award winners is] Gold Ridge Organic Farms, Picholine Blend Extra Virgin [Olive Oil] (Sebastopol): In 2000, founder-farmer Brooke Hazen planted 70 acres of olives, 16 acres of heirloom apples, citrus fruit and lavender on his rambling farm. Hazen is passionate about everything he grows, and guests are invited to experience the farm via reservations. Frequent events include olive oil tastings, pizza pop-ups and apple tasting. Available at

April 23, 2024

Gold Ridge Organic Farms Wins 3 More World Competition Awards | Olive Oil Times

California producer Goldridge Organic Farms has won three Gold Awards at the 2024 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.
These awards assure our customers that they are purchasing the real thing, 100 percent natural, the way nature intended." - Brooke Hazen, owner
The serial award-winner earned its World Competition accolades for Tuscan Blend, an organic medium blend; its Minerva Blend, an organic medium blend; and another organic medium blend, its Picholine Blend.
"Winning at the NYIOOC is the pinnacle of awards," said owner Brooke Hazen. "I am so immensely grateful for receiving so many Golds. These awards assure our customers that they are purchasing the real thing, 100 percent natural, the way nature intended."
In the 2023/24 crop year, Goldridge Organic Farms produced 14,000 liters of extra virgin olive oil.
"This last harvest was the latest harvest I can remember," Hazen said. "This made it difficult to navigate between heavy rains. But we did harvest at exactly the right stage of ripeness."
The NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition is the world's preeminent olive oil quality contest. Its annual list of award winners is the authoritative guide to the world's best olive oils and the dedicated producers who craft them.
April 16, 2024

Blossom tour and tasting at Gold Ridge Organic Farms

[T]here’s no better place to see the blossoms’ full beauty than during a guided tour through Gold Ridge Organic Farms apple orchard [during the Apple Blossom Festival in Sebastopol]. Join farmer Brooke Hazen at 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. April 27 as he leads you on a walk through some of his 12,000 apple trees, which are bursting with blooms in every imaginable shade of pink, white and violet... [T]ours will include a tasting of the farm’s apple products, including apple cider syrup, apple cider vinegar, and shrubs made with some of the citrus grown on the farm...

April 2, 2024

Highlights from the 2024 Artisan Cheese Tasting & Marketplace

"We were also happy to see Stephanie Rosenbaum Klassen who shared her insider view of Gold Ridge Farm Organic Farm olive oil over at the Olive Oil Professor and was offering samples of the precious oil to attendees. Like artisan cheese, locally made extra virgin olive oil is another staple of the wine country lifestyle"

March 30, 2024

Golden State Olive Oils: Two April Tasting Events

Market Hall Foods is known for its comprehensive selection of superior extra virgin olive oils, including international standouts and a range of California oils from select producers up and down the state. [...] At these two free events [on April 6 & April 13], customers will meet the growers, millers, makers, and experts to learn by tasting about the diversity of varieties and flavor profiles now produced in California. Taste a range of oils from delicate to robust to meet different preferences and cooking needs [...] Come learn how to taste olive oil like a pro and find out the best ways to enjoy each of these high-quality new harvest extra virgin olive oils.

  • Saturday, April 6, noon–3pm: Bondolio (Winters, CA), Gold Ridge Organic Farms (Sebastopol, CA), Séka Hills (Capay Valley, CA)
March 26, 2024

Gold Medalists: Gold Ridge Organic Farms - Picholine Blend

CLOVIS, CA / ACCESSWIRE / March 26, 2024 / Last weekend, the California Olive Oil Council (COOC) convened its first in-person Annual Member Meeting since 2019, drawing industry leaders such as UC Davis Olive Center Executive Director Javier Fernandez Salvador and President of the American Olive Oil Producers Association (AOOPA) Kimberly Houlding. The two-day event delved into critical regulatory and research updates, recent marketing efforts, and the burgeoning landscape of California's extra virgin olive oil industry.
Additionally, the COOC proudly revealed the Best of Show, Best in Class, Gold, and Silver medalists of its 16th Annual Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition. This esteemed competition highlights the excellence of olive oil producers statewide, focusing exclusively on extra virgin olive oils from the 2023 harvest season.
Best of Show:
  • The Ranch at Birch Creek: Italian Blend
Best in Class:
  • Italian Blends: The Ranch at Birch Creek - Italian Blend
  • Italian Single Varietal: Marcum Olive Oil - Itrana EVOO
  • Spanish Single Varietals: Basque Away - 100% Arbequina
  • Spanish Blends: High Top Ranch LLC - High Top Ranch EVOO
  • Other Blends: Basque Away - Arbequina-Mission
  • Other Single Variety: Wild Groves - Ascolano
Gold Medalists:
  • Basque Away - California Mission
  • Basque Away - 100% Arbequina
  • Basque Away - Arbequina-Mission
  • Calistoga Press - Calistoga Press EVOO
  • Enzo Olive Oil Co. - Delicate
  • Gold Ridge Organic Farms - Picholine Blend
  • High Top Ranch LLC - High Top Ranch EVOO
  • Jubaea Estate - Tuscan Blend
  • Macala Orchards - Sicilian
  • Macala Orchards - Italian
  • Marcum Olive Oil - Coratina EVOO
  • Marcum Olive Oil - Itrana EVOO
  • The Ranch at Birch Creek - Italian Blend
  • The Ranch at Birch Creek - Estate Blend
  • Rio Bravo Ranch - Miller's Reserve
  • The Sunshine Olive Oil Co., LLC - Miller's Blend
  • Tofino Estate - Supremo
  • Wild Groves - Ascolano
  • Wild Groves - Coratina
  • Wild Groves - A2 Fruity Blend
Silver Medalists:
  • Badass Olive Oil - Badass Olive Oil
  • Corto - Truly
  • Dogtown Olive Oil - Dogtown EVOO
  • Enzo Olive Oil Co. - Medium
  • Enzo Olive Oil Co. - Bold
  • Golden Harvest Estates - Golden Harvest Estates EVOO
  • Little Paradise Farm - EVOO Organic Olive Oil
  • LMR Wine Estates - Napa Valley Select
  • OH Olive Oil - OH Organic Olive Oil
  • Orange Blossom Family Farms - Tuscan Blend
  • Rio Bravo Ranch - Picual
  • Rio Bravo Ranch - Coratina
  • The Sunshine Olive Oil Co., LLC - Tuscan Blend
The COOC Board of Directors has extended heartfelt congratulations to all the winners, remarking, "Congratulations to all of the 2024 COOC Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition winners. The COOC members are dedicated to crafting exceptional extra virgin olive oils through adherence to best practices, resulting in numerous award-winning oils. We express our gratitude to consumers and retailers for their unwavering support of 100% California-certified extra virgin olive oil."
For more information on the COOC, please visit
Interact With the California Olive Oil Council:
Contact Information
Savanna Meinert
PR Manager
(559) 512-6551


March 13, 2024

Fromage Fête: California Artisan Cheese Festival | The North Bay Bohemian

It’s time for the 18th Annual California Artisan Cheese Festival, happening from March 22-24. This much-loved festival, dedicated to celebrating the artistry of cheese-making, offers three days of gourmet delight, farm tours and educational experiences. [...]  The festival kicks off Friday with its signature Farm and Producer Tours [which] include curated offerings for every interest, including: “The Truly Artisan,” “Approachable Yet Refined with Cozy Lunch Vibes” or “Behind the Scenes Wines & Friendly Lunch” (with goats!). Tours will visit places like: Gold Ridge Organic Farms, Silver Penny Ranch, Nicasio Valley Cheese Co., Barber Lee Spirits, Marin French Cheese Co., Valley Ford Creamery, Black Kite Cellars and many more.

March 1, 2024

10 Spectacular Spring Getaways in Sonoma County

Discover the beauty of spring in Sonoma County. From farm tours to cooking classes, we have the perfect getaways for food lovers. Here are our favorite spring getaways — from farm tours to cooking classes — for those who love to celebrate good food.

Spring’s Apple Blossoms

The buzz these days may be all about bud break in the vineyards—but long before there were grapes in Sonoma County, there were apples. So many apples. At Gold Ridge Organic Farms in the rolling hills of Sebastopol, apples still reign supreme. “The apple orchards in spring erupt in a sea of flowers, ushering in one of my favorite sensory spectacles of the year,” says owner and farmer Brooke Hazen. “I am undecided which is more beautiful: the cornucopia of flowers in spring or the apples themselves in summer.”

With more than 12,000 apple trees and about 75 heirloom varieties, blossoms emerge in every imaginable shade of pink, violet, and white, providing food for honeybees and native bumblebees. Hazen leads walks through the rows to celebrate the season; taste his love for the versatile fruit in farm-fresh products including apple cider syrup, apple cider vinegar, and apple cider balsamic vinegar. Mandarin kumquats, Meyer lemons, and 13,000 olive trees also grow on the property. The farm hosts a “Spring Is Blossoming” celebration Saturday April 27.

Gold Ridge Organic Farms. 3387 Canfield Rd., Sebastopol, 707-823-3110,

February 23, 2024

The Best Dishes Eater SF Editors Ate This Week

Meyer lemon pizza at Goldridge Organic Farms

Those who still remember the blistered pizzas of now-closed Zero Zero in SoMa will be pleased to know that chef Bruce Hill is baking up a small selection of pies at Goldridge Organic Farms in Sebastopol on select dates. On a recent rainy Saturday, locals in the know trekked to the hillside farm to try Hill’s pizza, backed by produce grown on the grounds. [...] A drizzle of Goldridge olive oil completed the slice, and it was a bright, citrusy bite that cheered up an otherwise dreary day. [...] I’m keeping my eyes peeled for good weather and the next time I can grab another slice of this rarified pie. - Dianne de Guzman, Eater SF

February 8, 2024

The fantastical world of artist Teri Sloat | Gold Ridge Organic Farms just installed giant new mural by Sloat in their tasting room

When Brooke Hazen, the owner of Gold Ridge Organic Farms, asked Sebastopol artist Teri Sloat to create a large mural above the bar in his tasting room, he had a pretty good idea of the kind of thing he’d be getting.  He already had several of her vibrant, fantastical, folk-art pastels in the tasting room. [...] Hazen and Sloat discussed what he wanted beforehand. “He was so clear about the colors, the way the light shines on things. You can tell that he loves the art of what he does, as well as the actual farming of what he does. He's very tuned in to the colors of the different fruits and olives. But he also gave me almost totally free license with the mural, which was a gift,” she said.

February 5, 2024

Wine With a Purpose: How Your Sonoma Getaway Can Nourish More Than Just Your Palate

Sonoma is so much more than a wine-lover destination... For a unique tasting experience that isn’t wine, book an olive oil tasting appointment at Gold Ridge Organic Farms in Sebastopol. The Olio Nuovo tastings are flavorful and informative, and you will never buy store-bought olive oil ever again!

February 1, 2024

Brooke Hazen: Bringing His Art to Earth & Spirit | Sebastopol Living

By John-Paul Goorjian with Photos by Sheila Johnson, Studio J Photography

In 1995, Brooke started his first farm on five acres of land in Sebastopol where he grew cool-season vegetables organically. Brooke sees himself as an “Earth Artist” and this first farm was where he began to hone his art. In 2000, he acquired the 88 acres that is now Gold Ridge Organic Farms. He remembers that move, “For me, this land was an extravagant canvas that I could now paint my wildest dreams on. I was already transforming into a perennial herb farmer and by the time we bought this parcel, I was looking at orchards. So I started out back in 2000 with heirloom apples, a diversity of table grapes, plums, Euro pears, and Asian pears... At that time, Honeycrisp was bursting on the scene... Today, 90% of the apples I have are split evenly between Fuji and Honeycrisp, and about 10% are still the heirloom apples. So I call the heirloom apples, ‘the spice’ and I call the Fuji and Honeycrisp, ‘the bread and butter.’”

January 19, 2024

Gold Ridge Organic Farms Olive Oil | The Olive Oil Professor

It takes hard work, long hours on the farm and a lot of technical know-how to produce a fine estate olive oil. But it takes a little poetry, too. “The most satisfying part of growing olives? How beautiful, elegant and timeless they are,” Hazen says. “I love that they have leaves year-round. I love how the trees ceaselessly grow in girth with their gnarly, nubby trunks and gracefully curving branches. I love the color of the leaves in the wind, and the sunset glow of the fruits at harvest time.”
January 13, 2024

12 North Bay Artisan Producers Named 2024 Good Food Awards Finalists

Gold Ridge Organic Farms, Mandarin-Kumquat Shrub (Sebastopol): Gold Ridge Organic Farms’ Mandarin-Kumquat Shrub features organic mandarin-kumquat and citrus grown on the Gold Ridge estate, as well as a touch of sugar and small batch, barrel-aged apple cider vinegar and bay leaves.

January 8, 2024

Taste the bounty of Sonoma County at Gold Ridge Organic Farms

Located 50 miles northwest of San Francisco, Gold Ridge Organic Farms is home to 70 acres of olives, 16 acres of heirloom apples, and a variety of citrus fruits.

For the Sebastopol-based farm, it's all about bringing the bounty of Sonoma County to the Bay Area and beyond.

"I purchased this land in 2000," expressed Founder-Farmer Brooke Hazen. "I was looking for what to grow on it, and so I was, from the start, very very interested in olives."

Hazen is a strong believer that olive oil is one of the healthiest sources of fat that we can consume.

"Olive oil has the highest percentage of monounsaturated fat and the lowest percentage of saturated and polyunsaturated fat, both of which can be harmful to our cardiovascular system," explained Hazen.

Gold Ridge Organic Farms harvests its olives and crafts small lots of olive oil at the farm's onsite mill.

"Our press, it is a Rapanelli press," described Hazen. "All of the presses that are in California...are from Europe."

The farm also offers custom olive milling and olive oil bottling services for conventional and Certified Organic growers.

"We produce about 4,000 gallons a year of olive oil here organically," said Hazen. "But, I also take in growers that are both organic and sometimes conventional too."

He added, "I like to give people the experience of picking their own olives and actually being able to consume their own olive oil from their own trees."

December 20, 2023

The (Mostly) Edible Sonoma County Gift Guide

This holiday season, don’t give all your money to Amazon. Consider buying a gift made locally in Sonoma County by local farms, orchards, ranches and artisans [...] Brooke Hazen farms 88 acres of olives in the hills near Bloomfield and mills the olives on site to make a range of estate olive oils and olive-related products, in addition to growing heirloom apples, pears and citrus that go into such products as Lavender Lemonade and Mandarin-Kumquat shrubs. Reserve tastings and farm experiences are also possible, a great way to learn about the differences between extra-virgin and olio nuovo. 

December 2, 2023

Travel to Sonoma County, California – Gold Ridge Organic Farms

Hear about travel to the wine region Sonoma County in California as the Amateur Traveler talks to Brooke Herron about this popular tourism region where she grew up.

November 30, 2023

Brooke Hazen, Founder & Farmer at Gold Ridge Organic Farms

Brooke joined us in the studio not only to share the history of the farm and how he got Gold Ridge Organic Farms started, but all of the amazing new features and directions he and his dedicated team are taking the farm. Tours, tastings and seminars are just a few of the ways that they’re celebrating the success and beauty of the farm! Make sure that you visit when you’re in town, you may see Marcy there!

November 21, 2023

Olio Nuovo: Gold Ridge Organic Farms | The North Bay Bohemian

Each year, olive oil lovers worldwide eagerly await that special first taste of olio nuovo, or new olive oil, from the new harvest.

What’s so special about olio nuovo?

Immediately after harvest, new oils are at their absolute freshest, spiciest, highest polyphenol levels and even more brilliantly hued. The sediments in olio nuovo—fresh from the press—haven’t yet had the time to settle, nor the flavors to mellow in the bottle...

October 18, 2023

A Gold Star For Gold Ridge Organic Farms Apple Vinegars

Recently, I had a chance to sample two new releases [from Gold Ridge Organic Farms in Sebastopol]: Apple Cider Balsamic and Apple Cider Vinegar.

One taste of the Gold Ridge Apple Cider Balsamic will instantly make you go “Wow!”


The Gold Ridge Apple Cider Vinegar has the concentrated taste of tart crisp apples. That vibrant apple taste really comes through in this small-batch product in a way that it doesn’t in most run-of-the-mill apple cider vinegars. 

October 10, 2023

From Johnny Appleseed to Cosmic Crisp, Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Apples in America Right Now | Food & Wine

Hazen, the owner of Gold Ridge Organic Farms, an 88-acre orchard and olive grove in Sonoma County, cultivated [a] new apple, grafting the mutation (or “sport,” in horticultural parlance) onto rootstock and naming it “Sea Breeze.” The name is a paean to the force that, before the rise of the wine grape, once made Sonoma famous as an apple-growing mecca. “The Pacific Ocean provides the perfect cooling climate for apple trees to thrive and fully express their nuances and variations,” Hazen says. “I’m not kidding when I say I’ve met people that were brought to tears by eating the Sea Breeze.”

October 9, 2023

The Ultimate Apple Guide to 85 Varieties, From Heirlooms to Hybrids | Food & Wine

There are over 7,500 apple varieties around the world (and counting), each with its own unique history. There are heirloom apples that have withstood the test of time, and new types of apples coming into being every year…. Behind every apple on this list is a dedicated farmer, producer, or historian that cares about the lineage and the preservation of these historic gems […] Farmer Brooke Hazen has been a steward of heirloom and modern apples alike for decades. 

September 22, 2023

Tasting the California Foodscape

A Is for Apple

Farmer Brooke Hazen has been so bitten by the pleasures of heirloom apples that he’s planted over 70 varieties at his Gold Ridge Organic Farms. At the farm’s Heirloom Apple Celebration on September 16, you’ll get to taste quite a few of those apples as well as the farm’s organic extra virgin olive oils and many other locally made treats... Out on the patio, surrounded by old olive trees, we easily imagined we were in Tuscany as we took in 360° views of the orchards and West Sonoma County landscape while tasting the olive oils with dried apples, local cheeses, and the farm’s splendid apple syrup.

September 5, 2023

Sebastopol grower spreading ‘joy and love’ through his heirloom apples | The Press Democrat

Gold Ridge will hold its second Annual Heirloom Apple Celebration later this month, and Brooke Hazen couldn’t be happier about opening his farm to celebrate the season.

Brooke Hazen doesn’t immediately give off farmer vibes.

Sure, he has the deep tan and lined face typical of someone who has worked for years outside in the sun and wind, but his pristine pink T-shirt and two pink jeweled stud earrings in his left ear belie that this is a man who lives to tend the soil and trees at Gold Ridge Organic Farms, his 88-acre apple and olive farm in Sebastopol.

“I love the color pink. I think it brings joy and beauty,” Hazen said. “Pink is really a symbol of the apple blossom, a huge part of what we grow here. So, the power of Gold Ridge is pink power.”

But brown is the color most people might associate with Gold Ridge. That’s the color of the paper bags filled with Hazen’s apples that have been sold for years at 47 Whole Foods Markets all over Northern California...

August 10, 2023

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio by Nicole Johnson of Or Whatever You Do

A perfect quick, easy weeknight dinner for pasta lovers. This recipe for Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is a beloved classic features bold flavors, but requires minimal effort. Garlic and Gold Ridge Organic Farms Extra Virgin Olive Oil as the star ingredients. The addition of Gold Ridge Organic Farms Tuscan Blend EVOO, plus chili flakes and parsley, offers rich, fruity undertones and robust, nuanced flavors. 

June 17, 2023

At the Table with Clark Wolfe on KSRO – Gold Ridge Organic Farms

Host Clark Wolf talks with Farmer-Founder Brooke Hazen of Gold Ridge Organic Farms about olive oil, apples, farming in Sonoma County and much more! 

April 20, 2023

We are featured on The Today Show!

Shop Sonoma County with Jill Martin: Finds from local businesses and familiar faves

Located on 88 acres within Sonoma County, Gold Ridge Organic Farms grows olives, heirloom apples, citrus fruits and lavender. According to the business, they specialize in making certified organic olive oil, and you can even visit the grounds and book an olive oil tasting experience.

You'll feel like a top chef cooking with this San Franciscan "Chef Favorite" Tuscan Blend of extra virgin organic olive oil. Harvested in 2022, Gold Ridge Organic Farms says you'll taste hints of green apples, pine nuts and almonds.

March 30, 2023

4 Gold Awards for Gold Ridge Organic Farms

Working together as a team to reach success is a priceless experience in life.

Gold Ridge Organic Farms from the United States has won four Gold Awards at the 2023 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition for the fourth consecutive year.

The northern California producer earned the industry's most coveted quality awards for its Tuscan Blend, Minerva Blend, Arbequina Blend and Picholine Blend, all organic medium blends.

"[Winning] means so much to me and everyone here at Gold Ridge Organic Farms, from the millers, the harvesters, the sales, marketing, and development team, as well as all of our friends, families and supporters," owner Brooke Hazen said...
February 20, 2023

Gold Ridge is the latest 2022 Snail of Approval awardee!

Slow Food in Sonoma County, a joint project of two local Slow Food chapters, Sonoma County North and Russian River, will honor eight Sonoma County restaurants, farms, ranches and producers at its annual awards ceremony, including two from the Valley. This international program recognizes food-related businesses that excel in sourcing, environmental impact, cultural connection, community involvement, staff support and business values.

February 18, 2023

Sonoma Lovers Celebration & Olive Harvest 2023: Gold Ridge Organic Farms, Sebastopol

Give your heart health a boost with fresh local 2022 harvest Olio Nuovo (new olive harvest.)

Discover new pairings with our citrus oils. Taste a custom dessert pairing from local pastry chef Jenny Malicki of Buttercup Baking with our Honeycrisp-Fuji Apple Cider Syrup. 

"Enjoy rose-infused hot apple-pear cider shrub with Little Apple Treats' Modern Mulling Spices.

February 14, 2023

Sonoma lovers celebration at Gold Ridge

How much is there to love about Sonoma County? Gold Ridge Organic Farms will help count the ways from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, with tastes of their new harvest of olive oils and treats from Buttercup Baking to start. Baked treats from pasty chef Jenny Malicki will be paired with Gold Ridge’s Honeycrisp-Fuji apple cider syrup. Wash it down with hot apple-pear cider infused with Little Apple Treats’ mulling spices. Tickets are $35 and available at 3387 Canfield Road.

December 3, 2022

This Sonoma County Tasting Experience Will Blow Your Mind

Sure, Sonoma is best known for its world-class wines, but this vast county is home to all sorts of farms and ranches. There’s even a cheese trail map.

While rolling through the region, [food writer Leslie Kelly] recently stopped at Gold Ridge Organic Farms for an olive oil tasting. That’s right. This beautiful property is home to acres of olive trees, as well as apple orchards. Quite an intriguing combo, but one that founder Brooke Hazen was sure would work when he settled in the area in 2001.

December 1, 2022

You Asked For It: Gift Guide

By Ruth Reichl

What an honor to see Gold Ridge Organic Farms Tuscan Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Olio Nuovo featured in the La Briffe holiday gift guide by the one and only Ruth Reichl herself.  

"I haven’t encountered many American olive oils that knocked me out, but this one from Gold Ridge Organic Farms in Sebastapol is exceptionally good." — Ruth Reichl, James Beard Award Winning Food Writer & Chef

November 22, 2022

Delicious Holiday Gifts Made in Sonoma

We are featured in Sonoma magazine Delicious Holiday Gifts Made in Sonoma! This season, spread goodwill—to a neighbor or friend, a teacher or colleague—as you support our region’s artisan food businesses.

November 16, 2022

Heirloom Apple Almond Olive Oil Cake from Gold Ridge Organic Farms

We recently spent a day visiting Gold Ridge Organic Farms, where farmer Brook Hazan grows apples, citrus, and olives on 88 idyllic acres near Sebastopol. It’s a good place to experience an expert, multi-faceted olive oil tasting right beside some gorgeous old olive trees like those in our Olive Oil Heaven gallery of orchards. On the Gold Ridge patio, you’ll also meet a unique citrus hybrid called the mandarin kumquat. The farm co-presses those fruits with olives in its mill, and the delicious oil can add its beautiful spark to salads or to this Heirloom Apple Almond Olive Oil Cake recipe.

November 11, 2022

Getting to the Core of Apple Farming

California Live’s Malou Nubla heads to Sebastopol to visit Gold Ridge Organic Farms, a farm made up of 16 acres of heirloom apples and other fruit. She gets to the core of apple farming! Owner, Brook Hazen shares some of the health benefits of eating an apple a day.

Click here to play the video.

November 9, 2022

OLIVE OIL HEAVEN: A Guide to California’s New Harvest

During the fall and winter olive harvest season, fresh olive oils flow from the mills in brilliant, luxuriously green torrents. This is the time to celebrate the drought-tolerant olive tree in California and experience the extraordinary flavors of olio nuovo and new-harvest extra virgin olive oil when it is newly milled […] Gold Ridge Organic Farms 88-acre Sonoma County organic farm is open for visitors year-round, but fall and winter are ideal seasons to visit, since you’ll have the opportunity to taste the farms’ award-winning estate-grown olive oils newly milled on-site within hours of harvest, which gives them the highest medicinal quality, maximum freshness, and best flavors. 

September 23, 2022

Gold Ridge Organic Farms

It’s a windy summer afternoon in Sonoma County as I follow Brooke Hazen, farmer and proprietor of Gold Ridge Organic Farms, down a dusty fire road. We are winding our way through his olive and apple orchards, a patchwork blanket of varying shades of green spread across 88 acres of coastal foothills south of the town of Sebastopol. When we stop to admire the 360° view of rural and coastal West Sonoma, Hazen tells me that famed botanist and horticulturist Luther Burbank farmed and experimented nearby.

“Luther Burbank believed this was the best place in the world to grow,” says Hazen. “You see the color and texture of our fruits—the notes are fully expressed.”

It was just five miles north of here on West Sonoma’s Gold Ridge that in 1885 Burbank purchased his 15-acre Gold Ridge Experiment Farm to grow and develop hybrids and crossbreeds, including apples, plums and many other fruits and vegetables. Hazen recognizes, as did Burbank, that there is something meteorologically unique about this small agricultural strip of the planet, and that when the native soils are cultivated thoughtfully, the land offers up gifts of particularly robust and nuanced fruits. On this dry summer day, as we follow the fire road through olive groves, Hazen is on a mission: He and I are headed toward a particular stand of Frantoio olive trees he’d like to show me, several rows that, in his words, “are the cream of the crop.” I realize as we pass row after row of densely planted, carefully tended trees—in total 21 different Spanish, Italian and French cultivars—that Hazen’s connection to the 13,000 olive trees and 12,000 apple trees on his property is anything but ordinary. He gestures to specific rows of trees as we pass them by, describing the general characteristic of each cultivar and, more specifically, what he sees in the way the trees grow and fruit, their relative form and sturdiness. He seems to know every stand, maybe every tree, on this former cattle ranch that he began cultivating in 2001. Yes, Hazen can speak to the details of his agricultural practices, from soil science to pruning and harvesting, but it is the feeling he has about his trees and this land that seems to matter most.

We trot down to the bottom of a hill, where Hazen stops. “Here we are,” he says, pointing me toward a path into the leafy tunnel between the rows of Frantoio he says are his favorites. “You need to go in to really understand what I am talking about,” he urges. As we meander through the dappled light beneath his cherished trees, Hazen calls attention to the girth and twists of the trunks. He sees the Frantoio as a graceful, feminine tree, more curved and elegant than the upright Leccino across the way, but he is not exactly sure why these Frantoios have done so well in this particular location. He believes the overall success of Gold Ridge’s organic orchards has to do with the weather. When he and his family bought the farm property two decades ago, he knew the region hosted many successful apple orchards but he was not sure how olive trees would fare. He took an educated gamble, planting thousands of trees. As it turns out, he was right: All 16 acres of heirloom apples and 70 acres of olives, as well as an assortment of other fruit trees, including Meyer Lemon, Blood Orange, Mandarin-Kumquat and European and Asian Pear, have thrived.

“Yes, I believe it is the soil, the terroir, but mainly, it is the climate that makes our products so successful,” says Hazen. “Here we get the Petaluma Gap wind off the Pacific Ocean, which is just 10 miles away. This keeps the average temperature down and means a slow ripening of the fruit. This can mean lower yield, but adds layers of flavor. Our olive oil comes out robust and has a very high polyphenol count.” It is widely—accepted that olive oil is good for our health—Hazen himself drinks a tablespoon each night—and it is the polyphenols that give the oil its high medicinal value in the form of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties.

Hazen is equally proud of the fruits of his organic apple orchards, consisting of classic crowd-pleasers like Honeycrisp and Fuji, as well as 75 heirloom varieties such as Hudson’s Golden Gem, Ashmead’s Kernel, Cox Orange Pippin, Hoople’s Antique Gold, Red Gravensteins and others.

“I would rather take quality over quantity,” he says. “In our apples you see the flavor fully expressed because the trees are challenged by the wind.” According to Hazen, Gold Ridge Organic Farms is one of the few commercial growers in North America to harvest tree-ripened fruit, which means apples are harvested and taken directly to market rather than stored in a refrigerator to finish ripening. Hazen also planted early-fruiting strains of Fuji and Honeycrisp varietals, which means the team is harvesting by mid-July, about two weeks before other commercial growers get those favorite apples on market shelves.

Making our way back up the fire road toward the farm’s expansive Tuscan-style olive mill, farm shop and tasting room, Hazen recalls being in his 20s, just years out of college and somewhat directionless. It was then that he spent time at the Green Gulch Zen Center near Muir Beach, learning to farm. While there he discovered that working the land fed his soul, he says.

When he left Green Gulch he bought a small parcel in Sonoma, and for several years grew and sold his own produce. Hazen is not sure why, but he felt especially passionate about both apple and olive trees, and eventually, with the help of family, he was able to purchase the Gold Ridge acreage. He planted the first olive and apple orchards himself with the help of just one other person.

Now Hazen has a large team of 14 farm employees, including Master Olive Miller Guillermo Rojas. From October to December, the farm’s impressive Italian-made Rapanelli press and the Gold Ridge team not only mill and bottle Gold Ridge olives, but are available by appointment for custom olive oil milling and bottling for conventional and organic growers with a minimum of 50 pounds to process. Business Operations Manager Andrea Lederle, who brought to Gold Ridge her experience in the wine industry, is, among other things, expanding the brand partnerships and direct-to-consumer side of the operation to keep pace with the output of the farm.

Gold Ridge organic apples, including the Gold Ridge Heirloom Apple Blend bag containing six antique apple varieties (try the very strawberry-y Strawberry Parfait apple!) are sold in area markets, as well as at Whole Foods markets in Northern California and in the Reno-Tahoe area. Their four olive oil blends—Tuscan Blend and Minerva Blend (both made with Italian cultivars), Picholine Blend (French cultivars) and Arbequina Blend (Spanish cultivars), as well as specialty Meyer Lemon and Mandarin-Kumquat olive oils, are sold in the farm shop and tasting room on site. Each is certified extra virgin annually by the California Olive Oil Council (COOC).

Year by year, through the sale of apples, olive oil and specialty items made from these, along with the opening of the farm shop and tasting room, Lederle says the public face of Gold Ridge Organic Farms has increased, as have partnerships with other local growers and artisan producers. In the farm shop and tasting room (open Thursday through Saturday and by appointment for private tours and olive oil tastings) visitors will find baked goods from Wild Flour Bread in nearby Freestone, dark chocolate with olive oil and candied Meyer Lemon made in partnership with local Sebastopol chocolatier VOLO and there’s talk of making shrubs with the help of neighboring producer Little Apple Treats. The shop also features Gold Ridge apple cider vinegar, heirloom apple snacks, Honeycrisp-Fuji apple cider syrup and a variety of olive oil—based soaps infused with herbs and lavender also grown on the property (all items are also offered for sale on the farm’s website).

By the time Hazen and I make our way back to the top of the hill, the tasting room is full of customers, including a private group preparing to sample a full flight of olive oils. There is a buzz in the room and Lederle tells me that this is becoming more and more common as “food tourists” discover the farm and surrounding region.

“We’ve got the Monte-Bellaria di California lavender farm nearby—very popular for photographs—and Duckworth U-pick blueberry farm and Boring raspberry farm just up Canfield Road,” she says. “Adding a stop at our tasting room makes a perfect day trip, and all in this area.”

According to Hazen and Lederle, the excitement level peaks in the late summer and early fall with apple and olive harvests. On September 17 of this year Gold Ridge Organic Farms will host their annual Heirloom Apple Celebration at the farm’s apple barn. This is Hazen’s favorite event to host each year, he says, the culmination of his many years of effort, honoring the beauty and history of the heirloom apples.

Hazen’s Gold Ridge predecessor, Luther Burbank, would most definitely approve. “I get so much joy out of the heirlooms—the textures and flavors,” says Hazen, standing outside the bustling tasting room, overlooking the rolling silver waves of olive leaves and bright popping green of apple, pear and citrus foliage. “I started farming because I wanted to be in nature and see the fruits of my labor. I wanted to see what my hands could produce directly. I ended up feeding the population nutritious food. What could be better?”
August 23, 2022

Heirloom Apple Celebration

Gold Ridge Organic Farms will celebrate the arrival of fall and heirloom apples with freshly pressed apple juice, ice cream, live music and more from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 17.
Attendees can taste a range of heirloom apple varieties and apple juice; take a stroll through the orchards with farmer Brooke Hazen; and purchase vanilla ice cream with apple cider syrup, local cheeses, apple cider doughnuts and other artisan goods. Tickets: $20 for adults, $10 for kids 12 and younger. To buy tickets, go to 3387 Canfield Road.
July 8, 2022

Humble Roots: Sebastopol’s Gold Ridge Organic Farms

Farmer Brooke Hazen took a chance in the rolling hills of Sebastopol, and it paid off deliciously.

“It was a total risk,” says Brooke Hazen. In 2000, only a handful of years after graduating from college, the organic farmer began transforming an 88-acre cattle ranch in Sebastopol into Gold Ridge Organic Farms.

“In the beginning, I didn’t even know if olives would do well here,” he says.

The risk paid off. Today, 13,000 olive trees—21 varieties spread across some 70 acres—thrive in the beautiful stretch of west Sonoma County. All of Gold Ridge Organic Farms’s olive oils are milled on-site within hours of harvest (typically mid-November through mid-December) for maximum freshness, flavor, and medicinal quality. High in antioxidants, the farm’s

award-winning lineup ranges from estate-grown extra virgin organic olive oils to olive oils co-milled with Meyer lemon and mandarin-kumquat fruit grown on the property.

Farming plays a large role in Hazen‘s success, but he is quick to credit the land’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean. The coastal fog and cooler temperatures that produce ideal growing conditions for the region’s renowned pinot noir wine grapes also create the perfect environment for cultivating olives.

“The flavors, the textures, and the colors—all those are slowly allowed to develop over a long period of time,” says Hazen.

But it’s not just about olives. Hazen also tends to more than 12,000 apple trees, growing about 75 heirloom varieties, such as Hoople’s Antique Gold and Red Gravenstein, along with well-known favorites including Honeycrisp and Fuji. Apple harvest typically kicks off in late July and runs well into fall.

“I do tree-ripe harvest, which is rare commercially,” says Hazen. “I wait until it’s just peak- ready, and we get it straight to market right away.”

Then there’s the olive oil soap and apple cider syrup, and don’t forget the dark chocolate bar with Meyer lemon olive oil made in collaboration with nearby Volo Chocolate. In just two decades, Hazen’s small organic farm has blossomed into a foodie paradise.

Gold Ridge Organic Farms offers private olive oil tastings and farm tours by appointment throughout the year, and beginning in August, the farm will host heirloom apple tastings at its Apple Barn.

June 15, 2022

Record Number of NYIOOC Awards for American Producers

Olive farmers and producers from the United States enjoyed a year of record success at the 2022 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition. 

Forty-five producers from California, Oregon, Texas and Georgia combined to win a record-high 94 awards from 134 entries, the second-highest total for the country. Their 70-percent success rate was also the highest for American producers.

Awards always bring recognition and approval of a great product. This is key for consumers if we are to change the olive oil culture in America.
- Zack Thorp, co-owner, Lot22 Olive Oil

As they do every year, farmers and producers had to overcome a range of challenges, from California’s increasingly hot and dry climate to record-low temperatures in Texas and challenges created by supply chain issues.

“Farming is not for the faint of heart,” Edie Barry, owner of F & B Foods, which produces the Queen of Trees olive oils, told Olive Oil Times. 

“The weather is unpredictable, and you sweat every freeze, hot spells, strong winds when the olives set and then you have all the furry friends who want to eat through the irrigation,” she added.

Located in olive oil-soaked San Luis Obispo County, in central California, Barry and her team earned a Gold Award for a medium blend in their first time entering the competition.

“I’m still pinching myself,” Barry said. “I’m a small producer, female-owned, and this recognition is a big win for our brand as we consider expanding. It is a game-changer for us.” 

“Winning Gold is huge. It gives you credibility with retailers,” she added. “When your extra virgin olive oil is next to others, and you have an NYIOOC Gold, consumers reach for your bottle. Having that gold stamp on the website also drives direct-to-consumer sales. It is especially helpful when consumers can’t taste your oil in advance of purchase.”

From first-time entrants to NYIOOC veterans, the pleasure of triumphing in the world’s largest olive oil quality competition does not seem to fade with time.

Brooke Hazen, the owner of Gold Ridge Organic Farms, earned four Gold Awards this year, which he said was the eighth one for his company at the competition.

“[I was] really happy and surprised, since we won four out of four Golds just a few years ago, and three out of four last year,” the owner of the northern California producer told Olive Oil Times. “I have been grateful for the accolades coming our way.”

Located approximately 80 kilometers north of San Francisco, Hazen said the climate, terroir and lack of “extraordinary challenges” were the keys to another successful harvest.

“The cool West Sonoma Coast climate and our proximity to the Pacific Ocean allows a long slow maturation phase for the olives to develop their inherent polyphenols, flavors, colors and nuances,” he said. “Our maritime climate plus our Gold Ridge soils really offer the perfect opportunity for each variety in our four unique blends to reach their truest expression.”

While the NYIOOC provides small producers the opportunity to show off their quality and tell their unique stories, it also gives some of the world’s largest producers the opportunity to demonstrate that quantity does not necessarily come at the expense of quality.

California Olive Ranch (COR), the largest olive oil producer in the United States, earned a Gold and two Silver Awards at the 2022 NYIOOC.

Mary Mori, the company’s vice president of quality and research and development, told Olive Oil Times these awards celebrate the hard work and passion of everyone involved, from company executives to COR’s olive grower partners.

“We have always taken great pride in crafting high-quality products,” she said. “The NYIOOC awards are a way for us to celebrate the passion, hard work, and dedication of our efforts in California and across the globe.”

“This recognition gives our brands that well-deserved ‘stamp of approval’ from growing practices to harvesting to production and we are immensely proud of that,” she added.

Like many other producers around the world, Mori said that COR had to overcome various supply chain issues throughout the harvest.

“We’ve been challenged with several of the same issues affecting our industry, from cost inflation to shipping to material delays,” she said. “However, our team has worked tirelessly to keep everything in stock and on shelves.”

While the vast majority of winning U.S. producers at the NYIOOC hail from central and northern California, less traditional regions of the Golden State were also represented at the competition.

“Olive oil in southern California is a lost art,” Zach Thorp, the co-owner of Lot22 located just east of Los Angeles, told Olive Oil Times.

“Grape vines and pockets of olive groves dot the land and thrive in the soil and Mediterranean-style climate,” he added. “If preserved and expanded, they have shown a very unique product that is being recognized by world-renowned judges as evident in our most recent awards at the NYIOOC.”

In its third year at the competition, Lot22 earned two awards, including Gold for a medium Arbequina and a Silver Award for a delicate Koroneiki.

Thorp partially attributed this year’s success to the region’s unique microclimate, which has hosted olive growers for more than a century.

“We are set in a very specific microclimate in southern California that has heritage roots for growing olives dating back 100 years, but has been dominated by citrus in the last century because of water acquisition,” he said.

|“Currently, with water being a significant issue for California, we are seeing the elements of our microclimate begin to take center stage for sustainable crops like olives in a water-challenged environment,” he added.

Despite the opportunities presented to olive growers as a result of climate change, Thorp added that it also presents plenty of challenges.

“The climate is not the same as it was five years ago and we are constantly needing to network with other California growers in order to problem solve an ever-growing issue,” he said. “In addition the harvest, while always a challenge, has become a much pricier and challenging aspect of olive growing due to the Covid-19 pandemic and economy.”

With all these challenges piling up for producers, Thorp said the role that awards play for the company becomes increasingly important.

“Awards always bring recognition and approval of a great product,” he said. “This is key for consumers if we are to change the olive oil culture in America to fresh olive oil as opposed to typical ‘grocery store’ olive oils that do not promote freshness, timely harvest, mill dates or tasting certifications.”

While California dominates the U.S. olive oil production, high-quality extra virgin olive oil is produced across a wide swath of the country.

The producers behind Texas Hill Country Olive Company earned two Silver Awards once against the competition, a feat made all the more remarkable after unseasonable cold and frost in February 2021 damaged the vast majority of the state’s olive trees.

Even farther east, in Georgia, Five Otters earned a Gold Award for a medium blend of Koroneiki, Arbequina, and Arbosana olives.

“Growing olives is new to this region in Georgia and my hope is this achievement encourages more growers in the area,” owner Sharon Flanagan told Olive Oil Times. “I look forward to sharing this award in our rural community where it will be most appreciated.”

She added that this year’s award did not come without its challenges. Heavy rains and limited availability at the local mill complicated the harvest, forcing the company to have three separate harvests.

Back on the west coast, Paul Durant, owner of Durant Olive Mill, celebrated winning four more awards at the NYIOOC.

It was the seventh consecutive triumph for the pioneering Oregonian olive oil producer, who brought his total tally of awards from the competition up to 20.

“While I come to expect getting the awards, it certainly does not make it any less gratifying,” he told Olive Oil Times. “My entire team works really hard and to see that hard work pay off with such recognition makes all of us feel good. It is such a validation of the attention to detail we focus on throughout the year.”

Despite the success, Durant added that the harvest came with some disappointment. Originally he had hoped to produce 500 gallons (2,300 liters) of extra virgin olive oil but fell about 40 percent shy of this total.

“Overall, it was a tough harvest yield-wise,” he said. “The rains in California, same as here in Oregon, put a lot of water into the fruit and that made extraction difficult. I got some good guidance from a mill in California, and we were able to improve yield towards the end of the run.”

However, Durant has not allowed any of this to dampen his sense of optimism about the future.

“Aside from that, the improvements to the mill were great and eliminated a lot of stress on me and my crew,” he concluded. “I am doing another big equipment upgrade this year that should be another big step forward.”
April 19, 2022

California Artisan Cheese Festival returns

After two years’ hiatus due to COVID-19, the 16th annual California Artisan Cheese Festival offers a chance to taste your way through California’s finest on Saturday, May 7 at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds’ Grace Pavilion, 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa.
From the Redwood forests to the Pacific Coast and beyond, award-winning California cheesemakers make some of the best cheeses in the country. Come meet local cheesemakers, local winemakers, brewers and distillers; sample and buy artisan cheese and other handcrafted products perfect for pairing with cheese; and taste beer, wine, cider and spirits.
This year’s Artisan Cheese Tasting & Marketplace will feature over 80 artisan producers showcasing their products. Enjoy live entertainment by the King Street Giants in the new outdoor area called Shade Park.
Regional cheese and food producers include Achadinha Cheese Co, Beehive Cheese, Black Pig Meat Co., Bryerton Roasted Almonds, California Artisan Cheese Guild, Cheese Trail, Cookie Take a Bite, Cowgirl Creamery, Cypress Grove, Farm Chocolate, Fiscalini Farmstead Cheese, Friend in Cheeses Jam Co., Gold Ridge Organic Farms, Golden State Pickle Works, Laura Chenel Chèvre, Marin French Cheese Co., Morsey’s Creamery, Nicasio Valley Cheese Co., Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co., R & J Toffee, Rumiano Cheese Co., Sierra Nevada Cheese Co., Sonoma Spice Queen, Stella’s Table, Teat & Trumpets, The Baconer, Volo Chocolate, Whole Foods Market, and Wm. Cofield Cheesemakers.
Tickets: early entry is $75, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Adults is $60 noon to 4 p.m. Children ages 5 to 12 cost $30 from noon to 4 p.m. Get tickets at or at Oliver’s Markets
March 31, 2022

Brooke Hazen's Interview on Farm To Table on KRSH

Listen to Goldridge Organic Farms' owner Brooke Hazen interview on KRSH radio's Tawny Tesconi’s From Farm To Table.

January 20, 2022

Olio Nuovo: The Freshly Pressed Olive Oil Producers Of Sonoma County

Nearly a dozen small producers in Sonoma County mill olives onsite within hours of harvest into olio nuovo, or new oil, and backyard growers bring their olive harvest to custom mills at neighboring farms. The resulting oils are fresh, much higher in antioxidants, and deliver wildly complex flavors on the palate. Gold Ridge Organic Farms has 70 acres of olive trees in the rolling hills of Sebastopol and is the newest establishment to open their Tasting Salon to the public. A tour of the property is gifted with a 360 view of West Sonoma County and an educational guided tasting of their medicinal quality oils.

December 1, 2021

Where to Taste Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil in Sonoma

It’s the season for olio nuovo, the fresh-pressed olive oil that marks the start of the holiday season.

Olive oil is never better, never more compelling, than it is at the moment it first streams into the world, straight from the press. It is the purest expression of the olive, an elixir that delights with field-fresh flavors and a texture best described as both lean and rich.

This is olio nuovo, the new oil.

Olio nuovo is a treasure of early winter in Sonoma. It cannot be separated from its season and cannot be preserved, as its bold flavors begin to fade not long after pressing. The decline is subtle at first, but within a month or two, the new oil loses its unique spark and begins to mellow. By early spring, it will be a memory until the next vintage.

“When olive oil comes out of the funnel during pressing, there is always a feeling of renewal and exuberance. The vibrant green and gold hues, the fresh aromas, and the healthy vegetative and fruity flavors are intoxicating, full of the strength and health of the trees, only an hour removed,” says Brooke Hazen, who oversees 70 acres of olive trees at his Gold Ridge Organic Farms in the rolling hills southeast of Sebastopol.

Typically, quality olive oil rests in bulk for a few months after being pressed, a process that allows it to settle and become shelf-stable. Olio nuovo, in contrast, is bottled and released straight from the press, skipping the step during which the oil rests, allowing fresh, peppery, straight-from-the-tree flavors to shine. Until quite recently, only a handful of local growers, including Healdsburg’s DaVero and Petaluma’s McEvoy Ranch, celebrated a separate release of the new oil before the more widely available extra virgin olive oil came to market.

Sonoma County’s olive harvest begins around the time the grape harvest concludes, typically in late October or early November, and continues for several weeks. By the winter holidays, prized bottles of olio nuovo are available locally, many of them from small-scale, family-owned farms and olive mills. These days, there’s recognition that Sonoma County-grown olio nuovo holds its own alongside prized oils from Tuscany such as Ardoino, a favorite of olive oil pioneer Ridgely Evers at DaVero, and Poggio Lamentano, the favorite of renowned food writer M. F. K. Fisher.

“There is al ways a feeling of renewal and exuberance. The vibrant green and gold hues, the fresh aromas…full of the strength and health of the trees, only an hour removed.” ~ Brooke Hazen

Producer Stephen Singer of Baker Lane Vineyards likens olio nuovo to the elusive white truffle, another early-winter treasure. “The early vivid expression of olive oil doesn’t last long, nor does the flavor of the truffle,” he says. “Both are transitory, deeply seasonal, momentary, and ephemeral.” Singer, the former wine director at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, used to be in the business of importing premium olive oil from Tuscany. Now, settled in the hills outside Sebastopol, he makes wine and produces estate olive oil.

Growers say that to understand olio nuovo, it is essential to understand olive oil itself. The characteristic flavors of an olive’s oil are determined almost entirely by which type of olive tree the olive grows upon (over 2,000 types of trees exist). The trees must be properly tended and pruned, and farmers must choose the right moment to pick. The olives must be harvested gently, without stems and leaves, then transported as quickly as possible to the mill, before they begin to ferment. It is the job of the miller to press the oil out of the olive as gently as possible. Nearly all premium oils are made with olives processed and pressed within 24 hours of being harvested.

The best olive oils are made with a mix of green fruit and ripe fruit. Green fruit has the bitterness and peppery qualities considered essential; when olives ripen to purple-black, as they all eventually do, their oil takes on more buttery characteristics. The mix of both green and purple olives at different stages of ripeness creates the complexity of flavor that makes olive oil lovers wax poetic.

Six local mills serve the olive growers of Sonoma County. Recently, these mills have also become home to a new seasonal tradition: the community milling day. At one of these events, typically held in November or early December, anyone with an olive tree or two can be part of the magic of olio nuovo. Small-scale growers and backyard hobbyists bring their freshly-picked fruit—in buckets, bags, and bins—to the mill on the day of the press. After checking the olives for pests and for ripeness, the miller adds the fruit to the press to become part of a community blend. This is grassroots local food production at its best: Each grower gets back containers of the fresh-pressed oil in proportion to what they contributed. The more olives you bring, the more oil you receive.

Standing in the orchard, watching as olives are gently tugged from their slender stems, it all comes full circle—the care put into tending the trees, the flurry of harvest day, the quick rush to the press. After an hour or two of picking, you can smell on your hands the subtle aroma of the olive and the oil within— all peppery and grassy, the sunlight and rain together. “Olive oil is priceless,” says Ridgely Evers. “And it is sacred.”

Tasting Sonoma’s Olio Nuovo

There are nearly a dozen commercial olio nuovo producers in Sonoma County, plus hundreds of backyard growers who either do a custom milling for oil to share with friends and neighbors, or who bring their olives to community milling events.

Baker Lane Vineyards: Stephen Singer’s 2021 Occidental Blend is not labeled “olio nuovo,” but is available soon enough after pressing that it is a de facto nuovo, with vivid flavors of artichoke, new mown hay, and green apple. Online sales only.

DaVero Farms & Winery: The benchmark estate olio nuovo is sassy and elegant, with complex bitter and pepper flavors—the signature liquid nirvana. It is available by appointment at the tasting room and online, from Thanksgiving through the end of the year. 766 Westside Rd., Healdsburg. 707431-8000,

Dry Creek Olive Company: A blend of olives from 100-year-old trees and newly-planted cultivars goes into a bright, herbaceous olio nuovo, available shortly after pressing and prior to the release of estate’s signature flavored olive oils. 7878 Dry Creek Rd., Geyserville. 707-431-7200,

Eyrie Olive Oil: This delicious Tuscan-style olio nuovo is available on Saturdays at the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market, 50 Mark West Springs Rd., and at Lazzini’s Market, 3449 Bennett Valley Rd., Santa Rosa. Email for information.

Figone Olive Oil Company: The group releases an olio nuovo blend of Spanish and Italian varieties. 483 First St. West, Sonoma. 707-282-9092,

Gold Ridge Organic Farms: Brooke Hazen offers four olio nuovos, each made from a different variety of olive, including Picholine, Minerva, Tuscan, and Arbequina. The varieties ripen in succession, not simultaneously, and all are picked a bit later in the season, producing oils with a voluptuous buttery texture. The olio nuovos are released in late December and available through February. 3387 Canfield Rd., Sebastopol. 707-8233110,

McEvoy Ranch: This olio nuovo evokes the subtle flavors of winter greens – think cardoons, chicories, and dandelions – with a trail of peppery heat, a signature quality of the estate’s seven Tuscan cultivars. Available at the ranch store and online. 5935 Red Hill Rd., Petaluma. 707-7782307,

Monte-Bellaria di California: Proprietor Bill MacElroy typically harvests his olives on the last Sunday of October. His olive oil is available within about 24 hours of pressing, and though it is not labeled as olio nuovo, that’s what it is. 3518 Bloomfield Rd., Sebastopol. 707829-2645,

Olivino: Their olio nuovo is a blend of five Tuscan cultivars from a 2,500-tree orchard that straddles the border of Sonoma and Mendocino counties. It shows classic flavors of fresh grass, fruit, nuts, and pepper. It is released near Christmas and available until Easter. 14160 Mountain Home Rd., Hopland. 707744-1114,

Preston Farm & Winery: Chaste Maiden Early Release Organic Olive Oil is a blend of ten Italian and Spanish cultivars. Even in its youth, it is a delicate oil, with a modicum of the peppery heat that defines many other oils. As it ages, the oil softens even more, and develops buttery characteristics, making it ideal for anyone who balks at “two cough” olive oils, as some people call robust olio nuovos. 9282 West Dry Creek Rd., Healdsburg, 707-433-3372,

The Olive Press: Their olio nuovo is made from the Spanish cultivar Arbequina, which has suggestions of newly-mown grass, artichoke, apple, and banana. 24724 Arnold Dr., Sonoma, 800-9654839,

Community Milling Days

Community milling days are a special way to participate in the feel and flavors of olive oil production. Some mills require a minimum quantity, while others will take even just a hatful of olives. The mills will generally ask for a specific mix of ripeness in the olives and that participants pick their olives within 24 hours of the event.

They’ll also inspect the olives for signs of damage from the olive fruit fly. For additional information and requirements, please contact each mill directly.

Dry Creek Olive Company, Geyserville: Oct. 31, Nov. 21, Dec. 5. 5 pound minimum, $1 per pound. 707-431-7200,

Figone’s Olive Oil Co.: Saturdays and Sundays, Oct. 9-Dec. 12. 5 pound minimum, $1.12 per pound. 707-244-9148,

McEvoy Ranch, Petaluma: Nov. 14; register by Nov. 10. $1 per pound. 707-778-2307,

Olivino, Hopland: Call for information. 707-744-1114,

The Olive Press, Sonoma: Nov. 7 and Nov. 21. 800-965-4839,

November 5, 2021

Sebastopol olive oil farm gears up for the busy harvest season

In Wine Country, the grape harvest ended in October, but another star of the table is waiting in the wings for its golden moment: the Italian, French and Spanish varieties of olives that will be harvested beginning this month, when the small green fruits begin to ripen and turn purple.

At Gold Ridge Organic Farms, founded in 2001 by farmer Brooke Hazen in the western hills above Sebastopol, the coastal fog and sun that slowly ripens the region’s chardonnay and pinot noir grapes also create the ideal growing conditions for 88 acres of organically farmed olives, apples, citrus and herbs.

Hazen, who has blanketed 70 acres of the estate with 13,000 olive trees, started building his own olive mill 10 years ago, featuring a state-of-the-art Rapanelli olive press from Italy, so he could have more control over the quality of his olive oil. The mill also helps support the farm by providing milling services for about 150 clients all over California, from the flatlands of the Central Valley to the hillsides of the North Bay.

“Pressing olives is a romantic thing,” Haven said. “With the amount of olives I have, it would be really expensive otherwise. … And our customers can bring from 50 pounds up to 50 tons to be custom milled.”

Like other olive oil producers in the North Bay, Hazen is gearing up for mid-November harvest of his own olive trees, which include Spanish varieties like Arbequina, Picual and Manzanilla as well as French varieties like Picholine and Italian varieties such as Frantoio, Leccino and Minerva.

“I look at when the first killing frosts are coming, generally around Christmas, so I usually start picking in mid-November,” he said. “We finish the olive harvest in four weeks, by mid-December.”

All the olives are milled on-site within hours of harvest for peak freshness and flavor, including healthy, antioxidant boosting polyphenols concentrated in the bitter flesh of the fruit.

His organic line of olive oils have already won gold and silver awards from the New York International Olive Oil Competition as well as from the California Olive Oil Council, a nonprofit trade group that supports certified extra-virgin olive oil standards.

Hazen credits the climate of Sonoma County for helping nurture the complex flavors in olive oils grown and made here in the cool coastal hills.

“People wonder why olive oils vary so much,” he said. “Yes, farming is involved, but climate is the biggest factor. … The oil here is very robust. The reason is the cool fog we get here in NorCal. The flavors and colors have a longer time to develop nuances and do not get cooked out.”

When he first started planting olives back in 2000, Hazen sourced his Italian olive varieties from McEvoy Ranch in Petaluma, one of the North Bay’s revered pioneers of high-end Italian-style olive oil production.

“But I also have 21 varieties,” Hazen said. “I wanted to diversify with the French and Spanish blends.”

Gold Ridge Organic Farms grows and mills four of its own olive oil blends: the Tuscan, Picholine, Arbequina and Minerva blends, each a mixture of four to six varieties of olives.

In the kitchen, the Arbequina blend is mild and perfect for salad dressings and marinades. The Tuscan blend, a favorite among chefs, is ideal for cooking. Minerva, another Italian blend, starts out robust and pungent, with the highest polyphenol count, but it mellows over time. Foodies love it for its buttery mouthfeel. The Picholine blend made from French varieties is delicious right out of the bottle.

“My favorite Picholine is when it’s new,” Hazen said. “It’s rare to find.”

Recently, Hazen started milling his olives together with some of the citrus he grows at the farm, a method that originated in Abruzzo region of Italy that is known as Agrumato. They started with a refreshing Meyer Lemon Agrumato and a Mandarin-Kumquat Agrumato.

“This is the first year making them,” Hazen said. “It’s made with a pure process — pure fruit, the peel and the juice.”

For the past few years, Gold Ridge also has been diversifying with a line of value-added products made from the organic apples, olive oil and herbs grown at the farm.

Director of Business Operations Andrea Lederle joined the sales and marketing team a few years ago to help raise the profile of the farm, then Naomi Ansbergs joined to head up sales and marketing.

The farm, which also grows 12,000 apple trees on 15 acres, is producing a Gravenstein Apple Syrup in collaboration with well-known preservationist Merrilee Olson of Preserve Farm Kitchens in Petaluma. The syrup is expected to be ready in time for the holiday season.

November 1, 2021

A Visit to Gold Ridge Organic Farms

Farmer Brooke Hazen knows every tree planted on his 88 acres in the rolling hills of Sebastopol. Not in the “Hi! How are you?” kind of way, he jokes. But in the truest sense of nurtured familiarity, having planted each and every one of them with the help of only one assistant.

He started his Gold Ridge Organic Farms in 2001 to create an edible wonderland. He’s more than succeeded, growing 13,000 olive trees of Spanish, Italian and French cultivars; 12,000 apple trees of 75 different varieties, including rare heirlooms; and a smattering of citrus, including Blood Oranges and Mandarin-Kumquats. All are grown organically, too.

You may very well know his apples already from his branded bags of Heirloom Apple Blend that are sold at Northern California Whole Foods. These treasure bags can contain such unusual antique varieties as Pitmaster Pineapple that actually tastes like pineapple, and Strawberry Parfait that — yes — tastes like strawberry. Indeed, Gold Ridge is one of the largest heirloom apple growers in California.

This month, you can get the opportunity to visit this wonderful farm for the first time.

After the pandemic quashed Gold Ridge’s plans to host public events last year, it’s now finally geared up for its first Harvest Open House, Nov. 5 and Nov. 6.

You’ll get a chance to taste four award-winning olive oils, and see the Italian Rapini olive press and mill, which actually acts like a centrifuge to more gently separate the oil from the olives.

This is a free event. Because there is limited parking, advance reservations are required. Masks also are required inside the tasting salon. Register here.

If you can’t make it to that open house, Gold Ridge is also hosting a fun shopping event for the holidays, Nov. 27 and Nov. 28.

You’ll again get a chance to sample the olive oils and view the olive mill. You’ll also get to shop for olive oils, farm-grown citrus, dried apples, and apple syrup, as well as locally made soaps and lotions made with Gold Ridge extra virgin olive oil and fragrant botanicals.

This is also a free event that requires advanced registration due to parking constraints, as well as the wearing of masks indoors. Register here.

When it comes to apples, Gold Ridge grows primarily Fuji and Honeycrisp, which pop with potent sweetness and flavor, owing to the fact that unlike most apples sold these days in supermarkets, these never go into cold storage for longer preservation. Instead, Hazen picks them and sends them to stores immediately.

The farm’s cool coastal climate also benefits the olives. They ripen so slowly that he’s one of the last olive oil producers to press each season, waiting until mid-November to start.

That extended time gives the olives more time to develop nuanced flavors. In fact, at a media event last week, the extra virgin oils I sampled were so robust that it was hard to believe they had been pressed a year ago.

The Minerva Blend boasted the pepperiness of arugula and white pepper with a hint of green tea. The Picholine Blend had a super spicy kick like dandelion greens, plus a long finish. And the Mandarin-Kumquat Organic Olive Oil possessed a beautiful floral-orange perfume to it, as well as an intense rounded citrus taste with touch of bitter pith and spicy white pepper.

Some olive oil producers pick their olives on the green side to create an oil with high levels of polyphenols, naturally occurring antioxidants, But Hazen can wait to press until his olives are riper, sporting a blush 3/4 of the way around, and still end up with oils high in polyphenols and more pronounced fruitiness.

In addition to pressing his own estate olives, Hazen also custom mills for 150 olive oil clients, including Forestville’s Olive Queen, and on the day I visited, for winemaker Stephen Singer, the ex-husband of Chez Panisse’s Alice Waters.

If you’re looking for a change of pace from the usual wine-tasting, trek on over to Gold Ridge to savor a delicious time of a different sort.
June 10, 2021

Sustainable, Organic Production Helps One California Producer Standout

Gold Ridge Organic Farms earned three Gold Awards and a Silver Award at the 2021 NYIOOC. The owner said organic production was the key to their success.

Gold Ridge Organic Farms is among the California pro­duc­ers lead­ing the way in sus­tain­able and organic olive oil pro­duc­tion meth­ods, despite the dom­i­nance of imports in the North American mar­ket.

At the 2021 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition, the Northern California pro­ducer earned three Gold Awards and a Silver Award for all four of its entries.

I was inspired by a great love affair with the grace and ele­gance of the olive tree. I believe it is the most beau­ti­ful of all crops to grow.- Brooke Hazen, owner, Gold Ridge Organic Farms

It felt truly amaz­ing [to receive these awards],” owner Brooke Hazen told Olive Oil Times. ​We are so hon­ored and grate­ful to receive such spe­cial appre­ci­a­tion for all of the hard work, time, ded­i­ca­tion and deter­mi­na­tion that went into pro­duc­ing such excep­tional olive oils.”

Our har­vest was excel­lent last year,” he added. ​I was able to obtain 4,500 gal­lons for my four sig­na­ture blends from my groves in Sebastopol.”

For Hazen, these awards fur­ther val­i­date the authen­tic­ity of his brand and the hard work it takes to achieve a qual­ity stan­dard that is not easy to imi­tate.

Gold Ridge Organic Farms is located in north­ern California​s West Sonoma County. Sitting approx­i­mately 80 kilo­me­ters north of San Francisco, the city of Sebastopol is a near-per­fect region for olive cul­ti­va­tion due to the opti­mal soil and ideal cli­mate.

Our farm sits 10 miles (16 kilo­me­ters) inland from the beau­ti­ful Sonoma Coast and the Pacific Ocean,” Hazen said. ​The prox­im­ity to the ocean influ­ences our cli­mate and our soils and makes our oils unique and lively. Our grow­ing sea­son is long and cool, which con­tributes to the high polyphe­nol lev­els in our oils.”

Growing olives organ­i­cally is a cru­cial com­po­nent of Hazen’s vision. He believes that organic cul­ti­va­tion yields olives that are both health­ier and more fla­vor­ful. He added that his organic farm­ing prac­tices help cre­ate olive oils rich in fla­vor, taste and antiox­i­dants.

I was inspired by a great love affair with the grace and ele­gance of the olive tree. I believe it is the most beau­ti­ful of all crops to grow,” Hazen said. ​It started with plant­ing and grow­ing olive trees and nat­u­rally expanded into press­ing the olives into olive oil.”

Olives are planted once in their life­time,” he added. ​They are known as the ​Grandparent Tree’ because they live for many gen­er­a­tions… The trees can live for mil­len­nia.”

In the cool coastal envi­ron­ment of Sebastopol, Hazen usu­ally begins har­vest­ing his olives in mid-November and con­tin­ues until Christmas.

However, even before the har­vest begins, Hazen spends plenty of time among his trees. Ensuring they receive plenty of water, nutri­ents and prun­ing improves the qual­ity of the fruit.

After har­vest­ing, the olives are processed at an organic mill, which was built in 2001. Hazen installed an Italian Rapanelli press, which processes the olives within a few hours after har­vest­ing.

Hazen and his team then craft their four care­fully selected blends of Italian, French and Spanish vari­etals, of which the pro­duc­ers take great pride.

Our four olive oil blends are also unique,” he said. Gold Ridge Organic Farms earned two Gold Awards for olive oils blended from Italian vari­eties.

The Tuscan Blend is crafted from mostly Frantoio and Leccino olives, with a small amount of Maurino and Pendolino cul­ti­vars as well. Meanwhile, the Minerva Blend is made from Minerva, Frantoio and Maurino olives with a touch of Cerasoula and Ladoelia.

Hazen and his team also earned a Gold Award for a medium Piccholine blend, which con­tains Aglandau, Bouteillian, Solonenque, Grossane and Cayon olives. The pro­duc­ers won a Silver Award for a medium Arbequina blend, com­pris­ing Empeltre, Leccin de Seville, Hojiblanca, Picual and Manzanilla olives.

Certification is an impor­tant part of this process, and all of the company’s olive oils are cer­ti­fied organic by California Certified Organic Farmers and extra vir­gin by the California Olive Oil Council.

Hazen said his prod­ucts stand apart from com­peti­tors as a result of a method­i­cal pro­duc­tion process, uniquely crafted blends and qual­ity cer­ti­fi­ca­tions.

Despite all the work that Hazen and his team put into each har­vest, the pro­ducer sees the California olive oil sec­tor as being prone to mar­ket trends and con­sumer behav­ior like any other indus­try.

According to Hazen, the avail­abil­ity of cheap and low-qual­ity imported olive oils is the biggest chal­lenge faced by the indus­try.

Cheap imported oils have flooded the mar­ket, dri­ven down prices and con­fused the con­sumers,” he said. ​Most con­sumers have no idea what healthy fresh olive oil actu­ally should taste and look like.”

The Californian olive oil indus­try has been mak­ing attempts to change this through legal chan­nels and lob­by­ing,” he added.

However, Hazen said his awards from the NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition go a long way in demon­strat­ing to con­sumers what dif­fer­en­ti­ates high-qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oil from the rest of the pack.

Our team is grate­ful for the recog­ni­tion of qual­ity,” Hazen con­cluded. ​Farming is a dif­fi­cult jour­ney with many long days invested into rais­ing the fruit. So, the acknowl­edg­ment feels good.”

I am so gleeful knowing I’m soon receiving these lovely products. Thank you! My son and I visited a few months ago—enjoyed some fresh oils. I’m truly a happy customer

Rahim Q., Grapevine, TX

My gift arrived and it was so fun to open! What an amazing small business... totally impressed with how everything was wrapped and packaged for shipping! Honeycrisp apples are my favorite and I can't wait to try the syrup. What an extravagant gift... everything looks delicious!

Ausma K.

Your EVOO is excellent and the best value I have found! We are repeat customers (in Connecticut) and will keep coming back!

Michael G., Plainville, CT

The Picholine Blend: Excellent per usual, thanks again.

Ty J., Hemet, CA

Absolutely love the flavor, texture and the overall taste of the Minerva Olio Nuovo. The high polyphenol count, USDA Organic and California certification are very important to me. The quality of your operation from the way you grow, harvest, process, store and ship your product is superb! Awesome customer experience every time I call. Very informative and pleasant to talk with. Extremely happy with Gold Ridge Organic Farms! I’m a customer for life. I have also referred Gold Ridge to several family members. My cousin loves your olive oil as much as I do. She mentioned to me that she hasn’t had such quality and flavor since we were kids growing up in our old world Greek cultural environments. Both of our fathers were in the restaurant business. In addition, the women of the households were incredible authentic Mediterranean cooks as well. That’s a great testament to your company and the quality of your products.

Matt M., Longmeadow, MA

Your EVOO is extraordinarily delicious! The oils are smooth, flavorful, and absolutely outstanding. I found your EVOO to be perfect for drizzling on cooked vegetables, and salads; although I use it anywhere I would previously use butter or a spread. The taste is simply incredible. Thank goodness you ship to the east coast; I'm so glad I found you and I will continue to be a customer.

Carol T., Hackettstown, NJ

My feedback on the Olio Nuovo Tuscan Blend 2022 Harvest: OUTSTANDING oil. If freshness is what it's all about, then you guys are DEFINITELY the WINNER.

Leslie H., Oak Harbor, WA

My feedback on the Minerva Blend 2021 EVOO: Your Olive oil is fantastic! It is probably the best I've ever had. I am 100% Greek and grew up with an immigrant father who believed in quality food. As soon as I open the bottle, the aroma hit me. It reminded me of my childhood and how delicious food used to smell. My cousin tried it first and contacted me to tell me all about it. From now on this is my oil. Absolutely love it!

Ann V., Buzzards Bay, MA

My feedback on the Olio NUOVO Minerva Blend 2022: Very happy with the Minerva Olive Oil! Excellent taste, the best quality olive oils l have ever tried. Also, great service. I like being able to speak with someone on the phone when I have a question. You offer a customer service experience whenever I call. You have a customer for life. Also, have references several to your company. Recently, my cousin has ordered a bottle of the Minerva and loves as much as I do.

Matt M., Longmeadow, MA

I loved your OLIO NUOVO Arbequina Blend! It makes the best salad dressing (with lemon juice, salt & pepper) and I’m glad it has a high percentage of polyphenols! I had bought olive oil from a different farm before and it wasn't as good as your oil. We are getting ready to order again.

Beth S., Louisville, KY

I saw this olive oil on La Briffe recommended by Ruth Reichl. I love olive oil. My grandmother was from Croatia and she cooked with olive oil as did my mother way before it was chic to do. I am a native Californian and I live in Georgia. I miss California and I love La Briffe and Ruth's recommendations for things like your olive oil. It keeps me in touch with all things California.

Pam H., Decatur, GA

I haven’t encountered many American olive oils that knocked me out, but this one from Gold Ridge Organic Farms in Sebastapol is exceptionally good.

Ruth Reichl, James Beard Award Winner, Food Writer & Chef

We really appreciated the informative and tasty presentations as well as farmer Brooke’s informative tour of the orchard. A+ Everyone was super nice.

Blane H., Cloverdale, CA

Always happy with your olive oil! Someday we hope to visit the farm. It looks beautiful!

Ryan J., Portland, OR

I learned so much about apples! Thanks. I thought the oil tasting was so well organized and I enjoyed the experience very much. I’ll be spending more on olive oil Now. Thanks!

Sara S., Sebastopol, CA

Love your organic olive oils - they are amazing! Whenever we are in the area will visit.

Scott B., San Diego, CA

I love the Meyer Lemon Olive Oil! A friend brought a bottle for me to try and I am in love. I am a personal chef and I plan to make this a regular finishing oil. I am taking it with me back east to share with friends!

Heidi L., Sebastopol, CA

I love our olive oil! Thank you.

Lisa M., Port Washington, NY

Love your olive oil, thanks!

Ryan J., Portland, OR

The Arbequina Blend olive oil is simply wonderful, and the shipping was very fast! Thank you!

Barb G., Post Falls, ID

I like the VOLO Chocolate with Meyer Lemon. Kind of satiny, not too sweet. That’s good in my book! I like the olive oil in that one too. Kind of creamy and nourishing.

Ginny A., Plainfield, MA

I saw the farm store sign from the road and came in to explore. I'm so glad I did. I tasted, and chose some gorgeous oils and vinegars too & chocolate! Some really special gifts available. Great packaging & nice hospitality. Thank you. I'll be back.

Penny L., Sonoma County, CA

Your facility is beautiful! Your olive oil is fantastic, and the specialty chocolate with olive oil is super delicious (wish they made at least 80% chocolate to cut down on the sugar). As an aside, I absolutely loved the front gates!

Bonnie K., San Francisco Bay Area, CA

My feedback on Meyer Lemon Blend Olive Oil: I love it and think you’re doing great work…a credit to the community!

Barbara C., Santa Rosa, CA

AMAZING true olive oil! The taste and texture is divine, but for us this oil has been a blessing beyond the gourmet, our autistic son has had tremendous leaps forward in healing and development, this oil is truly brain food pure and healing. Thank you for what you do!

Laina S., Naples, FL

[The tour and tasting were] very interesting and informative. Thank you.

Kristen T., Sonoma County, CA

I learned so much! Loved the samples - very generous! I am sharing my purchases with my friends, too. I made pancakes to try the apple syrup and that was a hit! Thanks to the polite and knowledgeable staff. We had a great time! We bought a few items, for us and as gifts. You have an impressive operation that we will continue to support! Thank you for your customer care, attention to detail, and knowledge. Excellence shows!

Gerard G., Napa, CA

The best, unparalleled olive oil I’ve ever had! Apple cider syrup is also second to none! What is the most impressive to me is that all of the ingredients are freshly grown, organically made! Simply the best!

Jeongbum S., San Francisco Bay Area , CA

The taste and texture is divine, but for us this oil has been a blessing beyond the gourmet, our autistic son has had tremendous leaps forward in healing and development, this oil is truly brain food pure and healing. Thank you for what you do!

Laina S., Naples, FL

A friend gifted me the assorted tins for Christmas and I am very impressed. Delicious oil. As I cannot do dairy and do not like margerines I found scrambling my egg in this olive oil was sublime. You don't want to waste it on dishes where you cannot get the full impact of its delicious flavor. I am hooked.

Jean M., Grants Pass, OR

I will NEVER go back to store bought oils! The difference in taste between fresh and store bought was extraordinary.

Sheryl P., Cheboygan, MI

My entire experience was wonderful. The order arrived in a very timely manner, and the product is excellent!

Barb G., Bonners Ferry, ID

We love the Honeycrisp-Fuji Apple Cider syrup! Thank you!

Sarah H., Culver City, CA

Great products, excellent service!

Karen K., Los Angeles, CA

Recipients of the EVOO were delighted. Nice to get positive feedback from foodies.

Yvonne , Sebastopol, CA

Very good people and service.

Mateo S.

Always a pleasure working with Gold Ridge Organic Farms for custom milling. Very professional, helpful and friendly.

Bill M.

Delicious products and a beautiful view.

Steven M.

So far have been splashing Minerva on our pasta. No more boring pasta dinners! The details were also good - packing material, gold tab on bottle for opening, info for using each oil, drop down tab to cover spout opening, etc… Every detail well planned.

Patti L., Bellevue, WA

Thank you providing this service to our community. I was so happy to be able to have my olives individually milled this year. In the past I have always participated in a community press. So this is the first time I have been able to taste my very own olive oil! Thanks for making that possible!

Mary Lee M.

We've only opened up one bottle so far but we are pleased. I'm a bit of an olive oil snob. Your oil has flavor and smells like fresh grass. I put it on my air popped popcorn with salt. It's delicious! So glad I found you! Can't wait to try the other oils and get the new harvest oils in the future!

Debbie V., Boulder, CO

Everything is so great! Love the tins as much as the bottles and enjoying both right now. Love giving these oils as gifts too!

Laurie S., Sonoma, CA

The olive oils are excellent. My favourites are Tuscan and Arbequina and the fact that they are organic makes them even better. Also the packaging is exceptional.

Joanne H., Red Bluff, CA

I’m very happy with your Arbequina Blend. It’s smooth and fresh. It makes everything taste elegant. I love it. I also love your Minerva olive oil.

Cheri R.

The Strawberry Parfait apples made a lovely, fluffy applesauce in a soft pink color. Not as deep a color as the Pink Pearls, and the flavor is milder than other varieties in the markets here - but very pretty nonetheless... With a wee bit of my "secret ingredient" it tastes great!

Jennie C.

I recently picked up some Gold Ridge Organic Farms strawberry parfait apples from Whole Foods. They are some of the best apples I’ve ever had.

Samantha E.

Excellent packaging and true authentic organic extra virgin olive oil with the bite to the palate that distinguishes it from poor quality and purported EV olive oils. Thanks again expect repeated orders to come!

Ty J., Hemet, CA

LOVE IT!!! I take a shot of olive oil every day. (Along w/all the other stuff we use EVOO for!). Picholine Blend is high in polyphenols, which is why I chose this blend… I'm after the health benefits of higher polyphenols… I love that Gold Ridge is organic, I love all the awards they have, I love that they are a small farm, I love the taste and quality of the olive oil!

Ashley C., Murrieta, CA

I received my shipment in good order. I have opened the Tuscan Blend and was very impressed with its flavor and finish. The others I have not tried at this time. Since I, also, am a very small olive grower and making some organic extra virgin olive oil, I love to try other oils.

Marilyn M., Calistoga, CA

Love love love my order! I was introduced to the goldridge olive oil from My real good greens delivery that I started. I love the olive oil so much that I order a bottle almost every week. I also told a girlfriend about it, she ordered some, and I ordered some for My mom and sister who live in New York. I have never had such amazing olive oil, and absolutely love it! Thanks

Nancy S., San Francisco, CA

Five Stars!!!!  Thank you Andrea and Brooke!  LOVE your product!!!  Hope that Montage Healdsburg can send guests for tasting, special events some day!  Hotel opens November 18!!

Laurie S., San Clemente, CA

I am happy with the Arbequina olive oil.  I had been looking for a long time for an olive oil appropriate for making a vinaigrette that was flavorful without being overpowered by the strong taste of the olive oil.  And now I have found it!  Thank you!

Deborah , Del Mar, CA

We love this oil. I feel better about consuming an oil that is actually good for you as long as I don’t over heat it or use too much of it at once

Irene D., Port Townsend, WA


Merhunisa K., Bronx, NY

I love this olive oil.  I had been looking and trying many olive oils to try to find a mild but flavorful oil that would not overwhelm salad dressings and vegetables.  This is absolutely a perfect oil for these purposes.  I now also use it as my overall go to olive oil.  It enhances and does not detract from other flavor profiles.  Just delicious!  I also love the pouring spout that was included in my first order.  I love it so much I even sent this oil to a friend of mine who also loves to cook.

Deborah M., Del Mar, CA

We appreciate the chance to support local artists. 

We’re on a keto diet that requires us to consume a cup of oil a day. Your sampler has made this program tasty! 

It was flawless and the packaging was perfect! 

Excellent! Gave some to my mom, sister, and son/fiancé for Xmas. They loved it! My son and fiancé (in colorado) said it is the best olive oil they have ever had! My mom and sister are repeat gifts. My mom asked for more of the goldridge olive oil for Christmas. Always pleased with goldridge.

Nancy S., San Francisco, CA

I LOVE your olive oil so much. It is smooth and bright and delightful. AND its the only oil I wanted to provision my upcoming sailing adventure with for 6 months!

Thank you.

Aria A., Hallandale Beach, FL

I am very happy with your product. Shipping was fast and quality is excellent!

Danielle L., Sequim, WA

Great arrived before we expected it. Andrea is wonderful, she knew what we wanted with begins with a P

John G., Lake Oswego, WA

I'm only on my first of the trio, Minerva, but I'm already super happy with my order. And, as a longtime connoisseur, you are now one of my favorite olive oils, not kiddin, and will now be in my regular rotation. Thank you for the complimentary pour spout. I never liked their idea as to keep oxygen out. But I love it. Super convenient and makes it easy to pour all over the place.

Homero D., Driftwood, TX

Great service and love the olive oil!!

Deb , Perry, MO