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. goldridgeorganicfarms.com.
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! ThanksNancy 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 onceIrene D., Port Townsend, WA
Amazing!!!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!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 just......it begins with a PJohn 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