First Wine, Now Olive Oil: California Rockets to World’s "Top 10"
California’s Apollo Olive Oil Is First U.S. Producer Ever To Rank Among World’s Best
Oregon House, Calif. (June 1, 2006) – Similar to wine, California now ranks among the best in the world when in comes to premium olive oil production. Competing against 750 high-end oils produced primarily in France, Italy, Spain and Greece, Apollo Olive Oil earned a coveted spot in the world’s "top ten" during the prestigious international olive oil competition, OLIO 2006, sponsored by Der Feinschmecker (a leading food and wine publication in Europe) and conducted by the celebrated Italian tasting panel I Mastri Oleari . Results of the third annual competition were announced and presented at a special awards ceremony in Munich, Germany on May 13, 2006.
"Without question, it is quite a feat that Apollo Olive Oil received recognition in this extremely important – and somewhat severe – worldwide olive oil tasting competition," said Darrell Corti, president of Corti Brothers, who serves as chairman of the highly regarded Los Angeles County Fair olive oil tasting competition. "The entire experience is reminiscent of 1976 in Paris when California’s young wine industry stunned the world by finishing ahead of French wines. Now, olive oil from California has given the world a new reason to try it and take notice."
Like the great olive oil producers based in the Mediterranean, the producers of Apollo Olive Oil grow their own trees, hand-pick the fruit, process the oil, and bottle it on-site at their mill in Northern California’s Yuba County. Along with a steadfast focus on quality, it is a highly sophisticated vacuum milling system that really sets Apollo Olive Oil apart. In fact, Apollo is the only producer in the United States currently using this particular highly specialized vacuum system that significantly limits exposure to oxygen during the milling process – which is the key to producing oil extraordinarily high in antioxidants and quality. The system is so specialized that only a handful are in use in the entire world. With this system and an ideal climate for cultivating olive trees, a tightly-knit group of artisans create an elite, high-quality oil that has an incredibly high level of polyphenols, which both enhances its intense flavors and elevates its healthy attributes.
"We are striving to be consummate craftsmen, connected to the soil and what it brings forth, and committed to extracting every last ounce of essence at the mill; our mission is to create oils absolutely true to the terroir, and at the highest quality level possible," said Steven Dambeck, Apollo grower/miller/owner. "This recent commendation is a true honor and a powerful validation that our oil – crafted in a tiny corner of the Sierra Foothills – is the nation’s industry leader when it comes to premium olive oil."
The Apollo estate is comprised of 3,000 older trees dating back to 1878, plus more than 4,000 younger trees imported from the great oil-producing regions of the Mediterranean. The large number of olive varieties (44) provides an extraordinary range of flavors, and all of the resultant oils – 100 percent cold-extracted under vacuum – have deep varietal character.
In addition to the world tasting competition in Europe, Apollo Olive Oil was also recently honored closer to home during the 67th Annual L.A. County Fair "Wines of the World" Competition. The Sierra blend was recognized with a Gold Medal while the Mistral, a blend of Provencal varieties, was awarded Gold Medal, "Best of Class."
About Apollo Olive Oil
Steven Dambeck trained as a miller in France and partner Gianni Stefanini trained in Tuscany. They made their first oil here in California in 1997, and began importing trees the same year. Grown, milled and bottled in Yuba County, California, their premium olive oil is available in gourmet retail locations and restaurants located primarily on the West Coast. Three blends of Apollo Olive Oil are currently available: the Certified Organic Sierra , the Certified Organic Mistral , and the Apollo Olive Oil ‘medium fruity’ blend. All are certified "Extra Virgin" by the California Olive Oil Council. For more information or to purchase online, go to www.apollooliveoil.com
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