While many farmers are wrapping up the busy summer harvest season, olive producers swing into action in the late fall. Harvest begins at the moment when we feel the fruit has ripened to a point where it will produce the award-winning Tuscan-style extra virgin olive oil we are known for. The date is also affected by numerous unpredictable variables, such as temperature drops and inclement weather. Depending on the weather during a given year, harvest can occur anytime from early October to late December.
All olives mature from green to black and all the ombré shades in between over a period of time. Color indicates how ripe the fruit is, which translates into many of the flavor attributes present in an olive oil. In general, fruit that is picked when it is dark purple or black will tend to produce an oil with ripe fruit flavors, reminiscent of fresh walnuts, butter, or ripe stone fruit. Greener olives will yield an oil with strong green fruit flavors and higher bitterness and pungency, due to polyphenol levels. At McEvoy Ranch we hand-harvest a careful mix of green and purple fruit to create an oil with green fruit flavors and balanced bitterness and pungency, producing notes of freshly cut grass, fresh herbs, and green tea.