Campodonico Olive Farm
We are a family owned and operated farm on sixteen acres at 1300 feet elevation in Lake County California. Our nine acres of orchards are nestled among some of the best Sauvignon Blanc vineyards in California and share the afternoon breezes from Clear Lake.
Our olive oil story began in 2008, when we became entranced with the idea of growing olives after a week in Tuscany, Italy where we stayed in an old stone farmhouse entirely surrounded by a centuries-old olive orchard. It was March and pruning was underway in all the neighboring orchards. We thought – “We can do this!”
Armed only with the experience and enthusiasm of long time, mostly urban vegetable gardeners, we took up the challenge of finding out everything we needed to know about growing olives for oil in rural California. After a year’s search we found our future farm site in Lake County, bordered by a tree-lined slough, hayfields and a vineyard. We are still learning, and are trying something new every year. We are always incredibly grateful to have found a place of great natural beauty and home to so much wildlife: blue herons, owls, quail, gopher snakes, bobcats, deer and coyotes.
From the outset we were determined to grow our olives organically. We began with 325 Tuscan variety olive trees from the McEvoy tree nursery on two and a half acres in 2010 and have expanded to over a thousand trees on nine acres. In 2013 we were certified organic by CCOF and harvested our first olives, barely enough to mill into oil to share with our family. We labeled the oil that first year, “Primo Raccolto,” first harvest. Seven harvests later, we produce an award-winning extra virgin olive oil. We welcome family and friends at the farm to participate in our harvest, celebrating afterwards with a Harvest Dinner.
Aside from being an organic olive oil, we value our certification as an extra virgin olive oil from COOC as proof that we have a superior product. Time and time again we get inquiries from potential customers who want to make sure that, indeed, our oil is extra virgin. We can point to the specific description of our oil each year from the COOC taste panel as a reliable profile of our oil’s quality.