Sonoma County Ranchers Score at New York's 5th Annual International Olive Oil Competition

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Two Pine Mountain ranchers in northern Sonoma County, California have struck Gold and Silver at the 5th Annual New York International Olive Oil Competition. Silverwood Ranch received a Gold and Split Rock Springs Ranch received its third Silver medal in a row, proving that High Elevation olives rock!!

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The same terroir that produces such intense flavors and soft tannins in our grapes produces ultra-premium high quality olives for oil! Glen Lajeski, SRSR

In the recent 5th Annual New York International Olive Oil Competition, two olive oils grown on Cloverdale's Pine Mountain took home awards! Competing with oils produced all over the world, including such widely recognized sources as Italy, Greece and Spain, Pine Mountain's Silverwood Ranch and Split Rocks Springs Ranch (SRSR) oils received Gold and Silver Medals, respectively. This is not the first time for these high quality extra virgin olive oils as they have previously medaled at the Silver level in both New York and Los Angeles.

Silverwood Ranch High Elevation Extra Virgin Olive Oil won a Gold Medal and Split Rock Springs Ranch Organic Medium Blend took Silver for the third year in a row! Like the grapes grown on Pine Mountain - Cloverdale Peak (PM-CP) AVA (American Viticultural Area), the high elevation terroir is capable of producing beautiful, very high quality olives. All entrants into this competition, sponsored by the Olive Oil Times, were judged by internationally renowned olive oil judges.

According to Barry Hoffner, who owns the 1,200 acre Silverwood Ranch with wife Jackie, the olives from their 200 trees are harvested and then pressed within hours, in nearby Hopland, thus preserving the aromatics and flavors of these olives. The olives are a mixture Italian cultivars including Frantoio, Pendolino, Maurino and Leccino. The trees were already three years old when planted in 2005 and produce between 60 - 100 gallons annually. Unfortunately this limited supply, sold in 1/2 gallon bottles by advanced subscription, make it a bit difficult to obtain. The 1200 acre Silverwood Ranch, located high atop Pine Mountain - Cloverdale Peak AVA in northern Alexander Valley near Cloverdale, CA, recently sold their 100 acre Silverwood Vineyard to Francis Ford Coppola Winery.

Split Rock Springs Ranch (SRSR) Organic Medium Blend, produced by ranch owners Glen Lajeski and Gerry Etcheverry, from their 1500 trees has received numerous awards over the past 3 years from both New York and Los Angeles. The olives include mostly Italian and one Spanish cultivar: Arbequina, Moraiolo, Taggiasca, Maurino, Leccino, Frantoio, Pendolino, Coratina. SRSR first commercial production occurred in 2008 just two years after planting. Unlike Silverwood's limited production, SRSR produces about 700 gallons annually. SRSR olive oil can be found locally in Cloverdale, CA and by emailing Glen. Check website for email address. SRSR will also ship in select quantities.

Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak continues to grow its reputation, along with its ultra-premium Bordeaux varietal grapes and olives. Established as an AVA in 2011, PM-CP has seen the entrance of renowned producers like Jackson Family Wines, who have about 100 planted acres within the AVA and Imagery Estates, among other boutique premium labels such as Miro Cellars, Ampère, Bob Dog and Respite Wines. The Family Coppola recently announced the purchase of the 13 acre Silverwood Vineyard, from the Hoffners, to assure the continued sourcing of Pine Mountain fruit for their Francis Ford Coppola flagship Archimedes label.

About Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak AVA

The Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak Appellation was established in December 2011 and is one of the highest elevation grape-growing regions in California. The AVA, which rises from 1,600 feet at its lowest point to 3,000 feet at the mountain’s peak, has grapes growing primarily at 1,800 feet and higher. The very high elevation of the mountain affects fog cover, hours of daylight, daytime and nighttime temperatures, rainfall, and wind — virtually every climatic element influencing wine grape production.

Barry Hoffner

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