Showing posts from 2017

Are You the Kid Tap Dancing While Soccer Balls are Flying Around You?

There has been quite a lot written about being that girl on the right.  The last few of our blogs have had an underlying theme about vision, being in a class of one's own, and thinking outside the box.  There have been many people throughout history who have been that person on the right that were hugely successful -- Steve Jobs, to mention one name.  However, many people who were that person on the right believed in themselves and never really knew success.  Van Gogh, for instance, only sold one painting during his life.

Our ranch is located in a virtual sea of grapevines and wineries.  We, too, make wine -- but only for fun or maybe just to annoy ourselves.  When we decided to do something commercially, we thought, "Let's be different than everyone else.  Let's grow something that no one else on this canyon is growing, olives."  The olive oil soon followed.
While there is one winery on our canyon that sells olive oil, their business is wine.  We are the lone …

Achieving Excellence or Flying Too Close to the Sun? 🙈 #EVOO

You might be looking at the above picture and thinking, "Wow, look at that, Gold, Gold, Gold, Best of Class, Best of California."

But we are reviewing our 2016 vintage and thinking, "How can we improve?  How can we do this better?"  What do we hope to achieve?

For one, we hope to spread the word about our oils and how they can be used daily.  We can emphatically say that they are quality oils.  We work to get every detail right, from growing to harvesting, to selection of our mill, to formulating, to labels, to bottling, and then growing that enthusiasm about using olive oil daily and encouraging our family and fans to spread the word.

One of the glaring areas of improvement as the creator of our flavored oils is that one silver medal.  If you know us, you'll know that silver is better than bronze, but we want this oil to have a gold medal -- not because we want medals, but because we want to offer the absolute best that can be offered.  This oil in past yea…

Proper Storage of Olive Oil - Do As We Say, Not As We Do

I was recently asked by a friend what the best way to store olive oil is.  Of course, my eyes wandered over to the sight above, the numerous bottles of EVOO filling our counter top.  Pretending I was not seeing what was across from me, I proceeded to provide her with the following information about what can diminish the quality of the olive oil:
LIGHT:  Keep your olive oil away from light (natural or otherwise).  Store in a dark cabinet or closet to prevent exposure;  You will notice that in the worst case scenario above, the olive oil is directly in the light.HEAT:  Keep your olive oil away from any source of heat.   Again, you will notice that in the worst case scenario above, the olive oil is directly next to the stove.COLD:  Do not refrigerate or freeze.AIR:  Seal your bottles of olive oil tightly.  Do not store your oil with pourers left in the bottle.  Air can get in even more quickly through pourers.  If air gets into your oil, it can cause it to break down more quickly and bec…

In a Class of Your Own? Why Your Vision Matters.

Can You See Our Vision or Does Smoke Get in Your Eyes?
In the olive oil business, we are always looking for innovative ways olive oil can be used, which leads to creative thinking as to what type of olive oil to create in the first place.  Many producers offer the basics, an EVOO, a citrus olive oil, and an herbed olive oil. A few blog posts ago, I quoted George Patton, who said, "If everybody is thinking alike, then someone isn't thinking."

We are one of the smallest olive oil producers amidst a sea of large olive oil producers, so we need to distinguish ourselves from the rest of the producers, try harder, work faster, and visualize concepts others have not yet tried.  Many times, customers ask what can be made with our oils.  We provide suggestions on our Facebook Page as well under "Mealtime Inspiration" on our blog page, but there are times when some just do not understand our concept.

Such is the case with our smoked olive oil.  We began testing this oil …

AyO Wins Three Medals in Napa + Our Mid-Year Resolutions

We're pleased to share that Rancho Azul y Oro has been honored with three medals in the Napa Valley Olive Oil Competition: A Silver Medal for our Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a Silver Medal for our Orange-Infused Olive Oil, and a Bronze Medal for our Lemon-Infused Olive Oil.

With this announcement comes the end of our competition year, a full-court press to finish bottling and labeling, taking advantage of every opportunity to market and share the oil with you (Translation: Buy Olive Oil).

This stage also causes us to review and reflect upon how we can improve things next year, call it our New Year's in May:

Avoid rookie mistakes:  Review established procedures each year and follow them to avoid errors we made when we were newbies that shouldn't be happening.  Most mistakes happen when we're in a hurry and there is a price to be paid for haste.Refine and Rework:  Crafting recipes to infuse olive oil is rocket science, combined with art, as are many businesses.  If s…

Central Coast Olive Oil Competition Results and Update

We got word late last week that we received four awards from the Central Coast Olive Oil Competition.  We were awarded a Silver Medal for our Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a Silver Medal for our Lemon-Infused Olive Oil, a Bronze Medal for our Orange-Infused Olive Oil, and a Bronze Medal for our Smoked Olive Oil.

We are attempting, ourselves, to make sense out of the inconsistencies between the different judging panels.  The O/C member of our team reviews results with the plan of doing things better each year, and scrutinizes every fact provided but just cannot reconcile the results.  Some might suggest we ought to just celebrate the 12 awards we've received this year, with an additional two Best of Class Awards, but yet, we are left SOH (shaking our heads), as they say.  There are producers who submitted and did not win awards, so we are thrilled that, on the whole, all of our oils are award-winning.

So, what mountain is left to scale this year?  One of the BIG competitions, Napa.…

Rancho Azul y Oro Wins Gold Medal, Best of Class, and Two Silver Medals!

It was announced today by the Yolo County Olive Oil Competition that Rancho Azul y Oro won a Gold Medal for it's Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a Best of Class Medal for our Arbequina Blend, Robust Intensity.  AyO was also awarded a Silver Medal for both its Lemon-Infused Olive Oil and its Orange-Infused Olive Oil.

The Yolo County Olive Oil Competition is the second largest olive oil competition in the U.S., second only to the L.A. Cunty Fair Wine and Olive Oil Competition.  

Discover California's newest gold for yourself, why not try some of our award-winning olive oil?

Rancho Azul y Oro Wins a Silver Medal and Two Gold Medals, Best of Class + Best of California - California State Fair

It was announced on March 24th that Rancho Azul y Oro won a Silver Medal for its Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and a Gold Medal for it's Orange-Infused Olive oil, which was also awarded Best of Class for Infused Olive Oils and Best of California Flavored Olive Oil.  We were also awarded a Gold Medal for our Smoked Olive Oil.

As if that wasn't plenty, today, our Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil was awarded a Silver Medal from the San Joaquin Valley Olive Oil Competition.

Why not reward yourself and discover California's new gold and try our olive oil?

Thanks for the recognition, it is all quite an honor.  Now, back to bottling and getting all that farm work done!

Rancho Azul y Oro Wins Silver Medal in the 2017 COOC Olive Oil Competition!

The California Olive Oil Council announced the winners of its 2017 Olive Oil Competition (2017 COOC Competition Winners).  We were thrilled to be among the producers who were awarded a silver medal for our 2017 Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Since this is the governing professional organization for olive oil producers in California, they only accept entries that are EVOO, which eliminates any flavored oils.  Once an oil is either co-milled with or infused with anything, it is no longer EVOO.

We have entered our EVOO and our flavored oils in additional competitions but were pleased to start off 2017 with this announcement.

Congratulations to all of the winners!

From the Rancho Kitchen - Banana-Dark Chocolate-Olive Oil Muffins

We were preparing for a tasting of our olive oil today, and as we always do, we create food with our olive oil using recipes that either we create or that we believe will pair well with our oils.  The goal?  To demonstrate how EVOO can be integrated into everyone's daily meals without too much difficulty.

On the whole, we were pleased with these muffins, although I will be making a few tweaks in the future, at which time, we'll print up recipe cards, which we always provide with our oils.
Here is a picture of the finished product:
Do you have a favorite muffin recipe that you'd like us to try to convert using EVOO?  Let us know!