Olea Farm Olive Oil Templeton, CA


Photo: Owner Yves Julien (right) shows Green Acres Lavender Farm owners his new crop.

Olea Farm Olive Oil & Tatsting Room 2985 Templeton Rd. Templeton, CA 93422. Call: (805) 610-2258. oleafarm.com

Templeton, Calif.--There's a saying that when in Rome, do as the Romans do. But in California, put your thinking cap on. Why would you want buy olive oil that can be up to a year old and shipped all the way from Rome, when you can purchase it fresh off the farm in California?

Olive oil sampling in our opinion, is even better that wine tasting, and there's an abundance of olive oil shops and farms where you can stop to sample olive oil fresh from the producers, themselves.

A superb line of olive oils that consistently ranks among the finest are produced by Olea Farm, owned by a French couple, Yves and Clotilde Julien. They grow their own olives that are pressed and bottled fresh, supplying the exotic and flavorful blends that are used by gourmet restaurants, win Gold Medal awards at state fairs, and are sold by the likes of The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills. If you've met the owner of the cheese shop, you'll know that only the finest quality products come in and go out his door.

While distribution of this flavorful olive oil is limited, your best bet is to buy it from the owners, direct. You can call and order it or go online, but we recommend a trip to the Central Coast where many farms feature a variety of produce you can sample and purchase the old-fashioned way. See: oleafarm.com

1,000 silvery green Arbequina olive trees line the driveway that meanders up to the Olea Farm tasting room in Templeton. The tasting room is open on weekends, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and is a charming place where you are surrounded by French antique furniture, some for sale. Beware! You may come for olive oil and end up purchasing a gorgeous, French antique armoire.

The Juliens love fine things, such as European ideals and traditions that are a quintessential part of the olive oil culture. With Central Coast hospitality and a French accent, Clotilde leads her guests through the flavors and textures of the oil that is uniquely Californian. The tasting room showcases their award winning Arbequina olive oil, two expertly blended oils, Crescendo and European; along with the delicately flavored lemon and basil oils. Arbequina is a favorite of some of the finest chefs and restaurants in Los Angeles while a lemon flavored oil was designed and created for a famous chef. It is lively blend with that slight, uplifting burst of lemon. Have fun sampling olive oil, often served with small pieces of bread, and begin introducing quality olive oil into your diet.

Though it isn't proven that olive oil has health benefits, the Mediterranean diet seems to suggest that. Instead of using margarine and butter in your cooking, it's easy to replace it with olive oil and when it is fresh, it can't be beat!

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