In 1995, Dr. Jan Krupp, whom Peggy met through a mutual winemaking friend, began redeveloping Stagecoach Vineyard, and eventually planted olive trees on the property as companions to the grapevines. Along with Mission and a mix of Italian varietals – which are blended for our Stagecoach Italian Varietals oil -- Krupp grows the Spanish varietal Arbequina, which is pressed alone for this oil.
The Arbequina is the major cultivar of Catalonia in northeast Spain. Although thousands of these trees have been brought into California in the last ten years, these are the only Arbequina trees we know of in the Napa Valley. So because there were plenty, we decided to harvest them separately and produce what we think may be the only 100% Napa Valley Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the world.
Characteristics: grassy up front with stronger pungency
Tasting Bar Position: 4
Method of Production: Blade Press. Olivino Hopland, CA
Total Production: 55 gallons
Harvest Date: November 7, 2013
In our store in St. Helena we have a tasting bar where you can walk through a tasting of all of our oils. To try to bring that experience to you virtually, we are ranking the oils in order of their taste.
In evaluation of an extra virgin olive oil, you look for three positive characteristics:
A. Fruitiness - smell and taste - descriptors are mowed lawn, alfalfa, artichoke, etc.....
B. Bitterness - taste only - makes you grimace....as in a bitter lettuce.
C. Pungency - taste only - burn in your throat...described as "peppery". Attributed to higher levels of polyphenols which are antioxidants.
The order on the bar from the lightest to the "biggest" are as follows:
1. Hawks Feather Blade Press EVOO - More buttery style oil with slight pungency
2. Stagecoach Italian Varietal EVOO - light fruitiness with a mild pungent finish
3. Pedregal Italian Varietal EVOO - grassy up front with mild pungency
4. Stagecoach Arbequina EVOO - grassy up front with stronger pungency
5. Olio Nuovo Central Valley EVOO - soft fruitiness with strong pungent finish
6. Epstein Family EVOO - Strong balance of grass, bitterness and pungency....a "big" oil