Known today for providing grapes to some of California's top wineries, Stagecoach Vineyard is located in the southeastern hills of Napa Valley. The property had been successfully farmed throughout the 1800s, but fell fallow in the early 1900s after a growing deer population resulted in extensive crop loss.
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 the Spanish varietals Arbequina and Mission, Krupp also grows a mix of Italian varietals -- including Pendolino, Frantoio and Leccino -- that are blended with Mission for this olive oil.
Characteristics: light fruitiness with a mild pungent finish
Tasting Bar Position: 2
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