California olive oil carries on a tradition that dates back to ancient times. Olive trees were cultivated in the Mediterranean region as early as 3000 BC, and through the millennia olive oil has been widely used for cooking, lighting, medicinal purposes, body care, and even as a weapon of war. Franciscan missionaries brought the first olive trees to the New World in the 16th century and then into California from Mexico in the late 1700s. Many orchards were neglected for decades after the mission system ended in 1834. During the mid to late 1800s cuttings were taken from the old mission orchards and additional varieties were brought from Mediterranean countries.
Our Picholine olive trees, imported from France, are a rarity in a region dominated by Italian and Spanish varietals. They were planted in the 1870s as part of a growing olive oil industry that, under pressure from cheaper European imports, went into decline at the turn of the 20th century. In the early 1990s new pioneers represented by Bruce Cohn and others brought about a renaissance in California olive oil leading to a new recognition of California olive oils as a world-class offering.
One of the first olive oils produced in Sonoma County in nearly a century, B.R. Cohn’s Sonoma Estate Picholine Extra Virgin Olive Oil is considered to be one of California’s finest. Produced in very limited quantities, the Sonoma Estate olive oil is only available from the B.R. Cohn Winery. Our certified extra virgin olive oils include: Estate Picholine, Organic, Tuscan blend, Unfiltered and a California blend. A selection of citrus olive oils and a Balsamic & Garlic Herb Dipping Oil round out the family of oils.
All B.R. Cohn non-flavored extra virgin olive oils bear the Seal of Quality from the California Olive Oil Council (COOC), having passed laboratory analysis to measure acidity and blind tasting by a panel of experts to ensure they are free of defects. As the United States currently has no legal definition for “extra virgin”, the COOC seal is your guarantee of quality. COOC experts are certified by and adhere to the same strict guidelines as the International Olive Oil Council in Madrid.
Presented in elegant Italian glass bottles, our extra virgin olive oils make exquisite gifts for the epicurean in everyone. Use them in salads, soups, and pasta dishes. Drizzle over grilled vegetables, fish, or goat’s cheese. Substitute for butter in recipes to reduce fat and cholesterol. The possibilities are as endless as your creativity.