Aptos, MPC (first and third weeks each month), and Del Monte — find olive oil at Amen Bee Products booth at Del Monte
Santa Cruz County, estate-grown extra virgin olive oil; olive trees including Frantoio, Leccino and Pendolino, typically in 5-gallon containers
Belle Farms, LLC
Steve and Marguerite Remde
233 Peckham Road
Watsonville CA 95076
Belle Farms is a small, family-run farm located in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains that began in 1997 when Steve and Marguerite Remde decided to plant a vineyard on their property in Watsonville. They decided that grapes and olives make the perfect pair, and what started as a small family vineyard soon progressed into the seven acres of olives, and six and a half acres of grapes. Producing outstanding extra virgin olive oil and wine grapes quickly became their passion.
Belle Farms continues to grow and produce award-winning Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the Tuscan tradition with a distinct California flair! Belle Farms Extra Virgin Olive Oil is produced from a harvest blend of five traditional Tuscan olive varieties including Frantoio, Leccino, Pendolino, Maurino and Moraiolo. The olives are hand-picked and cold-pressed within 24 hours of harvest to maintain the olives’ exquisite flavors and health benefits. Belle Farms Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a distinct and well-balanced oil with a delicate, peppery finish. Uniquely flavorful without overpowering other foods, it is a wonderful accompaniment to grilled vegetables, salads, meats, fish and breads.
Belle Farms also offers consultation services to vineyards and orchards.
Awards: 2014 Yolo County Olive Oil Competition – Gold Medal and Best of Class; 2014 Central Coast Olive Oil Competition – Silver Medal
Farmland: 7 acres of olive orchards growing primarily Tuscan varieties: Frantoio, Leccino, Pendolino, Maurino, and Moraiolo; also growing a small selection of French, Greek and Spanish olives. 6 acres of vineyard growing Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and cool-climate Syrah.
Farming Practices: Our orchards are sustainably farmed. We use hand and mechanical cultivation methods to control weeds and gophers.
Pest Management: Registered organic products are used to control pests such as the olive fly and to control disease.
Soil: Composting and cover crops provide micro-nutrients to the soil to maintain a healthy orchard and provide erosion control.
Water: The entire orchard is under a drip irrigation system that incorporates solar power and utilizes an existing reservoir, avoiding the need to irrigate from a well.
Standing in front of the olive oil section in your local grocery store can be quite a confusing experience: extra virgin, virgin or just plain “olive oil?” Imported or domestic? $4.99 or $14.99?
With the plethora of labels and terms used to market olive oil, it is important to understand what Extra Virgin really means in order to make an informed purchase. Here’s what you need to know!