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Ferrari Owners Club » Highlights » SoCal » Event Highlights » TEMECULA OLIVE OIL RANCH TASTING AND TOUR

Mar 21, 2018

Article by FOC Board Chairman Rich Adams – “I joined the Club because of the cars, I remain a member because of the people.”

The event started off on a beautiful Southern California Sunday morning with two ride and drives.  Denny and Susie Olsen led a group of FOC San Diego Region drivers and their spouses from quaint downtown Rancho Santa Fe California through the scenic hills out the Del Dios Hwy. and headed north toward Temecula, California.   Tommy and Shannon Tallarico graciously provided coffee and pastries to the second group of FOC Orange County drivers and their spouses at their beautiful home in the private Hunt Club development, in San Juan Capistrano, California.  I led the Orange County group out the famous Ortega Hwy., also known as the Palms to Pines Hwy., toward Lake Elsinore California, then south on the 15 Frwy. toward Temecula. 

Ferraris were driven to Temecula from as far north as Beverly Hills and Rancho Palos Verde and as far south as downtown San Diego.  There were a nice variety of Ferraris driven on the event.  Paul and Susie Olsen drove their beautiful silver 550 Maranello, and John Adkins his cool burgundy 456.  Another member drove his silver 575 Maranello, and Tommy and Shannon Tallarico their red hot 458 Italia. Then there was a bright silver 458 Italia, and of course Jackie and I with our rare yellow 512 Testarossa.  I have to admit, my favorite Ferrari was Tom and Kat Sneddon’s eye-popping white/black 599-VX.

After driving through the beautiful rolling hills of the Temecula wine country we headed out toward the Temecula Olive Oil Company’s Ranch.   The Ranch is located in the back hills of San Diego County where the Temecula Olive Oil Company has a working olive tree grove where they grow, harvest and process the olive fruit.  Yes I said fruit.  We learned that olives are a fruit.  We split into two groups with one group initially doing the olive oil tasting, and the second group doing a tour of the Ranch’s experimental grove and processing facilities.  Then the two groups switched places.

The tasting was a wonderful experience.  Co-owner Catherine Pepe provided some history of the Company while describing the tasting process, including what we were going to experience.  They had just processed and pressed some olives the day before and we were given the opportunity to taste that wonderfully fresh buttery olive oil.  They had also infused some of their olive oil with different herbs such as basil and garlic for us to enjoy.  We were fortunate to have hard working Lisa Grammatico, Events Coordinator, serve us during the tasting. After tasting a variety of fresh and flavored olive oils individually, we were provided the opportunity to pair them with a selection of flavored balsamic vinegars.  Wow, what a wonderful and unique experience that was. Nothing beats fresh!!




Learning about the importance of quickly crushing and pressing the olives as soon as they are harvested from the trees was impressed upon us.  Time is of the essence and the Temecula Olive Oil Company has taken this seriously to the point of acquiring several mobile crushing and pressing units in order to process the olives right in the groves.

The tour of their experimental olive grove, and the crushing and pressing building was provided by co-owner and extremely knowledgeable, Tom Curry.  In the shade of the trees, (Did I tell you it was over 100 degrees in the sun?) we were taught about the many different species of olive trees, some of which the Ranch has acquired from North Africa, Tunisia, Spain, Turkey, Italy, Portugal, etc.  They have 32 varieties of olives in the experimental grove.  We were informed that all of the varieties love the California climate. 

Viewing the crushing and pressing equipment, much of which has been designed by Tom, followed the tour of the experimental olive grove.  Tom has critically studied the traditional approaches to processing olive oil and improved their equipment to provide fresher tasting olive oil, henceforth the extensive use of stainless steel.  Tom cautioned us that when purchasing olive oil one must observe three critical pieces of information, 1) the date on which the olive oil was made, (the more recent the better because shelf life is approximately 18 months), 2) that a dark bottle is used to protect the oil from light (also store in a cool dark place) and 3) that the olive oil was made by Temecula Olive Oil Company. (You can sample and purchase their olive oil and related products from their stores located in Old Town Temecula, Old Town San Diego, Seal Beach and Solana Beach.)

Following the olive oil tasting and grove tour, the event participants convoyed back into Temecula for lunch at Romano’s Macaroni Grill.  At Romano’s, General Manager, Elisabetta Baratti, had made arrangements for appropriate Ferrari parking with our own attendant, and for the FOC members to enjoy a two course meal with a choice of two salads and a dozen delicious and varied entrees.  We sat at two long tables so that conversation was cheerful and lively.

I think Tom Sneddon summarized the event well.  “Always love the drives.”  “Both Kat and I loved the experience (at the Ranch) and bought some oils to enhance our cooking and salads.”  “The group of people (at Romano’s) were great and the service for our group was very good.”

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