San Diego County and Olive OilWe were careful and deliberate when we registered the trademark "Ramona Gold". It sends a direct message to our consumers. This oil is from a place they know, Ramona, the "heart of San Diego County". And the company intends from the very beginning to produce only the best oil possible, "gold medal" quality.
It takes thousands of olive trees to produce enough oil to consistently have a market presence year after year. The olives must be well taken care of and harvested correctly and on time. In 2013 we rejected a batch of olives when the oil did not meet our standards. We aim to create an environment where local olive farmers can combine their high quality crop to reach our target market every year.
We now choose to create small amounts of oil for private labels. We are milling olives to create, enhance and propagate a brand that can live beyond our lifetimes and our involvement in the project. We have proven that San Diego County should be the home to world class olive oil.
Ramona Olive Oil
Planting an Enterprise for our GrandchildrenThere is an ancient saying, probably originally in Greek or Etruscan, that says: "plant grapes for your children and olive trees for your grandchildren". The founders of Ramona Olive Oil Corporation are taking that long view of our endeavor.
Certainly we are growing olive trees now and we are producing world-class olive oil for you to share. But we also believe there is a huge potential here in the hills of San Diego County to make a farming industry based on the ancient magic of olive oil. Every liter of oil we produce and every can of oil you buy makes it more obvious that many more farmers here can join this movement. By the time our grandchildren are on the land we expect this to be an obvious answer to the question: "what is good about living in San Diego?"
Certified Extra Virgin Olive Oil from CaliforniaAmerican consumers, especially those interested in local produce and healthy eating, are discovering extra virgin olive oil. When it is locally produced you know where it came from, what kinds of trees were grown and that it is tested and certified. Here in California we are lucky to have a significant and organized olive oil industry that is willing to put its stamp of approval on our product. The "California Olive Oil Council (COOC)" is dedicated to improving the quality of locally grown oil, educating consumers about the importance of that quality and stamping a certificate on oil that meets those high standards.
Ramona Olive Oil Corporation is proud to be a member of the COOC. We use their educational resources to improve our product and we test it every year before we put it in the can for you to buy. The testing of California Extra Virgin Olive Oil is rigorous and exacting. It demands more from the oil than even the standards proposed by the European Union. Every can of our Ramona Gold carries the seal of the COOC and the date of harvest is clearly stated on the can. The chemical composition of the oil is analyzed by selected independent laboratories. The taste of the oil is subjected to an expert taste panel trained through the COOC and UC Davis. If the chemistry is wrong or the taste has ANY flaws it cannot be labeled "Extra Virgin", nor can it carry the COOC seal.
What a beautiful, strange packageOur customers first see our can and wonder "why do you use that packaging?". It looks like a can of lighter fluid and has the same type of flip-top dispenser. We picked this package for the same reasons the Zippo lighter company picks their can. It is light weight, it is leak proof and it is very convenient. In addition, olive oil is very sensitive to light and air; the less exposure, the better for the oil. Clear glass containers are used to show off the beautiful gold color of olive oil. They also let in immense amounts of ultraviolet light which breaks down the healthy molecules of olive oil. Olive oil sitting in a clear glass container under florescent lights or sunlight will have a very short shelf life. Dark glass bottles are better, but still pass a lot of light.
Tin cans have been used for centuries to protect and transport bulk olive oil. The tin keeps out the air and light better than anything short of a stone amphora. Recently some small cans have been introduced for direct sale to consumers. Other cans we have tested had problems with the pour spout which tends to leak and is hard to reseal.
Ramona Gold has picked this can because the pour spout seals extraordinarily well. It does not leak. It drizzles the thick, rich golden oil over salad or onto bread at just the right speed. You can enjoy the oil without fearing a spill or an avalanche at the wrong instant. The can fits comfortably in your hand. It packs tightly for shipping and is much lighter than glass.
Who We Are
Ramona Gold was founded by three families with ties to the nascent San Diego County wine industry:
Bill and Kathie Schweitzer helped start the Ramona Valley Vineyard Association in 2002 and chaired the committee that created the Ramona Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA). They planted Tuscan variety olive trees at the same time they planted their first vineyards. They have appreciated fresh Tuscan olive oil since the mid 1990's. They are the owners of Paccielo Vineyard, the producer of Ramona Gold.
David Billick is the Publisher and co-founder of the Ramona Valley Wine Region Magazine. His background in graphics design and publishing have been essential to starting our company. He also learned the wonders of fresh olive oil while traveling in Italy.