100 Percent Campus-Grown: Gunrock and Wolfskill Olive Oils

Davis, Calif., (July 21, 2017) – New UC Davis Olive Oils (and vinegars) hit the shelves this week!

Three oils and three vinegars come in the deluxe sampler, displayed here at the Campus Store.

Gunrock Olive Oil, a mainstay of the UC Davis Olive Center’s 12-year-old olive oil sales program, is back — only now this extra virgin oil has the “estate” designation, meaning the oil is made entirely from UC Davis olives.

Gunrock Estate is one of two estate oils this year. The other is the first UC Davis Olive Oil in nine years to come from the university’s Wolfskill Ranch, where olives have been grown since 1842.

The Olive Center has previously made oil from the olives of Wolfskill’s older trees, but the new Wolfskill Reserve Estate extra virgin olive oil is from the first harvest of a grove planted in 2012 on the Winters-area ranch, now the Wolfskill Experimental Orchards.

“This is a milestone year for us, to have enough trees so that we’re not having to supplement our harvest with donated olives,” said Dan Flynn, executive director of the Olive Center.

The olive oil program had relied on donated olives every year but one — the first year, 2005, when all of the olives came from trees along Russell Boulevard (see box). Since then, the Olive Center has developed three new orchards: two off Hutchison Drive, west of Highway 113, and the one at Wolfskill farther west — comprising a total of about 1,000 early-bearing trees.

Bottles of 100 and 250 milliliters, with new label designs and two new estate blends for 2017.

The most recent harvest took place in mid-November, with help from student volunteers. The olive haul produced 580 gallons of oil, enough for the two 100 percent campus-grown oils and more.

“Even our Roasted Garlic Olive Oil is mostly extra virgin oil from UC Davis olives, with flavored oil added in,” Flynn said.

The vinegar in this year’s product lineup is the first to come from the Olive Center since 2008’s release of Dinny, a red wine vinegar made on campus and named after the late Albert Dinsmoor “Dinny” Webb, who was a professor in the Department of Viticulture and Enology.

This year, the Olive Center imported three vinegars from Modena, Italy: Barrel-Aged Balsamic Vinegar, D’Anjou Pear White Balsamic Vinegar and Mission Fig Balsamic Vinegar, all described as having “the perfect balance of sweet and tart.”

The oils and vinegars are available at the Campus Store (Memorial Union) and two other UC Davis Stores: Welcome Center and Downtown, and can also be purchased online. Proceeds help support the Olive Center.

Read what graduates have to say about being part of the Olive Center lab team.

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