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Copper Hill began as a father and son project focusing on sustainable agriculture. In 2002, twenty acres of olive trees were planted on what is named Copper Hill due to the soil taking on a copper tone during sunset. The first harvest, in 2004, produced two tons of olives and four years later another thirty acres were planted currently yielding three to four tons of olives an acre. Labeled with Artemis, the goddess of hunting, holding an olive branch instead of a spear, the spirit of Copper Hill now lay within the Molinaro Family. Deep rooted in our Italian heritage, we adhere to continuing the tradition of Copper Hill: producing high quality, California extra-virgin olive oil.
Our oils come from olives grown on the Copper Hill ranch alongside nearby family owned Northern Californian olive groves. We currently produce three varieties of extra virgin olive oil: Arbequina, Koroneiki, and Frantoio. Arbequina, a Spanish varietal, is a medium bodied olive oil with a freshly cut grass taste, floral undertones, and is great for salad dressing, cooking fish, or dipping bread. Koroneiki a Greek varietal is full-bodied oil with a robust, peppery finish that makes the perfect finishing oil on signature dishes. Frantoio, an Italian varietal, grows in tall olive trees, is hand picked, and provides a very mild flavor perfect for every day cooking needs.
Olives, like grapes in the Stags Leap District of Napa, yield a better fruit in what most might consider undesirable soil. To our good fortune, the Copper Hill land is made up of rocky, red, clay-like soil, and perfect for growing olive trees. We use sustainable growing practices and follow organic guidelines when possible. Our olives are harvested, and within hours of being picked they are cold pressed once, without any heat, a milling process known as First Cold Press. This ensures a product in its freshest and most pure form, containing a high level of anti-oxidants, preserving great depth of flavor, and resulting in pure extra virgin olive oil.
Distributor, Taste-Tester (of all things)
Dave, a true entrepreneur in spirit, began his distribution business in 1991. Now, with a successful, well-respected company in Yolo County, Dave comes to Copper Hill not only with a business background, but a love for high quality great tasting food products. An Italian upbringing created a food culture about the ingredients, where they come from, and how they are used. He cures his own olives, produces award winning homemade wines and is currently trying to master the perfect Spanish style Jamon (Ham). Prior to joining the Copper Hill team, Dave was an avid user of Copper Hill extra virgin olive oil. When the opportunity to bridge Copper Hill with his business expertise presented itself he realized it was the perfect match to grow the company and share the difference in taste that he and his family have come to value so much.
I like to take a teaspoon of our Arbequina extra virgin olive oil and fry a free range brown egg until the edges are crispy. Served with a piece of toasted sourdough bread and a little salt and pepper, it's the simple things I love most!
Food and Wine Guy
Ken has spent many years living internationally and is currently enjoying his recent retirement from a career in the hotel industry. From the same Italian upbringing and appreciation for high quality ingredients, he considers himself to be a true gourmand and excellent cook. For over twenty-five years Ken has been involved in the California wine business tasting some of the finest wines in the world, developing one of the best palates here at Copper Hill. Ken uses his background in food and beverage alongside his international contacts to help source gourmet food products for all our Copper Hill customers to enjoy. Some day, he hopes to produce extra-virgin olive oil from the trees he planted at his Umbrian home.
A dash of Copper Hill olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, fresh ground pepper and a pinch of salt makes a great, fresh tasting dressing for a romaine salad. Add some finely sliced red onion and some shaved Parmesan and you have the perfect side dish for any day of the week.
Director of Operation
John comes to Copper Hill from a historical farming background dating back to 1877 when the Poundstone family began cultivating what is now 7,000 acres of land. After years of managing the family farm, John knew he wanted to use his appreciation and passion for the land to help create something outside of the farm. John and Dave met in 2002, sprouting a friendship from mutual respect of their individual knowledge and love for the food industry. John brings his agricultural expertise to Copper Hill as he cultivates relationships with local growers who are stewards of their land promoting sustainability, locality, and creating the ability to produce and provide a high quality product to consumers.
I am a fan of Copper Hill's Koroneiki Extra Virgin olive oil. The smooth texture and peppery finish is a great addition to a fresh mozzarella, cherry tomato and basil pasta, delici