Growing up near the wine country definitely had advantages. I still have a lot of friends who work in wine sales and production. I've toured a lot of wineries that are not open to the public and been educated by the owner's themselves. I take full advantage of the opportunity to learn as much as I can when chatting with people. I'm always curious and want to learn more.
Did you know that the first California vineyard was planted at Mission San Diego in the 1700's? They say the Spanish Mission System is highly responsible for the wine origin in California. Father Juniper Serra is called, "Father of California Wine." The grapes he used to plant have become well known and often referred to as the "Mission Grape." The vines were transported from Europe (mostly Spain) and were planted in Los Angeles. The climate/region is very similar to those back in Spain and France. A man named, Agoston, went on to plant vines all over Northern California evolving what we call today the "Wine Country."
Now a lot of tourists from all over the world come to the wine country to taste the wine. Little do they realize they are also in olive country. Olive oil is often considered, "liquid gold." It's been used for many things from lamps, skincare, cooking, etc. and has been dated back over 2,000 years ago in the bible. Did you know that California makes up for 95% of all Olive Oil in the U.S.? Not very people realize this.
I'm a huge olive oil fan. I cook with it, use it on my skin, buy olive oil soap, and indulge myself with with bread and vinegar. During the time that the grapes vines were being planted so were the olive trees. Spain also brought over the olive trees. Makes perfect sense considering that they were shipping the grape vines at the time. All I have to say is, Thank you, Spain!!! California Olive Oil is known for some of the best oil in the world. You can visit some of the olive tasting rooms just as you can wine.
Here are some of my favorites. I love these brands so much that I have them ship bottles out to Texas for me. I thought I'd share my little secret with y'all.