The Westside Paso Robles acreage is home to about 6,000 olive trees, which — although not yet certified as such — are farmed organically and sustainably, explained Wieczorek. When harvest time rolls around, typically mid- to late-November before the first frost hits, all the fruit is hand-picked by “about 60 to 80 pickers over 13 to 15 days.”
Within just three hours or less of harvesting, the olives are processed onsite at Pasolivo. The field matter (twigs, leaves, etc.) is removed at various stages before the entire olive, including pit and skin, goes into the olive press.
Centrifuges separate out the oil from the water content and from the fruit’s “paste,” the latter of which is then put back out into the orchard as compost.
The whole process of pressing the oil takes about two hours, but Pasolivo’s work isn’t done yet. In order to qualify for “Extra Virgin” certification by the California Olive Oil Council, the oil has to be sent for rigorous independent chemical testing and blind sensory analysis. If it doesn’t meet all the factors in both areas, it won’t get that coveted COOC blessing.Pasolivo’s line of olive oils continues to impress,