Oregon Olive Observance

By Wine Press Staff

Oregon’s Willamette Valley has been growing Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris for the past four decades, but for Ken and Penny Durant, it’s not about just grapes anymore; they’ve embraced Oregon’s new trend of olives, too.

The Durants first planted olives in 2005 and now have 13,000 trees on 17 acres of their Dayton property — also home to Red Ridge Farms (a nursery and garden shop), Durant Vineyards and a wine country cottage. Adding to their already impressive set of businesses, two years ago they built the Oregon Olive Mill, Yamhill County’s first olive oil-pressing facility and Oregon’s largest.

To celebrate the 2010 olive harvest, the Durants will host a special dinner Nov. 13. Featuring Simpatica’s Scott Ketterman, the five-course meal will focus on fresh-pressed oil and be paired with Durant Vineyards wine.

To further commemorate this year’s olive harvest, the Durants will host their second annual Olio Nuovo Festa, Nov. 19–21. The three-day event will honor the age-old Italian tradition of celebrating the season’s first pressing of olive oil.

“Our festival is very similar to the way the French celebrate the young Beaujolais Nouveau wine,” said Paul Durant, son of Ken and Penny and co-founder of the Oregon Olive Mill. “In Italy, and now in Oregon, we are celebrating the new olive harvest fresh from the orchard.

“Fresh cold-pressed olive oil has long been recognized as the finest, best-tasting olive oil available and eagerly sought after for its fruity, grassy flavors,” he added.

Guests at the festival will have a chance to see how the oil is made on the Mill’s imported Italian press and enjoy tastes of available olive oils — varieties include Arbequina from Spain, Koroneiki from Greece, as well as a Tuscan blend — plus sample estate wine. 


Olive Harvest Dinner
Location: Oregon Olive Mill (Red Ridge)
Address: 5700 N.W. Breyman Orchards Rd., Dayton
Date/Time: Nov. 13, 5:30 p.m.
Tickets: $89 (includes pairings/gratuity)
Info: 503-864-2200;

Olio Nuovo Festa
Location: Oregon Olive Mill (Red Ridge)
Address: 5700 N.W. Breyman Orchards Rd., Dayton
Date/Time: Nov. 19 to 21, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tickets: Complimentary
Info: 503-864-2200;

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