Most USA olive oils come from California. The reason lies in California’s ideal geographical location for growing olive trees.
But as always, not all brands that make olive oil are quality ones, and some of them sell pretty low-quality olive oils, which should be avoided.
Because of that, I decided to share my favorite California olive oil brands that are proven to produce only high-quality olive oil year by year.
1. California Olive Ranch
California Olive Ranch olive oil brand is my number one recommendation if you’re looking for a brand that sells only high-quality extra virgin olive oils.
They’ve been featured in plenty of famous journals such as Tasting Table, Food&Wine, EatingWell, etc. Besides that, their olive oils have acquired some impressive awards.
Let me mention just some of the awards they’ve been getting lately:
- NYIOOC 2022, 2023 – Gold Medal
- California State Fair Olive Oil Competition 2022, 2023 – Gold Medal
- NYIOOC 2020, 2021 – Silver Medal
Those are just a few and trust me; they have plenty of awards for their olive oils.
They have plenty of different olive oils, all being high in quality, but my favorite is Reserve Collection: Miller’s Blend, which I think deserves special attention. Its taste is fantastic, as it’s a blend of Arbequina, Arbosana, and Koroneiki olives, all grown in California.
2. Burroughs Family Farms
Burroughs Family Farms sells all kinds of organic products, such as organic olive oil, almonds, almond butter, etc. They have all the certificates required to confirm their organic production, including USDA certificates.
That way, you know you’re getting a high-quality product. I suggest checking out this olive oil brand if you want to help smaller businesses thrive while still purchasing extremely quality EVOO.
They only have one type of olive oil: Burroughs Family Farms Organic California Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Cold Pressed . And honestly, it has a fantastic taste. It’s bitter just enough so you know it’s rich in antioxidants, and I liked this olive oil a lot.
3. Cobram Estate
Cobram Estate is one of those olive oil brands that all other brands should look into and start learning from them. Cobram Estate is positioned in Sacramento Valley, and they have a full process of olive oil creation: from their own nursery to olive oil, and after that, even testing the olive oil to ensure it’s a high-quality product.
What really amazed me was the time it took them to press the olives after harvesting them. They swear that the olives are always pressed within 4-6 hours after harvesting, which is extremely hard to accomplish for most other oil brands. That way, they ensure that none of the olives started to oxidize, and that they get extremely healthy and quality extra virgin olive oils.
While Cobram Estate sells a few different olive oils such as California Select, Australia Select, Essentials, Artisan Collection, and First Harvest, if I had to pick one olive oil that’s best, it’s First Harvest, IMHO. The taste and look of this olive oil is insane, and the acidity is extremely low (<0.3%). The only downside (even though it shows that they’re a serious olive oil brand) is that you can’t buy this oil all year round.
So, If you’re buying olive oil outside of Autumn, I suggest checking out their California Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil .
Calivirgin is another fantastic olive oil brand from California. It’s a family-owned brand that’s been one of the best and most awarded brands in California for more than 85 years. Besides olive oil, they also sell vinegar, flavored olive oils, but also wines.
Do note that Calivirgin concentrates more on premium products, so expect their prices to be slightly higher. However, after tasting their olive oil (which you can do at their tasting room), you’ll realize why they’re pricing their olive oil slightly higher.
But they offer a fantastic service: bottle refilling, which you can do once you spend the olive oil in your bottle, so there’s no need to purchase a new bottle of olive oil. Just thoroughly clean the olive oil bottle and go there for a refill. That way, the price of oil is much cheaper, and it’s actually pretty competitive with other brands.
My favorite oil from Calivirgin is Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a gold medal winner and one of the best oils I’ve tried from California. Even better, it’s a refill bottle, so any subsequent filling will cost you much less.
The Bariani family is originally from Italy, and after they moved to Sacramento in 1990, they started producing extra virgin olive oil from a small orchard they had.
With years, they started to increase their orchard, and today, they’re one of the best olive oil brands in California. Not only that, but they also sell balsamic vinegar and body care products (creams, shampoos, bar soaps, etc.) made from olive oil and other olive derivatives.
I prefer their Early Harvest EVOO because it’s extremely rich in polyphenols, and the taste is fantastic. Even better, it’s an unfiltered type of olive oil, so if you prefer that, you’re gonna love that one. What I love about their transparency is that they share with you the exact harvest time and bottle time and recommend “best by” on each bottle.
I do have one small objection, which is the transparency of their bottles (and that’s the reason why they’re in 5th place). I hope that they’ll start using darker bottles, which will help in keeping the oil better for a longer time.