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Know Your Farmer

know your farmer

 Know your farmer. The Queen Creek Olive Mill is Arizona's only working olive farm and mill. Our farm has more than 7200 trees planted  to ensure that we have the freshest oil available. We have also contracted with a number of farmers in other parts of the state to purchase their olives. The Queen Creek Olive Mill also purchases fresh certified EVOO from our partners in California and the Imperial Valley. All oil is carefully scrutinized for sustainable growing practices and for the assurance that they are grown pesticide-free. Perry Rea supervises the harvest and production of the estate-grown olives as well as the Mill’s olive-farming partners.

Learn the milling process. Healthy, fresh olives are harvested and sent to the mill within 24 hours. The olives are defoliated, washed and milled into a coarse paste. The paste, which is called "Pomace" is gently mixed in a Malaxer before it is sent through a two-stage decanter to remove the oil from the water and solids. Lastly the remaining oil goes through a separator to remove some of the remaining organic material before storage. The oil is then stored at ambient temperature in specially designed stainless steel vessels that are totally oxygen-free and allow absolutely no light penetration. In the fall of 2013 the Queen Creek Olive Mill purchased the Olive Max 33 which added additional milling capacity in order to meet our growing customer demands.

Know-Your-FarmerLook for the certification. All of our oil is 100% chemically certified to IOC [International Olive Council] standards by a third party laboratory and this certification is kept on file. Our oil is tested regularly using in-house testing procedures to ensure the free acidity levels meet IOC standards before bottling.

Accreditation is key. In the spring of 2013, Perry & Brenda Rea obtained their certification as Olive Oil Sommeliers accredited by the International Olive Council. They are 2 of only 20 olive oil sommeliers in the world and have first-hand knowledge in the field of sensory analysis of olive oil. Perry personally supervises the blending and bottling of all EVOO sold at the Queen Creek Olive Mill.

So you like flavored Olive Oils? Well, good! Queen Creek Olive Mill uses only 100% natural infusion or co-pressing methods to make its flavored oils. Natural infusion is a very simple process used when herbs or other botanicals release their active ingredients easily, in water, oil or alcohol, a process that can take up to 40 days.  The amount of time the herbs are left in the liquid will dictate the potency of the infusion. When we use an all-natural flavoring, we label it as such.

Unlike wine, olive oil does not improve with age. It typically takes 3 months for the EVOO to arrive to the U.S. from Italy, Spain or Greece (the world’s major importers of olive oil). Then, it’s not uncommon for the bottles to sit on a shelf for weeks or even months. This does not happen at the Queen Creek Olive Mill. On average our bottles remain on our shelves for no longer than 14 days and we blend our oils every 6 weeks and bottle it every 3 weeks, we promise - look at our bottling date!