Season of the Olive launches Dec. 3
THE REV. MIKE KELLY blesses a mountainous pile of olives.
The grape vines are aflame with fall colors, a sure sign that the harvest season has wrapped up for the year.
Now Sonoma prepares for its next crop with the three-month-long celebrator Season of the Olives, which kicks off on Saturday, Dec. 3, with the annual Blessing of the Olives at 11 a.m.
The Rev. Michael Kelly will give the traditional blessing at the historic Mission San Francisco Solano de Sonoma, which marks the beginning of the three-month Season of the Olive in Sonoma Valley.
Set inside the Mission, guests can take part in the ceremony along with talks by olive oil luminaries, festive refreshments and live music from Carlos Monlino.
Speakers for the ceremony include Wendy Peterson, executive director of the Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau; Ed Stolman, co-founder of the Olive Press; Tom Mueller, Italy-based journalist and author of “Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil;” Ron Chapman of the Mission Olive Oil Preservation, Restoration and Education Project; and Don Landis, proprietor or Don’s Olives.
Following the ceremony, olive enthusiasts will have the opportunity to head to the Olive Press for an open house and olive oil tasting and a pre-release book signing with olive oil expert Mueller, author of the upcoming book, “Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil.”
A famed investigative journalist, Mueller will be on hand to discuss and sign copies of his new book, a narrative on the artisan producers, olive growers and chefs behind the bursting world of olive oil.
Meanwhile, guests will have the opportunity to watch demonstrations of fresh olive oil production and sample olio nuovo, tapenades, cured olives and other goodies from the complimentary tasting bar.
There is no charge to attend but reservations are preferred by contacting 931-7506, firstname.lastname@example.org. The Olive Press is located within Jacuzzi Winery at 24724 Arnold Drive, Sonoma.
The Season of the Olive continues through February with popular events such as Martini Madness, Feast of the Olives and VinoOlivo planned throughout the season as well as special on olive themed activities such as spa treatments.
For additional information, contact the Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau at 996-1090 or visit www.olive.festival.com.