How It’s Made

We pride ourselves for making high quality, affordable extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oils are very different from refined grades of olive oil – such as “light” or “pure” oils  – which are made using heat or chemicals. Extra virgin olive oil, by contrast, essentially is freshly pressed fruit juice. We crush the olives and extract the oil using only mechanical methods, never using any high heat or solvents. All of our oils at California Olive Ranch are certified extra virgin by Applied Sensory and the California Olive Oil Council (COOC), passing both rigid chemical and sensory evaluations. Our extra virgin olive oils are also verified non-GMO by the Non-GMO Project, as well as certified kosher by Orthodox Union.


This diagram depicts the milling process of extra virgin olive oil.
Hover over the images to learn more about how extra virgin olive oil is made.

  1. Milling
  2. Olives
    Harvested olives are transported to the mill in gondolas within hours after harvest and emptied into our hoppers. Olives are then conveyed to a sorter where branches and leaves are removed.
  3. Crushing
    Olives are crushed by a hammer mill into what looks like an oatmeal paste.
  4. Malaxing
    Paste is malaxed, or “relaxed” by being mixed around slowly without heat addition, hence the term “cold press”
  5. Decanter Centrifuge
    Once the oil begins to separate from the paste, it is transferred into the first separator, separating solids from liquids. Solids are separated, which we call “pomace,” going on to become cattle feed.
  6. Pomace
    Separated, dried and used by other farmers as animal feed.
  7. Oil + Water Mixture
    Moves onto separator centrifuge.
  8. Separator Centrifuge
    Remaining liquid is made up of oil and water and separated a second time, finally separating the oil from the water.
  9. Water
    Extracted water is used to irrigate our trees once again.
  10. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    What remains is premium extra virgin olive oil.