Olive Oil Primer: A Bottle’s “Best By” and “Harvest” Dates

It’s harvest time at our olive ranches in northern California. And while we’ve been putting a “Best By” date on all of our bottles of extra virgin olive oil, we’ve just begun including the “Harvest Date” as well. It’s done to give you as much information as possible about what you’re getting.

Olive Harvest at California Olive Ranch

Each bottle of our new Everyday California Fresh now shows the month and year when the olives used to make the oil in the bottle were harvested. We typically harvest in the months of October and November. All the oil we sell during a particular year is made from olives picked in the most recent harvest year.

The “Best By” date is the date by which we recommend the consumer use up the oil they purchased. This date assumes the bottle has NOT been opened. (We recommend using the oil within 30 to 60 days once it’s been opened.)

In preparation for launching Everyday California Fresh, we invested in a very sophisticated laser printer that allows us to do the following:

  • First, the laser literally etches the “Best By” date in fine print into the glass. If you check the lower, side edge of the “Everyday” bottle you’ll see the “Best By” date no longer printed in ink. It’s now literally etched into the glass. It doesn’t rub off.
  • That same printer also can print text onto a designated area of the label. That’s where we put the “Harvest Date” onto the bottle. Before this printer, we would have had to run thousands of labels with this date pre-printed. No more.
  • Moving ahead, you’ll see us redoing the bottles for all of our other oils so they’ll include the “Best By” date and the “Harvest Date.”

Let us know what you think.

Bon appétit,

Claude S. Weiller
Vice President of Sales & Marketing
California Olive Ranch