The owners of Alta Cresta Olive Oil, Eric and Candice Kaltenbach, had been visiting Paso Robles for many years and fell in love with the relaxed yet passionate nature of the wine makers, produce growers, farmers and chefs in the area. So, in 2015 they decided to relocate to Paso Robles from Orange County California. They found a beautiful 10 acre Mediterranean style estate located on a high ridge that included an olive orchard with 1,140 Italian cultivar olive trees. The previous owners had done a beautiful job of developing the property in 2004 and planted the olive orchard in 2006. They had produced extra virgin olive oil under the brand name Alta Cresta, which means high ridge. When Eric and Candice purchased the property in 2015, they closed escrow and moved in on November 7thand then harvested the olives two weeks later. Then 4 months later they attended their first COOC annual olive oil conference in Monterey. Talk about jumping in with both feet. Fortunately, they had a long escrow period and several trips to Paso to do research on olive oil production prior to moving in. Also, they had endless support from other olive oil producers and the California Olive Oil Council.
Eric and Candice continued with the brand name Alta Cresta, since it already had a customer base and brand recognition. They continued doing research learning how pruning techniques and controlling irrigation can affect olive crop production. And, learned quickly that hand harvesting beautiful olives, utilizing the latest milling techniques, and carefully handling the oil in storage can all affect flavor and quality. Since their first harvest, they have focused on producing the highest quality extra virgin olive oil possible. Investing in all new farm equipment, olive oil storage equipment, a new drip irrigation system, and implementing sustainable and organic farming practices all to support their goal of quality. Further research has taken them to Italy to taste olive oils, talk with small local Italian producers, in an attempt to absorb the mystique of olive oil as it relates to life and health in the Mediterranean region.
So, turning research into practice, Eric and Candice have taken Alta Cresta Olive Oil to new heights earning numerous awards including 3 Gold Medals and 4 Silver Medals from the Los Angeles International EVOO Competition. Alta Cresta produces and sells a Tuscan Blend, an Italian Blend, and a very high polyphenol Coratina. All of their olive oils are certified extra virgin by the California Olive Oil Council.