Olive Tree

Planting Olive Trees

Bradley Aden

May 31st, 2022

Our First Olive Oil Trees

We are proud to announce the first planting of our Olive Trees surrounding the Castle in Napa Valley. Watch above as President Georg Salzner & vineyard manager David Bejar plant our first olive trees at The Castle! This continues our recent string of sustainability efforts at the Castle.

We planted 12 different varieties of Olive Trees surrounding Castello di Amorosa, these olive trees are known to make a superior olive for oil production. Many of these trees originate in Italy. We look forward to the first fully mature harvest in which we can produce our first olive oil.

Olive Tree

We are planting a total of 12 different olive tree varietals that surround the Castle. You can learn more about each specific type of Olive tree below.


If asked to pick our favorite olive in the bunch, that answer might just be the Frantoio olive. Frantoio Olive Oil is one of the most highly acclaimed oil varieties in the world, especially in the Tuscan regions of Italy. The olive boasts a stunningly dark, oval-shaped olive. Preferred picking time is early, while olives are still green and purple.

The flavor has been described as very fruity, notably aromatic and of high quality, with a stronger aftertaste than Leccino. The aftertaste has been described of almond and herbs.

This fast-growing Olive tree is known for its high yielding nature. They can reach a full grown height of 26 feet. It is known to produce plenty of plump medium-sized Olives, which are known to produce quality oil. They can also make a delicious treat when cured. These Olives are about 80% pulp, and they have a pleasant fragrance.

Olive Origin: Tuscany, Italy
Olive Color: Green-Purple, Purple-Black
Olive Pairing: Grilled Meat, Bruschetta, Legume & Vegetable Soups, Dressing Fresh Salads.
Olive Flavors: Fruity flavor with bitter and spicy notes. Aromas of fresh herb, tomato, lettuce, artichoke, apple, grain, rosemary, celery and almond.

Unique Traits of the Frantoio Olive

Most commonly the main component for a Tuscan style oil.
Consistently produces a high-yield, very fruity oil.
The medium size fruit ripens on the late side.
A self-compatible tree, but will benefit greatly from other pollinators.
One of the most popular olives in the world.
Grows More like Tree Than Bush


Originated in Tuscany, grows very well in California and the northwest. Its olive oil flavor is delicate so it’s most commonly blended with Pendolino. But it’s also interplanted and blended with Frantoio, Coratina and Moraiolo to produce more flavor.

As mentioned above, Frantoio and Leccino cultivars are the principal raw material for Italian olive oils from Tuscany. Leccino has a very sweet and aromatic flavor.

A Small fruit with very small pit, it has a surprising amount of flesh. The fruit is purple-black, although it is advised to pick it when purple green at its optimal time. Oil volume is lower than other cultivars and delicate in flavor. The oil is mildly fruity and frequently blended with other cultivars’ oil. The delicate flavor can dissipate after time, as the oil has been known to have a short shelf life.

Olive Origin: Tuscany, Italy
Olive Color: Grey-Green
Olive Pairing: Cooked Fish, White Meats, Vegetables & Fresh Cheeses
Olive Flavors: The oil is very sweet and aromatic

Unique Traits of The Leccino Olive

Most commonly the main component for a Tuscan style oil.
Small Fruit
Short Shelf Life
Delicate Flavor
Commonly Used in Blends


Pendolino Olive Tree is an old Italian variety valued for its high fruit production as well as its crucial role as one of the best pollenizers for other olive varieties, often referred to as the universal pollenizers.

These slow growing trees can grow to about 20 feet tall in time. Pendolino is named for its pendulous branching characteristic, making it ideal for manual cultivation.

Its fruit size is generally larger than Frantoio but smaller than Leccino. It has a slightly lower oil content with relatively early ripening fruit. The flavors have been described as fruity and sweet upon entrance, while turning bitter and ending with a characteristic spicy. Notes of bitter almond and more lightly fresh grass and artichoke have been described.

Olive Origin: Italy
Olive Color: Grey-Green
Olive Pairing: Grilled Salmon, Risotto with Shrimp, Pasta, Bread, Vinaigrettes
Olive Flavors: Fruity and Sweet upon entrance, Bitter and Ending with a Spicy Kick. Notes of Bitter Almond, Grass & Aartichoke.

Unique Traits of The Pendolino Olive

The Universal Pollenizers
Early Ripening
Old Italian Varietal
High Production
Balanced Flavors


The Maurino olive tree is Tuscan in origin. It’s a good pollinator but self-sterile so it needs another tree (often Frantoio, Leccino or Pendolino). Its fruit is small, but like the Pendolino cultivar, its fruit is abundant. Additionally, both cultivars actually look very similar in appearance and exhibit the graceful, pendulous branch form.

Prized for its sweet and delicate oil, as well as being tolerant of very low temperatures, it’s ideal for cooler climates and dense plantings. Small fruit with very small pit., It has a surprising amount of flesh. The oil is very sweet and aromatic. The shelf life is short.

Olive Origin: Tuscany, Italy
Olive Color: Grey-Green
Olive Pairing: Green Salads, Raw Vegetables,
Olive Flavors: The Oil Sweet and Aromatic

Unique Traits of The Maurino Olive

Tuscan Origin
Good Pollinator
Needs to Be Paired with other trees to survive. (often Frantoio, Leccino or Pendolino)
Small Fruit
Sweet & Delicate Oil
Short Shelf Life

Olive Tree Napa Valley


The Mission Olive Tree originated in California way back in 1769, where they were planted by Franciscan priests as they established Missions among El Camino Real. Popularity grew due to its growth in California over the years when interest in olives and olive oil increased. The Mission Olive Tree can grow up to 30 feet, with its olives maturing October through November.

The only American olive cultivar listed by the International Olive Council in its World Catalogue of Olive Varieties. After the Manzanilla and Sevillana olive varieties, it remains one of the more common cultivars in the state.

These medium olives can grow up to an inch-and-a-half and turn deep eggplant purple when mature. While the dark fruit is popular, the Mission is also harvested for it green fruit which is known for its wonderful, mild grassy flavor both in cured table olives and pressed to oil. Mission olives have a unique fruity flavor and scent. The fruit and oil pairs well with fish, chicken, or as a dip for freshly baked bread.

Olive Origin: California 1769
Olive Color: Deep Eggplant Purple – Blackish
Olive Pairing: Best Used with Bread, Fish or Chicken
Olive Flavors: Mild Grassy & Fruity Flavor

Unique Traits of The Mission Olive Oil

Endangered Varietal
Wonderful Fruit to Brine or Press for Oil
One of the Hardiest Olive Varieties
Attractive Specimen
Drought Tolerant
Widely Adaptable
Fragrant Spring Flowers
Mid Season Fruiting Time
Versatile Used for Olive Oil & Table Olives


The Manzanilla is an ancient olive tree that have been grown since ancient times, they are known to thrive in the heat. Believed to be a native of the Mediterranean, the drought tolerant Manzanillo Olive can live for hundreds of years, enduring droughts, heat and poor soil conditions. Manzanilla olives are well known for its rich black olives that can be pickled or pressed for oil. They are known to have crisp texture and a slightly smoky, almond like flavor.

This Manzanillo has a slow growth rate and young trees may take time to develop substance. The tight growth pattern creates a fuller crown, making the Manzanillo Olive a popular shade tree in Southern California. It can grow up to 30 feet, so it is an ideal choice for almost any style architecture.
Easy to care for and very resilient, the evergreen Manzanillo Olive prefers deep rich soil, but it can tolerate stony, shallow soils as well.

Olive Origin: Mediterranean
Olive Color: Black – Green
Olive Pairing: Pair them with: Swiss, Manchego, or Gouda cheese; dry Spanish Cava or Fino. Olives themselves are often Suffed with a Creamy Blue Cheese, Pimentos, or Garlic.
Olive Flavors: Crisp Texture and a Slightly Smoky, Almond like Flavor.

Unique Traits of The Manzanilla Olive

Cold Hardy and Resistant to High Summer Heat
Drought Resistant
Used for Table Fruit
Excellent Quality Fruit
Versatile Landscape Tree


Native to the Italian region of Lazio (Lazio). The Itrana olive tree produces high quality black table olives and high quality extra virgin olive oil.
The oil is known for its intense and fruity flavor, with bitter and spicy feel. Aromas of cut grass are common with more subtle touches of artichoke or slight green almond feel.
The olives themselves are, asymmetrical and of medium size (3-5 grams). At harvest the olives are dark wine color, freckled with a whitish dusting. The oil is of good quality pleasing in taste and is noted for continually winning awards for taste.

Olive Origin: Lazio, Italy
Olive Color: Dark Wine Color & Green
Olive Pairing: Crusty Artisan Breads
Olive Flavors: Intense and Fruity Flavor, with Bitter & Spicy of Average Value. Aromas of Cut Grass are Common with Subtle Touches of Artichoke or Slight Green Almond Feel.

Unique Traits of the Itrana Olive

Resistant To High Heat & Cold
Italian Varietal
Green & Dark Producing Olives
Award Winning Oil Produced
Excellent Quality Fruit


Coratina olive oil gets its name from its place of origin, a town in the Italian countryside known as Corato. This olive oil has a very fruity, tangy and bitter taste, so much so that traditionally this particular kind of olive oil has been used to cut other olive oils with a less marked flavor.

Depending on the climate, olive picking may go from early October to late January. The integrity of the fruit will determine a low acidity level, fruity notes and a high content of antioxidants in the final product.

The Coratina extra-virgin olive oil is characterized by the fruity notes of green olives, followed by sensations of freshly-cut grass and bitter almonds. By genetic makeup, Coratina is one of the olive cultivars that synthesize the highest content of phenolic compounds. Freshly-pressed, the Coratina olive oil may taste bitter and unbalanced, with a bit of a slightly sharp sensation. The high phenolic content, along with the triglyceride composition, contributes to the exceptional oxidation stability of the Coratina extra-virgin olive oil.

Olive Origin: Corato, Italy
Olive Color: Dark Red – Light Green
Olive Pairing: Used to Cut other Olive Oils with a Less Marked Flavor.
Olive Flavors: Fruity, Tangy and Bitter Taste

Unique Traits of the Coratina Olive

High Phenolic Acid Content, produces Incredibly Stable Oil that Oxidizes Slowly.
High Acidity Results in Sharp Oil that is Rich in Flavor and Displays a Sweet Aroma.
Can Produce in a Variety of Climates and Soil Conditions from Sandy Coastal Locations to Hot Deserts with Rocky Soils.
Minimal Watering Once Established.
Smaller Fruits

Manzanilla Olive Tree


Originating in France, Columella is known for its resistance to cold. When harvested green, Columella yields an aromatic, sweet and fruity oil with a good balance of bitter and pungent notes. Grassy and herbaceous flavors are enhanced by tropical and floral flavors.

Fruit ripening is medium early. Columella is unusual among the French cultivars normally grown in California in its suitability for early harvest. The fruit is fragile and prone to bruising; it can be damaged by windy storms as it is ripening, so an early harvest is advisable.

Olive Origin: France
Olive Color: Green
Olive Pairing: Fried Potatoes, Stir-Fry, Chocolate Ice Cream
Olive Flavors: Aromatic, Fruity, and Sweet Flavor, Balanced with Pungent and Bitter Flavors too.

Unique Traits of the Columella Olive

Adapts Well to Colder Weather
Versatile Smooth Taste
Fruit Can be Easily Damaged
Fruit is Fragile, Prone to Bruising


Cerignola olive tree (Oliva di Cerignola), is an Italian olive variety present in the Apulia region. Its origin is estimated in the XV century, when it was introduced by the Aragonese. The olive tree produces very large size olives, which are popular table olives.
Cerignola may offer the most beautiful and delicious olives of any tree. It ripens early and is generally brined soon after turning a celadon green. Drupes are large, nearly a half ounce of crisp, buttery meat.

The flavor of the Cerignola olive has been described as mildly tart and buttery. It is known for containing very balanced flavors, thus making it one of the most versatile olives.

Olive Origin: Apulia Region, Cerignola, Italy
Olive Color: Celadon Green
Olive Pairing: Pair up these buttery beauties with zippy hard cheeses, like Parmigiano-Reggiano, or mild and creamy mozzarella and Genoa Salami. Black varieties are great paired with smoked cheeses.
Olive Flavors: Mildly Tart and Buttery.

Unique Traits of The Cerignola Olive

Estimated Origins Go Back to The 15th Century.
Large Size Olives
Ripens Early
Versatile Olive Used for Both Oil Production or Table Olives
Balanced Flavors


The Lucca Olive Tree is a high yielding tree, which is used for high amounts of olive oil. The Lucca Olive itself was developed at the University of California, Davis by Professor Hartman. These trees will grow beautifully in your yard, and will produce large quantities of olives.

It also has good frost resistance and is closely related to Frantoio olive. A vigorous variety well suited to planting in California. The oil produced from the Lucca has been described by tasters as having a sweet buttery flavor, and slightly bitter.

Olive Origin: California
Olive Color: Green
Olive Pairing: Used to cut other olive oils with a less marked flavor.
Olive Flavors: sweet buttery flavor, and slightly bitter.

Unique Traits of The Lucca Olive

Sweet, Buttery Flavor
Developed closely related to Frantic.
Developed by University Professor
High Yields


The name means “white leaf” and refers to the color of the back side of the leaves. This medium sized fruit generally ripens late and is very cold resistant. These trees are capable of adapting to extreme soils and climates. The fruits ripen very slowly and delay the harvest, a fact that leads to certain amount of “vecería”.

A balanced olive that has a wide range of flavors. The oil is not long lasting but is exceptional. The Hojiblanca olive is highly valued due to the excellent quality of its pulp and for its great rusticity.

The Hojiblanca is a prestigious varietal, currently in great demand especially in Spain due to the Hojiblanca extra virgin oil which can be extracted from its fruit, it is also widely used as a table olive.

On many occasions, the extracted oil is combined with other oils in order to improve the flavor and the oils properties. This oil is recommended by many specialists due to its excellent health reputation.

Olive Origin: Spain
Olive Color: Green
Olive Pairing: Red Apple Balsamic Vinegar, Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar, Leafy Green Salads, Bitter Green Salads, Garden Salads, Raw Vegetables., Roasted/Grilled Veg, Broiled Fish.
Olive Flavors: Slightly sweet to start with a bitter taste of unripe fruits and an almond aftertaste

Unique Traits of The Hojiblanca Olive

Known for its health benefits
Great Demand
Versatile Olive Used for Both Oil Production or Table Olives
Late Ripening
Excellent Quality
Balanced Taste
Large Fruit

Olive Trees

Although these trees won’t be producing olives worthy of pressing into olive oil for at least five years, we do make Olive Oil exclusively from olives harvested at our own Morning Dew Ranch estate property in the Anderson Valley located in Mendocino County.

These mature olive trees grow on a small patch of sloped hillside adjacent to some of the Castello’s most prized Pinot Noir vines. These trees mature under the watchful eyes of both our Winemaker and Vineyard Manager.

This Morning Dew Ranch Olio Nuovo (which means, new oil) differs from your typical Olive Oil. Taken straight from the press, this freshly pressed oil has all the natural flavors left inside the oil. Cold Pressed under 50 degrees, harvested locally from the Castello’s own estate vineyard. Here at the Castle, we are one of the first in the Napa Valley to sell Olio Nuovo.

Olive Harvest
Olio Nuovo
Olive Tree