We Visit Queen Creek Olive Mill
Arizona’s Queen Creek Olive Mill is a family run agri-tourism destination, and is also Arizona’s only producer of extra virgin olive oil.
We made our way to the Queen Creek Olive Mill for lunch on the way back to N. Scottsdale from our visit to the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument.
Upon our arrival, we were greeted by General Manager Rob Holmes, as well as Joey & Sydney, two beautiful daughters of owners Perry and Brenda Rae.
Rob spent about an hour with us explaining the history of Queen Creek Olive Mill, and helped us to understand the process of harvesting extra virgin olive oil from their 2,000+ olive trees. We found it interesting to learn that our Arizona climate, because of the heat, allows them to produce their olive oil without pesticides as the typical olive grove pests do not live in this arid climate.
“For more than a decade we have been experimenting with different olive (olea europaea) varieties to establish which varieties grow best in the Arizona desert evaluating the yield, bloom dates, harvest maturity dates, pollination, fruit size, cold hardiness, disease resistance, and oil quality/ profile. Our grove is home to over 16 different varieties with the Frantio, Grappelo, Pendelino, Maurino, Moraiolo, Coratina, Taggiasca and Mission as the primary varieties planted. Our trees are drip irrigated and the use of pesticides or mold inhibitors are not required as there is no issue with the olive fly or any kind of olive tree molds. Hence our grove is pesticide free.” (Queen Creek Olive Mill)
When you visit Queen Creek Olive Mill, make certain that you come with an empty stomach as you will certainly want to sample the cuisine of their Tuscan inspired eatery, del Piero.
Rob Holmes mentioned that their Kalamata Sandwich (“Pork Shop” Italian and kalamata salami, capicola, herb roasted tomatoes, leafy greens, provolone, red onion and White Balsamic & Herb Crema on a grilled baugette) was soon to be featured on the Food Channel’s “Best Thing I Ever Ate” series, so I promptly ordered up one for lunch. I can honestly say that this was the best sandwich I have ever tasted. Absolutely delish!
They happened to also have a special Pulled Pork Sandwich on their menu that day, so Carol smiled her way through that.
There are daily tours of the olive mill, and afterwards you will certainly want to explore their large selection of olive products, extra virgin olive oil bath and beauty products, wine, and a host of local seasonal fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and much more.
This place is a veritable mélange of mouthwatering delights!
We look forward to returning in the fall for the olive harvest.
In the meantime, I’m hankering to dip some fresh baked bread in my Queen Creek Olive Mill extra virgin olive oil. YUM!