Best of Show in 2017 California Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition

Bondolio wins Best of Show at the California State Fair.

What happened at the California State Fair? How did Bondolio win Best of Show? It was not easy. Bondolio had to undergo 4 separate competitions. Here’s the workflow that Bondolio had to do:

First, Bondolio had to wind gold as Best of Artisan EVOO (producers of less than 5,000 gallons EVOO per year). Next, the win in the Artisan competition advanced Bondolio to the next level, competition of Class. Bondolio won gold as Best of Class of olive cultivars other than the conventional California varietals. Bondolio then advanced to the next level of judging, the medium body EVOO Division. Bondolio won gold as Best of Division. The 3rd gold medal pushed Bondolio into the ultimate judging, Best of Show. Bondolio won gold as Best of Show in the California Extra Virgin Olive Oil competition. Only one Best of Show is awarded in each year’s competition.

We are honored and humbled by the results at the California State Fair.

AFAR – America’s Tuscany & BONDOLIO

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We love all things Italian—including, of course, olive oil.

Unfortunately, according to the American Olive Oil Producers Association, as much as 75 percent of the extra virgin olive oil that is imported from Italy to the United States is unpure. The Italian Mafia is to blame: the Mob takes pure olive oil and cuts it with cheaper oils, then sells it at the higher price and pockets the extra cash.

In light of stories highlighting the health hazards of adulterated extra virgin olive oil—from the 60 Minutes exposé to author Tom Mueller’s book Extra Virginity—many Americans have started sourcing the staple ingredient domestically.

Loaded with antioxidants and healthy fats, extra virgin olive oil is now being produced in the States at a rate like never before. Last year, California, the leading American producer of olive oil, churned out four million gallons—more than 10 times the amount the state produced in 2004.

Olive trees are now also grown in Texas, Georgia, Florida, Arizona, Oregon, Alabama, and Hawaii (on the island of Maui). With so many olive orchards, Americans can find a new pastime: olive oil tasting.

Here, nine orchards that make their own EVOO and are gorgeous getaways, too.

Bondolio Olive Oil
With its red clay tile roof and decorative Italian-style clay pots, Bondolio Olive Oil looks like a slice of Italy. Karen Bond and her husband Malcolm turned this former almond farm into an olive orchard after a trip to southern Italy. Then they imported and quarantined 1,200 Sicilian trees for two years before they harvested their first crop in 2009. It’s just under an 11-mile bike ride from Davis, California, one of the nation’s best bicycle cities. Once at the farm, take a tour of the mill and orchard (offered by appointment only). Then, do an outdoor tasting of the farm’s balsamic vinegars paired with pizza made from the built-in-Tuscany wood-burning brick oven.

Parmigiano and Balsamic on the way to Bondolio

Early this morning, Karen called our friends in Modena Italy – at the end of the call a bit of heaven in the form of parmigiano and balsamic were on their way to Bondolio.

If you have not tried either of these, you are in for a Bondolio treat. A couple years ago Karen, being Karen, did a lot of tastings in the countryside around Parma & Modena and selected a couple families products as being the best in class cheese and balsamic.  Now these families are good friends and reliably send excellent product to us. If you need either or both, drop us a line and we will set some aside for you.



Cheese Plus

Cheese Plus joins the Bondolio family.

At the corner of Polk and Pacific in San Francisco, you can not only pick up a bottle of Bondolio but you can enjoy a fantastic grilled cheese sandwich.




Fancy Food, Alice Waters and Chance

Leading up to the Winter Fancy Food meeting at the Moscone was the Good Food Mercantile held at Fort Mason along the San Francisco Bay shoreline next to the marina.

Bondolio was present with a booth and along with Karen was Chance Grossman, a very talented freshly minted college grad and pilot.

Unlike the Fancy Food meeting which is open to the public, the Good Food Mercantile is billed as an un-trade show for tasty, authentic, responsible food. It is a one-day, intimate gathering of like-minded food crafters and retailers with a focus on building commerce and community. The goal of the gathering is to honor people who make food that is delicious, respectful of the environment, and connected to communities and cultural traditions.

It was a busy meeting for sure. And the highlight for Bondolio was a visit to the booth by an idol of Karen, Alice Waters.





Karen’s knee repaired in Vail

Karen injured her left knee during strength training class. Turned out to be a torn meniscus. For Karen, there is only one place on earth to have a knee or shoulder procedure, the Steadman Clinic in Vail. In this photo, Karen is 24 hours post op and on her way to grab something to eat in between the twice daily rehabilitation. Rehab of her knee started the very next day with physical therapy, cryo therapy and stationary bike exercise.


12 hours post op

24 hours post op