First Texas Olive Oil Company is a family-run business, specializing in FRESH olive oil and other gourmet complementary foods.
In 1996 Jack Dougherty, who grew up in the orchards of Santa Clara valley and later had a career working as an executive in the computer industry, purchased a dilapidated ranch with the intention of making it a working ranch. Today it has become an agricultural destination spot.
Jack realized that Texas Hill Country soil and weather are akin to the Mediterranean, and he could not resist a stab at growing olives.
The olive trees on Bella Vista Ranch were planted in 1998. Our retail store opened on the ranch in the year 2000, and we opened our "frantoio" (olive pressing facility) in the year 2001.
Yes, you can grow olive trees in Texas! We have pressed fresh olive oil every year since 2001 and look forward to another "fruitful" pressing this Fall. If you'd like to be notified of our upcoming pressing and get a chance to taste "fresh off the press" oil, please join our mailing list at: email@example.com
We are passionate about high-quality, unique gourmet products. We invite you to visit our tasting room to sample our olive oil, and the other gourmet foods available.
As is typical on farms throughout Europe, Bella Vista Ranch provides the home to not only an olive orchard and mill, but to unique grapevines. The vineyard consists of two blocks, growing Sangiovese (the primitive grape of Italy) and Cabernet Franc (the primitive grape of France). Both are great varietals befitting our Texas weather. Our crop is sent to Hill Country wineries for wine production and bottling.
When you visit the ranch, you can enjoy yourself on our formal, guided tour with a close-up look at small-scale, Old World style olive oil production. The tour includes a primer on olive oil standards from around the world and a formal EVOO tasting.
OLIVES AND OLIVE OIL
Welcome to the home of the first commercial olive orchard in Central Texas. We planted our trees in 1998, had our first harvest in the Fall of 2001, our first olive oil pressing on September 24, 2001 and continue this pioneering effort by pressing fresh olives each year! The Bella Vista Ranch currently grows more than 1,200 olive trees consisting of over sixteen different varieties, primarily Mission, Coratina and Arbequina varieties, with a range of other Mediterranean varieties.
First Texas Olive Oil Company presses fresh Extra Virgin olive oil in our frantoio (the Italian word for olive press). This pressing facility is located on the Ranch, next to the olive orchard. We use modern, Italian oil processing equipment especially designed to extract the highest quality Extra Virgin oil by the "cold press" method.
Olives have been important to mankind throughout history offer tremendous health benefits which have been universally recognized throughout history. Fresh olive oil is available in our tasting room at the Ranch – please join us to learn more about olive oil and more importantly enjoy the incredible taste of fresh olive oil! (And you’ll see why FRESH olive oil does taste different than what you purchase at the store.)
Our guided tours offer a depth of historical and agricultural information, a leisurely walk through the orchard and a close-up view of the olive mill. You can participate in evaluating fresh, cold-press olive oils. Scheduled Open Tours are generally available on Saturdays (please call to confirm), Private Group Tours are provided by appointment, both types of tours last approximately 1 ½ hours. The fee is $17.50 per person with a minimum group size of 15. Visit our Events/Group Tours page for more details.
We have pressed fresh olive oil every Fall (Sept to early Oct) since 2001 and look forward to another "fruitful" pressing this Fall. If you'd like to be notified of our upcoming pressing, and get a chance to taste "fresh off the press" oil or to participate in the age-old practice of picking olives, please join our email list at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
rself on our formal, guided tour with a close-up look at small-scale, Old World style olive oil production. The tour includes a primer on olive oil standards from around the world and a formal EVOO tasting.