Grumpy Goats Farm
Grumpy Goats Farm is located in the quiet town of Capay, California. As we head out for a drive to explore the valley during The Almond Festival, we decide to pay a long overdue visit to the Grumpy Goats Farm olive groves that are nestled between lovely rolling hillsides.
Based on the name of the farm, I assumed we would see several cute little goats wandering the property and was very excited – I love goats! However, upon our arrival when we asked where the goats were, we got a chuckle. You see, there are only two grumpy goats on the farm…Stuart Littell and Pamela Marvel. These two partners and owners do most of the work on the farm which can make them a little grumpy, explained Pamela, and that’s how they came up with the name.
Having grown up on a farm, Pamela wanted to pursue her dream of living in the country once again. Stuart supported her idea and they decided to find land that they would be able to grow olive trees and produce their own olive oil. When they found 20 acres in beautiful Capay Valley, they knew they had found home.
Stuart and Pamela planted 8 acres of olive trees in 2008 on land that was once an alfalfa field, which has now grown into 18 acres of groves. They decided on three different varietals of olives that were traditionally planted and blended together: Coratina and Pendolino (Italian varieties) and Picual (Spanish variety). Since each olive varietal has such a unique flavor, Pamela and Stuart wanted to showcase each variety’s individual flavor profile. So, Grumpy Goats Farm harvests and bottles each oil as a single varietal, with a brightly colored, goat adorned label.
The Pendolino is best described as fruity with a spicy finish and comes from olives that ripen early in the harvest season. The Picual is a medium intensity oil with green fruit flavors that can be described as green herbs or fresh cut grass, that ends with a peppery finish. Coratina is a bold robust oil with an intense peppery finish that very well may make you cough a few minutes after you taste it. No need to worry, this is a good thing! What you are experiencing is the high levels of polyphenols and antioxidants of a fresh extra-virgin olive oil.
Stuart tells us about the importance of how the olives are harvested and milled. Believe it or not, the flavor of the olive oil can be determined on how the olives are harvested, milled, and stored.
They decided that in order to produce top notch extra-virgin olive oil, they would harvest the trees by hand to ensure the fruit was not damaged or bruised and found a mill that would press their olives into oil within hours of picking. After their first harvest in 2010, the awards started pouring in for Grumpy Goats Farm, the most recent being a Gold Medal winner at the New York International Olive Oil Competition where their oil was judged amongst the best in the world!
For a complete list of their awards, click here: http://grumpygoatsfarm.com/awards.html
The Best of The Best
For a small producer, Grumpy Goats Farm takes no shortcuts. Their groves are organic and their olive oil is certified as such by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF). All of their oils are also certified as high quality extra-virgin olive oil from the California Olive Oil Council (COOC). We have found their oils to be very consistent throughout the years and we consider it one of our favorites. We give their oils (even their newest Italian Blend) 5 stars.
If you’d like to make a couple of Grumpy Goats happy, buy their olive oil!
Photographs taken by The Grove & Co. at Grumpy Goats Farm in Capay, CA.