Skipstone Ranch Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Skipstone Ranch is a vision of one man’s dream of living a simple life. Perched high up on a hillside with a view of Alexander Valley is where you will find Skipstone’s olive groves and vineyards basking in the sun. As we wind our way up the hill, we come to an amazing old farmhouse that was transplanted to this beautiful valley all the way from Pennsylvania. Quiet and serene are words to describe this stunning private estate. We were drawn here today by the passion of this man’s dream and share the story behind Skipstone Ranch.
Living the Dream
Skipstone Ranch evolved from one man’s dream of someday living a life that was as simple as skipping stones on the ocean, away from his busy everyday life in the high-tech industry. Fahri, the proprietor of Skipstone Ranch, knew that when he saw this property it would become part of his dream. It just felt right. Set away from the hustle and bustle of its busier counterpart (aka Napa), Alexander Valley offers the tranquility he was in search of. This is where he has planted his roots (literally) and now calls home.
Doing It With Passion
Behind every dream there is a story. Having grown up on the island of Cypress and raised on a farm with olive groves, Fahri is no stranger to the hard work, dedication, and passion of owning a property such as Skipstone Ranch. It’s in his blood. Not afraid to put on a pair of boots and feel the soil beneath his feet, Fahri says that farming keeps him grounded. Fahri’s father, also in the olive oil business, still comes to visit helping Fahri with his dream. You are reminded of Fahri’s love for his business when hearing the names of Skipstone’s wines and olive oil. Oliver’s Blend Cabernet, Makenna Vineyard Viogner, and Melina’s Harvest Olive Oil have been named after his children. You can feel the passion that has built Skipstone Ranch to what it has become today.
Sustaining the Land
Our tour begins with a walk amongst the vineyards. We are sheltered in a bowl that guards us from the wind, surrounded by steep hillsides lined with vines. Already impressed with the landscape that surrounds us, we find out even more that sets Skipstone Ranch apart from the rest.
Certified Organic by the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) with the help and direction of Amigo Bob (one of the best organic consultants in the industry), Skipstone Ranch is 200 acres of the highest quality organic fruit. This accomplishment is not an easy task. In order to sustain the land, everyone has a job to do here at the ranch. The sun provides solar power. Bees pollinate and support secondary plantings. Babydoll sheep graze the landscape to keep weeds under control and also help with natural fertilization of the soil. The grapes in the vineyard and the olives in the groves are gently picked by hand. An organic culinary garden full of the seasons harvest is nurtured with care.
It may seem like a lot of extra work and expense to accomplish the same outcome as everyone else, but it’s Skipstone’s philosophy to respect the land that reaps what they sow. Everyone comes together as a team to make Skipstone Ranch wines and olive oil the finest in the industry.
Pairing Food and Wine
We end our tour with a delicious spread of bread, fruits, cheeses, olive oil, and of course wine. Seated at a table that overlooks the valley floor, we realize how lucky we are to be invited to this gorgeous private estate. We are hosted by Amy, the personal and executive chef of Skipstone Ranch, who delves right in to explain the complexity of the wines and the details of their olive oil. Come to find out, the olive oil was named for Fahri’s daughter, Melina, who was born during Skipstone Ranch’s first olive harvest.
Melina’s Harvest Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made from Manzanillo olives which produce a smooth and buttery olive oil with just a hint of green grass. Like everything else that Skipstone Ranch produces, no expense is spared in obtaining the freshest olive oil. The olives are hand harvested and pressed in the same day. Bottled in an exquisite black glass etched with an olive branch, we also find out that the labels are hand applied so the label lines up perfectly with the etching on the bottle. The shape is reminiscent of a wine bottle – handsome with clean lines and an elegant label to match.
Pretty is as pretty does. Beauty is skin deep. It’s what’s inside that counts. We’ve all heard these expressions before and know that there is more to what meets the eye. Although we were impressed by the packaging, it’s what was inside the bottle that captured our attention. Not only is Skipstone Ranch olive oil certified organic by the CCOF and certified “extra virgin” by the California Olive Oil Council, Skipstone Ranch has won multiple awards at the Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition.
Enjoying the Fruits of Labor
At the end of the day, all is simply good at Skipstone Ranch. We leave with a renewed respect for Mother Earth and the dedicated team at Skipstone Ranch that shares their beautiful wines and olive oil with us all. We feel a sense of guilty pleasure as we have been able to experience the fruits of their labor. We appreciate one man’s desire to keep life simple. We are grateful we could be part of a wonderful dream.
Meet the dream team of Skipstone Ranch and buy direct on their website: www.skipstoneranch.com
Photographs taken by The Grove & Co. at Skipstone Ranch in Geyserville, CA.