Season of the Olive Arrives in the Sonoma Valley

The thirteenth annual Sonoma Valley Olive Season, a celebration of the olive harvest and an agricultural and epicurean showcase, will take place January through February 2014.  Encompassing a range of exceptional events, culinary thrills and Valley-wide promotions – from theBlessing of the Olives ceremony to an elegant Feast of the Olive Dinner – the upcoming Season of the Olive promises to transform the winter months in Sonoma into a celebration of the senses.

Key events and promotions are planned Valley-wide in honor of the two-month celebration.  On Saturday, January 4, 2014 the traditional Blessing of the Olives ceremony will take place within the historic Mission San Francisco Solano.  In addition, local restaurants and lodging properties will offer olive season packages and promotions, including exclusive olive-inspired menu items and spa treatments throughout the winter months.  Throughout the Season of the Olive, visitors will have the opportunity to roll up their sleeves for an olive curing workshop, attend festive events such as the annual Martini Madness competition, and enjoy an array of activities from olive oil tastings and art exhibits to live music, family activities and food and wine pairings. In addition, guests will have the daily opportunity to taste local, freshly pressed olive oil at The Olive PressFigone’s Olive Oil Company and B.R. Cohn Winery & Olive Oil Company nearly every day throughout the season.  A complete list of events and promotions can be found at www.olivefestival.com.

The beloved Feast of the Olive dinner at Ramekins Culinary School. Photo by Megan Clouse

Season of the Olive favorites slated to return this season include the highly-anticipated Feast of the Olive Dinner on January 25, 2014 at Ramekins Culinary School.  This multi-course, olive-inspired ceremonial dinner prepared by Sonoma Valley’s finest chefs, is one of the Season’s anchor events and is a food-lover’s paradise.  Preceding Feast of the Olive, master bartenders and chefs will gather to compete for the best martini at the wildly popular Martini Madness, where patrons can sample each concoction and place their votes (January 10, 5-7 p.m., MacArthur Place).  Then, from February 14-17 the Season of the Olive will culminate with the Olive Season Finale Weekend, a magnificent celebration of events, dinners and tastings, including VinOlivo, an evening epicurean showcase that includes live entertainment and a Sonoma Valley Marketplace; and  Olive Odyssey, a two-day affair held at Jacuzzi Family Vineyards, where olive expert Don Landis and olive curers from all over California convene to offer samples, recipes, lessons and delicious olive-themed food and wine pairings.  The Season of the Olive’s Finale Weekend is a guarantee to impress even the impossible-to-please foodie.  More information about the weekend can be found here: http://www.olivefestival.com/sonoma-valley-olive-season-final-weekend.html.

For a comprehensive calendar of Season of the Olive events, please visit the official website at www.olivefestival.com.