Arizona is a very diverse city with various festivals, quaint local businesses and pockets of hidden fun all over the valley. This week I had the privilege of organizing my first blogger event; a tasting and tour at Queen Creek Olive Mill, Arizona’s only olive oil producer. The farm is a unique agritourism experience located in Queen Creek with a cafe, coffee bar and retail marketplace.
I was thrilled when the opportunity to visit the Mill popped up since their products are amazing. This was not something to keep to myself! We had 20+ bloggers at the event; the bestie even tagged along. Check out the hash tag #QueenCreekOliveMill on social media for the full experience.
Arriving early we had a chance to explore the property. The grove is absolutely beautiful with shaded seating plus a huge barbecue for parties and festivals. They have a small garden which supplies produce for the onsite cafe. They host everything from weddings to corporate team builders; tours are offered regularly throughout the day too.
I love the fact that you can pop in for a quick lunch, a steaming cup of coffee that has been roasted on site or a dish of artisan gelato. There’s more than food too… olivespa is a line of bath and body products made out of olive oil.
Olive oil master sommelier Perry presented the tasting in one of their outdoor venues; I was immediately impressed with the care they put into everything. The tables were adorned with olive oil samples, locally sourced bread and gift bags. They raffled off a really cool gift set along with individual bottles of oils and vinegars.
We learned about the different types of olive oil along with their profiles and sensory qualities. He explained how to taste the oils so that we could properly experience their 3 attributes~ fruitiness, pungency and bitterness.
After the tasting, we toured the facility where they make the oil and Perry walked us through the various stages of the process. The process they use to make flavored oils is fascinating.
Back outside we were offered a variety of delicious bruschetta made in the Mill cafe. Locally made food always makes me a happy girl! My favorite was the honey mascarpone with port wine grapes, fig balsamic vinegar and balance extra virgin olive oil. Recreating it at home is definitely on my to-do list.
Then we wandered through the retail marketplace where samples of 50 varieties of olive oil were available along with boozy sauces, vinegars, tapenades and stuffed olives. You can also find local items such as wines, chocolate, honey and mustards to name a few. The limited edition peach white balsamic glaze is simply mind blowing. I already have a recipe in mind for it!
My favorite part of the experience was supporting a local business. I highly recommend visiting Queen Creek Olive Mill or one of their retail stores located in Biltmore Fashion Park or Kierland Commons. If you live out of the area products are available for purchase online.
What would you buy first?
the new Mrs. B