` Yolo Picks a Winner From Its Winners - Olive Oil Times

Yolo Picks a Winner From Its Winners

Jun. 6, 2011
Lori Zanteson

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Ernie Roncoroni (left) co-found­ing mem­ber of the Yolo County Olive Oil Competition, Kim Katz and Albert Katz, win­ners of the Patty Bogle-Roncoroni Award for Best of the Best

The Yolo County Fair added a new dimen­sion to its olive oil com­pe­ti­tion this year with a Best of the Best Award. Created to honor the mem­ory of Patty Bogle-Roncoroni, co-founder of the com­pe­ti­tion.

Bogle-Roncoroni, a mem­ber of the Yolo County Fair board, played an inte­gral role in devel­op­ing the com­pe­ti­tion seven years ago. The award came about in cel­e­bra­tion of Patty’s pas­sion for the com­pe­ti­tion,” said Angie Roddan, Yolo County Fair deputy man­ager. The Best of the Best Award brought the top win­ners of the five divi­sions together for one final judg­ing. They’re all dif­fer­ent so it’s a chal­lenge,” said Roddan, but it’s excit­ing.” Describing the acco­lades the award bestows, Roddan quipped, Is there a way to say somebody’s the super-top?”

And the win­ner, cho­sen from almost 150 olive oils, was KATZ Rock Hill Ranch Organic of Suisun Valley. Albert and Kim Katz are not new to com­pe­ti­tions and cer­tainly have an impres­sive col­lec­tion of awards, but there was no deny­ing this one was some­thing spe­cial. The Katz’s had the priv­i­lege of learn­ing about Patty dur­ing a visit with her hus­band, Ernie, while at the fair. She was instru­men­tal in the fair and quite an expert wine owner,” said Katz. Knowing what I know about her, the award means a lot more. For us, it’s also the acknowl­edge­ment of so many lay­ers of hon­ors,” Katz con­tin­ued. No com­pe­ti­tion goes that next step, that is to say, the best of the best. It’s the com­bi­na­tion of know­ing who she is and earn­ing this first award.”

Albert’s pas­sion for olive oil began in the early 90s after years as the chef-owner of a restau­rant in Oakland hills where he used qual­ity ingre­di­ents sourced from local farm­ers and Kim arranged flow­ers for the restau­rant from local grow­ers as well. A move to the Napa Valley and a trip to Italy turned out to be the com­bi­na­tion that kick-started his role in the California olive oil indus­try. Among the pio­neers who began the California Olive Oil Council, Katz has pro­duced extra vir­gin olive oil since 2000.


To earn the Best of the Best, there had to be a lit­tle extra some­thing that gave this year’s KATZ Rock Hill Ranch Organic a win­ning edge. Certainly the soil, the cli­mate, and Taggiasca, Casaliva, and Leccino olive vari­etals all played roles. Oh, and the chick­ens, of course. French Redbro chick­ens to be pre­cise. Rock Hill Ranch brought chick­ens on board a year ago to fer­til­ize the groves and con­tinue the sus­tain­abil­ity of this cer­ti­fied organic farm. We notice things in the fin­ish,” said Katz, who clearly enjoyed sur­mis­ing the source. It’s hard not to tie the dots together,” said Katz. It’s hard not to think that a year of fer­til­iz­ing trees didn’t add another dimen­sion.”

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