Agustí Romero

At the idyllic and iconic McEvoy Ranch, the producer of one of California’s top olive oils, a group of olive oil devotees will meet on February 8th to hone their skills at tasting. Teaching the course on a rare trip to California is Agustí Romero of the Institute for Research and Technology in Agriculture (IRTA) in Catalonia, Spain.

Olive Oil Times readers may remember Romero for his insights on malaxation or from the program he oversees to help Catalan mills improve their productivity and quality.

The class is an opportunity for people who already have a basic proficiency in olive oil tasting to expand their knowledge and skill, with a practical emphasis on the causes of various olive oil attributes.

Olive oil producers, merchants and buyers are the intended audiences for the class that includes topics like “Chemistry of positive attributes: Genetics, environment, ripening and milling modulation” and “Postharvest risks.” There are also segments that will be of practical interest for the supply chain such as “Shelf-life: still an unsolved issue” and “Useful analysis for trading purposes.”

Each lecture will be accompanied by olive oil tastings to explain each sensory attribute and the relevance of targeted tasting procedures. The class will discuss practical olive oil chemistry, processing challenges, maximizing quality, adjusting the process according to sensory outcomes, future developments in processing and boosting sensorial analysis by volatile analysis.

The final session of the day will be a roundtable discussion of local issues and experiences with California millers and oils that will draw on Romero’s experience working with producers to improve their outcomes. This discussion will be followed by a tasting of McEvoy Ranch wines sponsored by local olive tree supplier, Novavine nursery.

The class is co-sponsored by McEvoy, IRTA and the Extra Virgin Alliance with additional support from Novavine and Eurofins laboratory. The prerequisite for the course is completion of a basic olive oil tasting course, membership in a taste panel, or other olive oil tasting experience. There are a few spots remaining; to fill out an application visit the McEvoy Ranch website.

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