The master milling certificate course hosted by the University of California at Davis Olive Center makes its return for a sixth installment this month, boasting an extra day added to the agenda.

The course, which will be held from Oct. 9 through 12 at the Silverado Vineyard Sensory Theater at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, invites participants for a hands-on look and instruction on the maximization of quality and extraction efficiency in olive oil production. According to Dan Flynn, executive director of the center, participants will venture out of the classroom to three local olive oil processors.

For the third time, the Olive Center has tapped Pablo Canamasas as an instructor. Trained in Argentina and Spain in the art and science of olive oil processing, Canamasas refined his skills at Australia’s Boundary Bend, where he was the lead miller for 12 years. He currently consults for a number of producers worldwide.

“Pablo brings a deep passion for excellence and will help attendees understand how to produce award-winning olive oil,” said Flynn.

Pablo Canamasas

Canamasas will offer a number of lectures and instructional pieces throughout the course’s four-day program along with the Olive Center’s Sue Langstaff and Selina Wang, who will delve into chemical analysis, among other topics. Olive2Bottle Mobile Services will be processing oil on site. Outside of the classroom, day three brings a field trip to three olive oil companies:

Mike Madison’s Yolo Press grows Leccino, Taggiasca, Frantoio, Pendolino and Mission olive varieties. Madison’s operation boasts several years of experience using Enorossi equipment.

At Bondolio Olive Oil, Karen and Malcolm Bond grow several acres of Nocellara, Cerasoula and Biancolilla. They are in the finishing stages of installing Pieralisi processing equipment as well as a new tasting room.

The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation’s Séka Hills Olive Oil grows Picual, Arbequina, Arbosana and Koroneiki. They operate Alfa Laval equipment and just celebrated the opening of a new tasting room at the end of September. A reception lunch will be provided to attendees at Séka Hills.

Although the course has always featured an operating mill component, it has been entirely on-site in previous years.

The passage of new olive oil labeling standards will bring an exciting new dimension to the course, according to Flynn. He says these new standards allow for a better relationship to sensory quality than those already in place.

Participants in the 6th UC Davis Olive Center Master Milling Course will visit three producers in the area, including the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation’s Séka Hills production facilities and tasting room.

According to the course’s website, the success of Boundary Bend Limited under the direction of Canamasas, is determined by its dedication to stringent chemical and sensory analysis.

The instruction given at past courses by Canamasas has led to immediate improvements in both quality and profitability of participants’ processing operations, according to Flynn.

However, he is quick to mention that the event is not just for seasoned professionals. Flynn says he expects “[Everyone from] experienced millers to prospective olive oil processors to those curious about the best practices in the craft of extra virgin olive oil production,” to be in attendance.

What’s more to look forward to?

“Attendees always eat well at the Master Milling Certificate Course,” said Flynn. The course is fully catered, and includes fresh, seasonal produce and artisan coffee.

Registration is still open on the UC Davis Olive Center website.

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