By Jennifer Nice, SEO web writer, Write Nice and freelance travel writer, Experiential Passage
The following article was originally published in Willamette Valley Life and is being reposted with permission.

Olive oil tasting at Red Ridge Farms in Dayton, Oregon. Red Ridge Farms is a member of the McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Olive oil tasting at Red Ridge Farms in the Dundee Hills near Dayton, Oregon.

Red Ridge Farms
5510 NE Breyman Orchards Road
Dayton, Oregon 97114

Perched atop a graceful knoll in Dundee Hills wine country, Red Ridge Farms awaits as a multisensory destination. The lush grounds showcase fragrant lavender, herbs, and plants such as coral berry and heuchera. Allow yourself to devote an entire afternoon to indulgence. Meander the serene paths, including the labyrinth, let the tranquil water feature mesmerize you, or enjoy a lazy picnic (weather permitting, of course – this is Oregon!)

The Red Ridge Farms property, owned and cultivated by the Durant family since the early 1970’s, includes vineyards, an olive orchard, the gift shop, lavender fields, Oregon’s first olive mill, two luxury vacation rentals, nursery, and wine tasting room. The Northwest craftsman style tasting room, completed in 2012, boasts sweeping views of vineyards, the valley floor and Cascade mountains to the east. Sit, sip, and savor!

Inside the shop, you’ll find distinctive gifts like handmade soaps, exquisite plants, epicurean cookbooks, locally raised honey, and gourmet salt. Salt? Yes, about 40 kinds of salts are available for tasting and purchase. But the star of the show is Red Ridge Farms’ olive oil.

There are generally about six flavored olive oils available for tasting, such as lemon, Spanish, blood orange, Tuscan blend, or Greek. Olive oil tasting in the shop is complimentary, and a deliciously grand experience. Private tastings and tours are also available. The Tuscan blend is earthy and robust with a peppery finish. For smooth and buttery with hints of fresh-cut hay, try the Greek. Mmmm…it’s hard to choose just one bottle to take home.

The Durant family planted the first of their 13,000 olive trees in 2004. The olive grove spans 17 acres with a mix of cold-hardy Spanish, Greek, and Italian varietals. In 2008, they established the Oregon Olive Mill, which is the largest commercial olive pressing facility in the state.

An old fashioned olive mill at the Oregon Olive Mill, Red Ridge Farms, Dayton, Oregon

An old-fashioned olive mill is on display at the Oregon Olive Mill at Red Ridge Farms.

To celebrate the olive harvest, Red Ridge Farms will host the 5th annual Olio Nuovo Festa November 22-24, 2013. All ages are welcome at this free event. Guests can taste samples of freshly pressed olive oil, nosh on Italian bruschetta, and taste newly released Pinot noir, among other festivities.

If you find yourself cast under the spell of Red Ridge Farms, you don’t have to motor back home. Make it a weekend escape and stay the night at either the Red Ridge Guest Suite or Stoneycrest Cottage. Both are perfect for a wine country getaway with all the amenities you’d expect. The guest suite sleeps 2 and the cottage accommodates 4 people. Enjoy a bottle of Pinot noir, drizzle some olive oil on your nibbles, and drink in stunning vistas from the deck….ah, life is good on the Farm.