Friday, October 14, 2016

5 North: Brooks, in Capay Vally, Séka Hills Olive Mill and Tasting Room


Séka Hills Olive Mill and Tasting Room  19326 County Road 78, across from Cache Creek Casino, in Brooks, (530) 796-2810.  W-Sun 11am-6pm.  Tours for 10+.  Olive oil tasting free; wine tasting $8.  Owned by the Souverign Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation and operated with Cache Creek Casino profits, this facility has 250 acres of certified organic fields, grazes cattle, and grows 16 different crops--including wine grapes and 82 acres of olives.  In the Tribe's native Patwin language “seka” means “blue hills,” which were misty on the rainy spring day I visited this lovely property.  Tasting takes place in a gigantic new building that resembles a barn and carries through the theme with reclaimed old barn-wood floors.  Using equipment from Florence Italy, the mill processes super-premium olive oil--no granite wheel pulled by a donkey here.  An employee describes it as “an automated noisy, messy process.”  An array of olive oil varietals are produced and stored in tall stainless-steel tanks, some holding as much as 14,500 gallons.  Other growers also process their olives here.  The season runs mid-October through November and is a particularly interesting time to visit.  During my olive-oil sampling in the gigantic tasting room, I learned to twist the tiny cup holding the olive oil in my hand, in order to warm it up and release the fragrance, and then to slurp my sip across my tongue to release the flavor.  I also learned that color means nothing but does add visual interest.  We tasted four varietals, as well as balsamic vinegars—elderberry, fig, and pomegranate--plus local wildflower honey.  Walnuts and almonds, too.  Our guide, Alison, helped us with pronunciation:  “It is “all-munds” on the tree, “ah-munds” off the tree.  You’ve got to knock the ‘l’ off them to get them off the tree.”  Wine tasting is also available, and the gift selection includes olive oil in a box.


exterior of Séka Hills Olive Mill and Tasting Room in Brooks, in theCapay Valley of California
exterior of Séka Hills Olive Mill and Tasting Room in Brooks, in theCapay Valley of California


picnic area at Séka Hills Olive Mill and Tasting Room in Brooks, in theCapay Valley of California
picnic area at Séka Hills Olive Mill and Tasting Room in Brooks, in theCapay Valley of California


Jim Edders guides a tour at Séka Hills Olive Mill and Tasting Room in Brooks, in theCapay Valley of California
Jim Edders guides a tour at Séka Hills Olive Mill and Tasting Room in Brooks, in theCapay Valley of California


stainless-steel storage tanks at Séka Hills Olive Mill and Tasting Room in Brooks, in theCapay Valley of California
stainless-steel storage tanks at Séka Hills Olive Mill and Tasting Room in Brooks, in theCapay Valley of California


tasting room at Séka Hills Olive Mill and Tasting Room in Brooks, in theCapay Valley of California
tasting room at Séka Hills Olive Mill and Tasting Room in Brooks, in theCapay Valley of California


tasting at Séka Hills Olive Mill and Tasting Room in Brooks, in theCapay Valley of California
tasting at Séka Hills Olive Mill and Tasting Room in Brooks, in theCapay Valley of California


tasting cups at Séka Hills Olive Mill and Tasting Room in Brooks, in theCapay Valley of California
tasting cups at Séka Hills Olive Mill and Tasting Room in Brooks, in theCapay Valley of California


tasting nuts at Séka Hills Olive Mill and Tasting Room in Brooks, in theCapay Valley of California
tasting nuts at Séka Hills Olive Mill and Tasting Room in Brooks, in theCapay Valley of California



More things to do in Capay Valley.

Things to do in nearby Woodland. 
 
More things to do in nearby Davis.
 
Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular getaways.


images c2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

 

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