How We Make Blood Orange Olive Oil


Walk through what it takes to make Round Pond Blood Orange Olive Oil .  Then grab a bottle and get cooking!

Our Blood Orange FAQ


Our Blood Orange Olive Oil is a rare beauty, which we cultivate with care from grove to bottle. It also inspires a lot of questions. We gathered the questions we hear most frequently from guests at the mill and asked Ryan [co-owner & master of oil blending :)] to chime in with answers.

How do you make your Blood Orange Olive Oil?

We make our blood orange olive oil by juicing the blood oranges and then taking just the pith and milling it with the olives in our 2-ton stone frantoio from Italy. The slightest hint of blood orange becomes embedded in the olives and the resulting extracted olive oil is lightly fragrant and has a soft blood orange flavor to it but is still very much an olive oil. We don’t want to hide or inhibit the best characters of the olive oil by overwhelming it with blood orange. It has to be the perfect balance of the two.

Why use Blood Oranges?

We love the intense aroma, flavor and color of a blood orange. We grow them on our property and wanted to celebrate this (more) rare but delicious fruit.

Where do you source the fruit?

Several years ago, we outgrew our ability to grow enough blood oranges on our property to satisfy our need for the blood orange olive oil. At that point, we started scouring the local area for other blood orange growers. Today, we have a nice stable of farmer partners whom we source the fruit from. The catch is that the start of blood orange season just barely dovetails with the very end of olive season. So starting in mid-November, we are in constant touch with growers throughout California to get the first of their crops in time for the last of our olives. Every year it’s a tricky business to find this overlap.

What is a Blood Orange?

I’m going to borrow from Wikipedia here: “The blood orange is a variety of orange (Citrus × sinensis) with crimson, almost-blood-colored flesh. The fruit is smaller than an average orange; its skin is usually pitted, but can be smooth. The distinctive dark flesh color is due to the presence of anthocyanins, a family of antioxidant pigments common to many flowers and fruit, but uncommon in citrus fruits. The flesh develops its characteristic maroon color when the fruit develops with low temperatures during the night. Sometimes there is dark coloring on the exterior of the rind as well, depending on the variety of blood orange. The skin can be tougher and harder to peel than that of other oranges. While all oranges are likely of hybrid origin between the pomelo and the tangerine, blood oranges originated as a mutation of the sweet orange.”

What foods do you pair with it?

My favorite combination is pan seared, fresh-caught wild salmon drizzled with blood orange olive oil and scattered with dill or other fresh herbs, salt and pepper. Yum! I also like to follow Chef Eric’s recommendation for easy pairing – anything orange/red pairs well with our orange/red blood orange olive oil, whether it’s tomatoes and mozzarella, persimmons in a salad, glazed carrots. Random combo: blood orange olive oil brownies – a favorite in the Round Pond winery kitchen.

How do you use it, besides on cheese?

We’ve got a dozen ways right here.

How long will it keep? How should I store?

We typically suggest one year from the date of harvest. At Round Pond, we bottle on demand (keeping the oil in temperature controlled, oxygen free environments until then) which means you will get the freshest oil available so it may last beyond the year mark. After that, the vibrant flavors will begin to fade.

Ryan MacDonnell, Co-Owner of Round Pond Estate

Written by Ryan MacDonnell, Co-Owner of Round Pond Estate

I love gardening, canning (especially Tomato sauce), and morning workouts while my kids are still sleeping. I am completely addicted to loose leaf green tea and my guiltiest pleasures are the chocolate soufflé at Press Restaurant (YUMMMM!) and rocking out to Katy Perry with my 3 daughters.

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