July 14, 2016   By Kelly Bejelly

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I would agree with Oregon Olive Mill at Red Ridge that they are one of Oregon’s best kept secrets.

For over 40 years, this family has been growing wine grapes in the Willamette Valley. What has spanned over five generations during this time is nothing short of amazing. They went from being one of the first families in Oregon back in 1973 to grow wine grapes and make wine to expanding into one of the most well-known farms in the state. They now boast “a specialty plant nursery, gift shop, olive grove, Oregon’s only commercial olive oil mill, wine tasting room, overnight lodging, event spaces and expansive gardens.”

Oregon Olive Mill at Red Ridge Farms states, “Our family has a deep and lasting connection to the land. We readily acknowledge that we are the caretakers of this small piece of land here in the Dundee Hills that we will ultimately pass down to future generations.  We hope to share this connection with you and all visitors to Red Ridge.”

You can definitely feel that connection when you visit their farm. I love that they are local and offer many fun-filled activities and events throughout the year. They offer a wide array of food and beverage events that highlight the variety and intricacy of Oregon agriculture and host an assortment of educational classes. There is also horseback and walking vineyard tours, wreath-making classes, food preparation workshops and a live music series during the summer months. You can learn more about Oregon Olive Mill at Red Ridge’s events here.

Aside from all the events they host and the wine they make, I’ve come to love their vinegars and olive oils. They are so delicious!

Aperö Vinegars

Oregon Olive Mill at Red Ridge Farms’ collection of imported and locally crafted vinegars is quite impressive. Personally, I’m a huge fan of their line of Aperö vinegars, which are aperitif-style vinegars from Germany.

They offer three flavors of Aperö vinegar:

  • The Aperö Passion Fruit vinegar is made from a combination of balsamic and passion fruit that results in a vinegar with very low acidity. You can enjoy it as a drink before a meal, use it in a salad dressing or even drizzle it over ice cream with fresh fruit.
  • The Aperö Gourmet Fig vinegar is made from premium fruit wines and infused with fresh fig extract. It’s a great combo of sweet and acid with fragrant and fruity notes. You can add it to yogurt, create a cocktail, use it as a salad dressing or drizzle it over sauteed veggies.
  • The Aperö Orange Apéritif vinegar is crisp, sweet and punchy, yet delicate. You can make a salad dressing, whip up a cocktail, or drizzle over chicken, fish or veggies. I love making cucumber salad with this vinegar.

Aperö vinegar is only available through Oregon Olive Mill at Red Ridge Farms in the U.S. You can learn more about these vinegars here.
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Oregon Olive Mill

With Oregon Olive Mill, Oregon Olive Mill at Red RidgeRed Ridge Farms has created the first commercial olive mill in the northwest. It is “a premier purveyor of estate-milled Extra Virgin Olive Oil and home to the only Olioteca in the Pacific Northwest. Founded in 2008, Oregon Olive Mill is home to 17 acres of olive trees and a state-of-the-art Italian mill.”

If you’re a big olive oil enthusiast and want to experience the mill operations, they offer mill tours so people can see how olive oil gets from the tree to the table.

When they sent me their Tuscan Extra Virgin Olive Oil, I was so excited to try it. This flavor was made from “a blend of field grown Italian olive varietals from Oregon and California. It’s a full-bodied oil with robust flavor, a hint of hay and a peppery finish.” You can pair it with meats, strong cheeses, add it to hummus and other richly flavored dishes.

But, what I really love about olive oil, in general, is all the health benefits.

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Health Benefits of Olive Oil  

There have been numerous studies done over the years that state the health benefits from eating olive oil. From reducing the risk of heart disease, lowering blood pressure and preventing blood clots to reducing inflammation, improving cholesterol, and helping to fight off cancer.

But, did you know that olive oil is also great for your skin and hair? That’s right, you can use olive oil in homemade hair and skincare beauty products.

Olive oil can help in the following ways:

  • Softens hair and adds a shine
  • Tames frizzy hair
  • Relieves dry, itchy, flaky scalps
  • Softens your skin and cuticles
  • Tightens saggy skin
  • Reduces skin inflammation
  • Helps heal split heels and calluses
  • Heals bad sunburns
  • Enhances exfoliation
  • Doesn’t clog pores and removes blackheads
  • Fights aging and wrinkles
  • Used as a shaving aid
  • Used as a makeup remover, especially eye makeup
  • Used as a chapped lips remedy
  • Used as a diaper rash treatment
  • Used in face mask recipes
  • Used as an antioxidant protection

If you haven’t used olive oil to make any homemade skin care products yet, you can get started with my homemade baby oil recipe below.

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Natural Baby Oil

8 oz Oregon Olive Mill at Red Ridge Olive oil

2 oz jojoba oil

1 cup of chamomile flowers

 

Place all the ingredients in a double boiler over medium low heat.   You are going to want to warm the oil for at hour to infuse the oil.  Strain and place in a jar to use as needed.

This is a partnered post.  I only share brands that I love.

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