The California Olive Oil Council has just finished its agricultural survey. Executive Director Patty Darragh says statewide production is up around 30% this year and on track to exceed one million gallons by early 2011.
"That's a big increase and when we reach that mark we will have surpassed French olive oil production so we're very excited about that."
Darragh says California farmers are planting about 8,000 acres of new olive trees every year. Producers are also opening new olive oil tasting rooms…at the rate of about one a month.
"Sometimes they're free-standing, sometimes they're attached to where the milling operations is, so there's a whole variety of them."
California produces nearly all of the olive oil made in the U.S. and the Central Valley is the largest production area in the state.