About thirty miles northwest of Salem is the Dundee Hills AVA, an American Viticultural Area (designated wine growing area). The area is 6,940 acres in total size, with 1,300 acres planted with grapes. The soil is red in color, rich in iron, relatively infertile, making it suitable for grape cultivation. In 2008, the Durant Winery began planting olive trees and opened the Oregon Olive Mill. Since then they have planted over 13,000 trees and the first plantings are producing olives. The mill is the largest commercial oil pressing facility in the northwest.
After sampling some of the oils, we had to make a purchase of a couple of the tastiest. While we both checked out the Oregon Olive Mill, in truth only one really enjoyed the facility. The other member of this duo was smart enough to just keep his mouth shut and pretend to be interested. Experience is certainly a great teacher.