DAYTON, Ore. (KOIN) — You might not think of Dayton, Oregon as the spot for virgin olive oil. But the Durant Vineyards & Olive Oil Mill is the only commercial olive oil mill in the state.
“We have a brand new mill this year, first of its kind in the United States, so it’s been very exciting for us to kind of learn it,” said GM/Owner Paul Durant. “This really gives us a chance to kind of just take it up to the next level, in terms of really making sure we’re getting the flavors that are so complimentary in our oils, but then also being able to run a little bit faster. And so really capturing the freshness.
The annual Durant Olio Nuovo Festival involves fun food events with family-friendly events, too, and lasts through November.
“This is really kind of in the best Italian traditions. something we’ve been doing for years, which was really inspired by the guy who taught me how to make olive oil back in 2008,” Durant said.
There are free tours of the mill, happy hour events plus things you’ll need a ticket to attend, such as the elevated meals each Saturday that Durant describes as “a big lunch” with wine and oil tastings.
There’s also a chance to sit down with one of the experts behind the grapes and olives.
Durant said they work to make the food experience something “that you’re able to take that away from here and do it at your home or with family or friends or wherever.”
The vast property at Durant in Dayton includes a walking trail, lavender fields and honeybees still buzzing around.