Arizona is full of tasty treasures–little gems that might be out of the way to visit but are fully worth the drive. One of such spots is Queen Creek Olive Mill, Arizona’s only working olive mill. While the Queen Creek Olive Mill is always a treat to visit (guests can picnic on the grounds among olive trees), it is currently hosting a fun event that makes the mill a must-stop this weekend: Olio Nuovo, or “Festival of the New Oil.” Through Feb. 20 (this is your final weekend to attend!), Valley dwellers are invited to come out to the mill the celebrate the arrival of the “New Oil” that was recently pressed at Queen Creek Olive Mill during the months of October through December.
During Olio Nuovo at the Mill, visitors are invited to take in live entertainment; wine tastings; extra virgin olive oil and other gourmet olive product samplings; tastings by local product vendors; tours of the olive mill during which guests will learn about olive tree varieties, farming and harvesting, the pressing process and the health benefits of olive oil and much more. This weekend, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Queen Creek Olive Mill is slated to host wine tastings and product tastings. Throughout the Olio Nuovo festival, there will be daily in-store retail deals (the Queen Creek Olive Mill store carries their signature local extra virgin olive oils, tapenades and unique stuffed olives and vinegars) and breakfast and lunch specials at Queen Creek Olive Mill’s on-site del Piero restaurant. (The del Piero menu includes gourmet sandwiches, paninis, soups, salads, unique wine, gelato, specialty coffees and olive oil baked goods.)
During the one-of-a-kind festival, The Mill’s limited collection of Private Press EVOOs will also be available for a limited time. (Maybe an early Valentine’s Day gift for your foodie love?) This exclusive line of Private Press EVOOs features a similar blend of olive varieties pressed at different stages of ripeness to create three distinctly different flavor profiles of extra virgin olive. These limited edition oils are named Arcangelo, Franciscan and Bianca and are available exclusively at the Queen Creek Olive Mill, so you are guaranteed it will be local and original. More than 200 Arizona-based bakeries and restaurants ulitize the goods of Queen Creek Olive Mill in their menus, so it’s definitely good enough for us.
Olio Nuovo hours are Sunday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. 25062 S. Meridian Rd.,
Queen Creek. http://queencreekolivemill.com/.