Alta Cresta Olive Orchard
The owners of Alta Cresta Olive Orchard are Susan O'Reilly and Ron Sanders. The couple were avid gardeners in Florida. Knowing that gardening would always be a part of their lives and anticipating a welcomed change in their hectic lifestyle as retirement approached (influenced a bit by the reality show "The Good Life" admits Susan) they began to look for a lower stress rural environment with an ideal outdoor climate. The Florida humidity can be oppressive during a large part of the year, so they began a search for a place with a drier Mediterranean-type climate. Their search quickly focused upon California. Paso Robles Wine Country, not well known at the time, was a chance discovery during an impromptu visit to the area in 2002. They wanted a place that was rural --but still easy access to a city. Paso Robles fit the bill. They located an ideal property, but the seller was not quite ready to sell at the time. They contacted a local realtor and asked her to watch the property and contact them when it came on the market. Several months later they got the call from the realtor and Alta Cresta Olive Orchard was born.There was nothing on the property when they acquired it. As owner-contractors they managed the design and installation of the house, guest cottage and olive orchard on the ten-acre estate. Susan, an "interior designer by avocation" focused on the interior design, while Ron applied his engineering training to the "physical plant." Susan and Ron handled the design and installation of the extensive house gardens, and landscaping and now maintain it themselves.
One of the objectives of the project was to develop a commercial agricultural operation. Since the site has a classic Mediterranean-type climate, and the terroir was a perfect match for Italian varietal olives grown for olive oil, they chose to grow olives for Extra Virgin Olive Oil production. The orchard was planted with three Tuscan varietals: Frantoio, Leccino and Pendolino, and one from southern Italy, Coratina. Susan and Ron are firm believers in sustainable farming practices.
In November 2008 Alta Cresta had its first commercial harvest of estate olives. All of Alta Cresta's extra virgin olive oils are certified extra virgin by the California Olive Oil Council. In December of 2008, the couple opened an on-site olive oil tasting room where customers can purchase, sample and compare the different extra virgin olive oils.
Susan and Ron personally maintain the orchard and oversee harvesting and oil production. They store, bottle and label the oil onsite. Alta Cresta Olive Orchard is a truly personal operation that allows complete control of the extra virgin olive oil from growing of the olives to sale to the consumer. The result is premium award winning extra virgin olive oils on which you can depend.
The Olive Cottage Bed and Breakfast was originally built as a guest cottage. In 2006 it was remodeled with added extra conveniences and touches and transformed into a high-end Bed and Breakfast. The Olive Cottage Bed and Breakfast has every amenity one could ask for: a complete kitchen, serene and spacious bedroom, living/dining room and full bath. The private veranda overlooks a valley of vineyards and rolling fields of grain. Guests can prepare a dinner in the fully equipped kitchen or choose to go out to one of the ouststanding local restaurants after a busy day exploring Paso Robles Wine Country.