Winterhill Olive Oil, founded in 2003 by Richard Wolf and Annette Schoonover, is operated by local growers and crafters of artisanal certified 100% extra-virgin olive oils and premium “Pressed-With-The-Fruit” olive oils. The Winterhill tasting room located in historic downtown Placerville carries their signature oils as well as many other locally grown and produced specialty foods and gifts. Guests can learn how to taste olive oils from the complimentary tasting bar, and pair the oils with seasonal, locally grown and gourmet foods featured in the store.
Winterhill grows their olives locally on its 40-acre farm located within 15 minutes of Placerville. Other olives are also harvested from local El Dorado Farms to not only help support and sustain the agricultural community, but also to add diversity to Winterhill's olive oils.
The farm is the culmination of Schoonover’s life-long desire to recapture the spirit of her “peasant farmer” Italian roots. Born Annette Severino to parents from Sicily, she has searched throughout California for just the perfect setting to keep her heritage alive and produce a healthful product in an environmentally sustainable manner.
The land named Winterhill has a history of ownership dating back to the early days of the California Gold Rush and Placerville. Originally, Winterhill was part of a much larger parcel of land owned by Alonzo Church, one of the founding fathers of Placerville.
In addition to its premium oils, Winterhill also offers flavored oils; lemon, orange, lime, basil, jalapeno and garlic. The store makes available all of their oils in bulk as well as in their signature art bottles. Customers can bring in their own bottles, or purchase empty ones in various sizes at the store for the quantities they want to purchase. This method, popular in Europe, is not only environmentally sound, it is also cost effective for the customer. The store also features unique specialty foods like authentic balsamic vinegar, artisanally produced chocolates, anti-oxidant coffees, teas, handcrafted and locally produced items and gift baskets. The store’s theme is Products With Passion, where most of the products are made with a passion and have a story told by its maker.
Winterhill's olive bottle art labels have been created by two local developmentally challenged artists. Their talents are showcased on every bottle, and a portion of the proceeds is given back to their schools. Prints of their artwork are for sale with 100% of the sale given back to Southside Art Center and Mother Lode Rehabilitation Enterprises Inc., the organizations that support these and other developmentally disabled artists in the area.
Winterhill is a member of the California Olive Oil Council, and has been producing extra virgin olive oil for seven years and opened its wine tasting room in 2007. Winterhill Farms is located southeast of Placerville near the wineries of Fairplay and the Shenandoah Valley of Amador County.