Lyons, Georgia is now on the map for extra virgin olive oil. Terra Dolce Farms, owned by my friend and former colleague, Senator Tommie Williams, has earned Gold this past week at the New York International Olive Oil Competition. The winning oil is from Terra Dolce’s first-ever harvest.
Many, many, many congratulations.
I had the pleasure of tasting several of Terra Dolce’s extra virgin olive oils this past winter. Tommie and his guys hand-picked small batches of different varieties over the course of several weeks, milling and testing as they went – perfecting and data collecting. I have no doubt that all Tommie’s oils in the future will be so lovingly produced.
I’m sure many of you wonder why a Georgia olive-growing farm would be named Terra Dolce. Sure, there is the nod to the Mediterranean region, but it is also a nod to a very famous food from the area, Vidalia Onions.
In 1931 farmer Moses Coleman planted a variety of typically spicy white onions. When he harvested his crop he noticed that the onions weren’t spicy at all, they were sweet. This sweetness was due to the soil present in Toombs County where both Vidalia and Lyons are located. It certainly stands to reason that if the humble onion can be transformed then why not the humble olive.
I texted my congratulations to Tommie today and learned that he is busily planting more trees. I am excited and hope to visit with him this summer in his little piece of terra dolce.
May the sun shine through your branches.