For years, the most reputable producers have followed the tradition of the dating olive oil by harvest year, noted as the year in which the harvest began.
In the Northern Hemisphere, whether Italy, Spain or California, the olive harvest takes place October to January. This is October and the current harvest is known as the 2014 harvest. When the olive trees are still being picked in January, this will continue to be labeled as the 2014 harvest.
But in an effort to prove faux freshness, and one-ups-man-ship, California producers have decided that we are already in the midst of the 2015 harvest. That nomenclature may work for automobiles, but we think it is a bit rotten for olive oil.
Our preferences in order:
2014/2015 if you must, or clearly:
Harvest 2014/Released 2015
Don’t be deceived by this new dating schema developed by Californians. Think before you buy.
For more information, see this article in the Olive Oil Times.