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Native-Made Olive Oil Gains Traction With Restaurants, Consumers

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Since the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation planted its first olive trees in 2008 in the Capay Valley of California, and launched its Séka Hills brand in 2011, the popularity of its extra-virgin olive oil and other estate-produced products has steadily grown.

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Today the tribe's olive oil is used by more than 200 restaurants, NPR reported—specifically highlighting the famed Chez Panisse. The tribe also sells a premium version of the Séka Hills extra-virgin olive oil in specialty shops and upscale farmers markets. Séka Hills means blue hills in the Patwin language.

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The tribe grows olives at its Séka Hills farm nestled between the Napa and Sacramento Valleys, a tranquil agricultural region with a climate similar to the Mediterranean. The Yocha Dehe Nation imported its state-of-the-art olive mill from Florence, Italy, and roughly 40 growers from the region additionally process their olives at the tribe's mill.

Séka Hills additionally produces and sells wine in at least three varietals from its Capay Valley estate-grown vines. The grapes are sent to Revolution Wines in Sacramento for custom crushing. The wines, available for purchase at sekahills.com/Wine, currently include a 2011 Tuluk'a (meaning red in the Patwin language), a 2014 rosé of Syrah, and a 2013 Viognier.

Last year, Séka Hills launched its honey line. Séka Hills Wildflower Honey is characterized by its richness and depth stemming from the extensive variety of wildflowers such as redbud, rose clover and ceanothus found on 9,000 acres of tribal land, where thousands of hives are strategically distributed.

Séka Hills also produces and sells fresh organic fruits and vegetables.

Visitors can try the various products at the farm's tasting room. Learn more about Séka Hills at www.sekahills.com.

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