While on a brief respite weekend and Phoenix, we took a long drive from our downtown location to the far East Valley, discovering groves of still standing (and just blossoming) orange groves. Meandering through the past agricultural area and more recent urban sprawl development, we reached our destination (45 minutes later): the Queen Creek Olive Mill. It was worth the drive.
We took in the Olive Pressing 101 tour, led by a wonderful guide, Sandy (who looks better in her mid 60s than Olivia Newton-John does and had the same perky personality as "Sandy" in "Grease). We tasted a variety of their products (and olives from the Olive Garden at the Greek Monastery in Florence) and had a great Panini and salad from their Restaurant.
Here are pictures of the exterior Olive Grove/Picnic Area and the amazing interior/store with products not only from their gardens but other local growers. The story of the Mill and other photos (plus directions which you will need) are at www.queencreeekolivemill.com. We encourage you to check it out and, if the trip is too much for now, their products are also available in Tucson at La Encantada. We bought their "classic" EVOO for ourselves and our Phoenix condo hostess and our Chef Aron Fonte.