Big Paw is named for our founder, Tio “Boom-Boom” Wiggillino – an extraordinary Basset Hound and discriminating gourmet, who while on a walk in the Mayacamas Mountains of northern Napa Valley lost the scent of a very clever rabbit that dashed through a patch of aromatic Wild Sage.
Christmas of 1993 saw the first bottling of Big Paw 1993 Wild Sage Olive Oil that was produced as gifts. Overwhelming enthusiasm encouraged producing the product commercially, and the well deserved credit was given to Tio as Founder. His life-size paw print endorses every bottle of Big Paw product.
Tio’s human, Tony Pennisi, has been foraging wild foods for more than 30 years. Taught by his grandfather, Tony Defazio, who took him in the field picking wild dandelion greens and mushrooms beginning at age 5, Tony has kept the tradition of foraging wild foods and has expanded his knowledge to more than 30 wild mushrooms and various other wild foods and herbs over the years.
As with fine wines, Big Paw differentiates the particular characteristics of a flavoring not just by the herb or mushroom alone, but where it has grown. For example, our 1996 Wild Sage Olive Oil is foraged from the Mayacamas Mountains. Our 1996 Wild Fennel Olive Oil has two appellations: the Up Valley Floor in Napa Valley is bold and intense, while the Wild Fennel from the cooler Carneros region exhibits a sweeter note.
Our philosophy is based on producing small lots of the highest quality possible. Several flavors are produced in quantities of only 10-12 cases per year, and are designated as Tio’s Reserve. Such as the 1995 Trumpet of Death Olive Oil (Craterellus Cornucopioides) and the 1999 Chanterelle Chardonnay Vinegar.
In the News and on the Web
From turnips to favas to rotisserie chicken, farmers markets bring communities together (Alameda Times-Star) Jun 1, 2005
Freebies are a big draw, and Napa Valley’s Big Paw dipping vinegars can be seen dripping off various appendages as people wander the market. Margaret’s French Bakery from the South Bay is here too, with tarts, eclairs and cakes that were originally baked by “Marjolaine.” Despite Americanizing her name, Madge does well…
Pacific Coast Farmer’s Markets
Where To Find Us
Fillmore Jazz Festival (July 2/3, 2005)
Millbrae Art & Wine Festival (September 3/4, 2005)
Napa Wine & Crafts Fair(September 10, 2005)
Pleasanton Heritage Festival (September 24/25, 2005)
Grass Valley Country Christmas Fair (November 25/26/27, 2005)
And, of course, we’re always at your local Bay Area farmers market. Please click here for a list of our Summer 2005 markets!
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