The Olive Grove
The olive grove evolved from our desire to bring up our children in a rural environment.
We purchased an abandoned flower nursery in 2002 and set about converting it into a sustainable farm.
The land was initially overgrown with weeds, statices and daisies.
Our first task was to rehabilitate the land into pasture and re-established native flora.
At the start of Autumn, we monitor the olives on a weekly basis for optimum harvest time.
The olives are harvested and pressed within hours of picking in our on-site Mill Room.
Each variety is picked and pressed separately, depending on its optimal fruit maturity. Our Leccino olives produce a delicate oil, while our Coratina, Frantoio and Picual tend to be medium to robust in intensity and character. Our Picholine oils are by far the most robust and aromatic.
Native flora is planted around the grove to encourage wildlife.
A vegetable garden and fruit tree orchard were also planted to feed the family.
A small herd of Angus steers graze the remaining pasture.
PLANTING THE GROVE
The olive grove was established in May 2006, with the planting of two thousands olive saplings.
Five varieties of olives were selected;
x3 Italian: Coratina, Leccino, Frantoio
x1 French: Picholine
x1 Spanish: Picual
Each variety has its own unique oil aroma and tasting profile.
Where possible organic practices and principles are adopted in managing the grove and farm.
In 2010, our grove produced enough olives to make our first extra virgin olive oil with the newly commissioned Alfa Laval olive press.
We are excited to bring to market our labour of love in each bottle of our extra virgin olive oil (EVOO).
THE OLIVE PRESS
Our Mill Room houses a state-of-the-art, continuous process, Alfa Laval olive press.
Olives harvested, are washed and milled onsite.
The fruits are pressed with pits removed (denocciolate), a unique method of producing EVOO favoured by artisanal olive oil makers in Italy to reduce enzymatic degradation of the oil, increase phenolic content (antioxidants) and reduce bitterness associated with oil derived from the pits. Without the olive pits, the olive waste (pomace) is fed to the cattle and any excess composted. The pits are then used for heating.
Our EVOO is stored in a temperature controlled cellar.