Organic farming, a unique mix of rare varieties, the right climate and the age of our olive trees are what create the unique flavour of our oil. The traditional low density dry land planting ensures quality whist the number of trees across an expansive area enables us to offer a consistent supply. Our grove produces a relatively small amount (for the land area) of high quality premium extra virgin olive oil and we are happy with that - our focus is on quality over quantity.
Our olives are grown and processed the way nature intended - completely free of pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertlilisers and chemicals that could damage your health and our ecosystem. Our entire grove is certified organic by NASAA (Cert. No. #3232P) and organic farming practices have been employed since the beginning when our trees were hand planted in the virgin soil. We are always working to naturally improve the soil rather than deplete it and ensure our farming and processing practices are sustainable. For example the pomace (crushed stones and skins) obtained from pressing olives is composted and put back into the soil. Our trees are carefully hand pruned, the prunings are mulched and put around the trees to improve the soil.
Sheep are seasonally grazed among the trees as part of our organic management plan, which helps keep the grass down as well as providing natural fertiliser for our trees. Being adjacent to the pristine Grampians National Park guarantees the integrity of our organic status, and also means we have abundant native wildlife sharing our grove including kangaroos, emus, echidnas and a variety of birds which help to keep everything in balance and control pest insects.
Our 28,000 olive trees are low-density planted in the traditional 10 x 10m layout which is well suited to the olive tree's natural growing habit, in contrast to the super intensive trellis/hedge row plantings of modern groves. The traditional dryland growing method has been retained (absolutely no irrigation) despite the lower yields, because it results in a unique and superior full bodied flavour; similar to wine from dryland grapes. Our heritage olive trees are a mix of 27 traditional and some rare olive varieties (in Australia) including Verdale, Bouquettier, Benito. Other varieties include WA Mission (Frantoio), Manzanillo and some unnamed selections that are believed to have been developed on the grove by our founders. Whilst our trees produce a low yield of oil, the flavour and quality is exceptional, enhanced by the age of the trees.
Our location at the foot of the Northern Grampians was chosen for it's complex sandy soils, formed by an ancient seabed, which make it perfectly suited to premium organic olive oil production. We experience the ideal Mediterranean climate required for producing quality organic olive oil - that is hot dry summers and cool wet winters. Working with nature rather than against it, the harsh Mediterranean climate virtually eliminates fungal and other disease problems encountered in more humid climates. Our low-touch approach to oil production – cold pressed on farm within hours of harvest, unfiltered, unrefined – captures the natural antioxidants and flavours produced by our trees.