Since moving to Melbourne 3 years ago, we hadn’t actually ventured to the Grampians. There are so many beautiful places for us to still see, so to say we were excited when planning our trip to The Grampians is an understatement.
It was such an enjoyable drive, we stopped at Ballarat along the way for brekkie. We dined at Yellow Espresso. They have a fun menu and the Gold Rush smoothie was yum! I really love Ballarat and can’t wait to return!
We arrived at the Grampians Olive Co. around 12pm and met with Greg. We decided to start the tour down where the olives were being harvested, so we could see the tractor they use in action. It was a short drive from the farm shop, enjoyable as the landscape is simply stunning.
Grampians Olive Co. produces organic olive oil, meaning they do not use pesticides, herbicides or synthetic fertilisers.
There are over 28,000 olive trees on the 1000 acre property which blows my mind. The trees have been planted in a way that assists with halting any spread of disease. I found it really interesting to learn they do not have any sort of irrigation in place and are solely reliant on rainfall to water the trees.
There are also 27 varieties of olive including some rare varieties. Did you also know, it takes 7kgs of olives to make 1 litre of oil?
The tractor that they use to harvest the olives is so fascinating. An arm tightens around the stump of the tree. A vibration is sent to the tree, causing the olives to fall off. The yellow canvas then acts as a canopy to catch the olives as they fall from the tree. Once finished the canvas retracts and they can move onto the next tree.
This was one of my favourite parts of the tour! I honestly had never seen anything like this.
Inside the tractor, lots of olives from the tree!
I found it interesting that there were several sheep on the property. I learnt that they play a vital role in maintaining the olive grove. While they eat the grass and any tree shoots, they also provide natural fertiliser to the trees.
This here is called “pomace” which is the solid remains of the olives. It reminded me of tapenade however this is not to be eaten. This will actually be composted and put back into the soil to provide essential nutrients for the trees.
Once harvested the olives go through a wash in rainwater, they are then pressed to form a paste. Again, this reminds me of tapenade – yum!
The machines that are used to press the olives are called Pieralisi. The brand Pieralisi was started by a gentleman called Adeodato Pieralisi in Monsano, Italy in 1888.
The final process is the oil being separated from the paste (tapenade to me).
It is then ready to bottle!
A sample of oil straight from the press. It tasted so fresh, and had a peppery bite to it. Amazing to think I was tasting oil that came from a tree I just saw being harvested.
Back in the Farm Shop there are many oils to purchase, including gift packs and other local produce. I picked up a box of 6 infused oils for $40 which I think is great value. I can’t wait to use the Blood Orange infused oil!
They also sell olives in the jar, so I grabbed one of those too.
While the Grampians Olive Co. offers free tastings, you can also enjoy a tasting platter on the premises for an added cost. The bread dipped in the infused oils was so tasty, and the olives divine!
While enjoying your tasting platter, you can also indulge in a coffee or, in my case, a jasmine tea. It was lovely sitting by the window enjoying this in the Farm Shop after the tour.
The Grampians Olive Co. often hosts wood fired pizza days, be sure to check with them when the next one is as they have a beautiful seating area which would be a great spot to enjoy some yummy pizza!
Thank you to Greg and the team for such a great tour. You are doing great things for Australian Produce!
A big thank you to Adele from Adele Feletto Publicity for organising an amazing tour.
We left with a bunch of knowledge and a real appreciation for good quality produce.I recommend you pop along for a tour when you can! Tell them Renee sent you!
Have a wonderful week,