The producer: Jim and Lisa Rowntree have been producing for 16 years on their 100-acre property in Netherton on South Australia’s Limestone Coast and today have over 87,000 olive trees. With its Mediterranean climate, sandy soil with high salinity and rainfall of 450ml/year on average, the location provides the ideal conditions for growing the hardy fruit tree as it mimics almost exactly the conditions where the plant originated.
The product: There are over six different species – Barnea, Picqual, Frantoya, Koreniki, Arbequina and Arbosana – planted on their Super High Density grove, the largest in Australia. Most of these have been selected due to the appropriateness for the environmental conditions and for this style of planting, with the intention to yield higher volumes of quality fruit from smaller trees, thus facilitating easier harvest.
What our finalists’ say: “One of the most exciting parts of our visit was trying a number of oils extracted from different species at different times. We were amazed at how much the oils varied, which largely reinforced discussions we had with Lisa and Jim about the importance of oil blends for a consistent, versatile product. We were excited to discuss how we could utilise the flavour and texture subtleties of the different olives at a more advanced level in the restaurant sphere, capturing, enhancing and customising flavours and combinations to showcase such an elegant and important culinary product.” Chloe Proud, Mathew McNamara and Michael Cole, who visited as part of the 2013 produce tour.
Here is a little look into Jim & Lisa’s olive farm and processing;
T: (08) 8573 6545
For more information about Australia Olives & olive oil, check out Australia Olive Association