If you want the good oil get over to Moama

By Riverine Herald

MURRAY Gums Estate has only been producing olive oil for a few years and it has already received two bronze medals.

The boutique Moama olive grove won the medals for its Frantoio extra virgin olive oil at the 2018 Royal Adelaide Olive Awards (Class 1 Provenance) on Wednesday night, as well as last month’s Australian Golden Olive Awards in Rutherglen.

Owners Dale and Angela Bowles said they were rapt with the achievement.

‘‘We were really excited because we have worked hard to get feedback on the quality of our oil,’’ he said.

‘‘Everyone who buys it says how good it is but how do you really know unless you enter these kinds of awards and get a gauge on where we sit among other olive growers.

‘‘The key is to picking it and pressing it the same day.’’

Mr Bowles planted 330 olive trees at his Perricoota Rd vineyard five years ago, using only traditional farming methods.

‘‘Predominantly I planted them to line the driveway to give the vineyard a wind break,’’ he said.

‘‘They are hand pruned and hand picked, using nets and combing it by hand. No machinery is used.

‘‘We will continue to use the right processes as the growing, pruning, irrigation and care of the olive tree are paramount if we want to continue to keep the quality up at a medal-winning level and improve.’’

During the last season, the Bowles harvested 200 trees which produced 2 tonne of olives — making just under 600 litres of oil.

‘‘We are limited to what we have here and we have no room to plant more,’’ Mr Bowles said.

‘‘Our goal is not to go to farmers markets but work closely with boutique shops and local restaurants and have chefs using it.’’