2019 Harvest - Oil Maker's Notes

 

Italian Olive Cultivars Stand-Out as 21st Harvest Concludes after Record 15 Weeks.

Olio Bello's Italian olive varieties Leccino and Frantoio have been highlighted as displaying some of the highest quality fruit yields in our historic 21st annual harvest,

A long and cooler summer climate across the south west region and the cyclical ‘on-year’ for olives, has seen a slower ripening of fruit across the property’s 8000 trees and resulted in more robust and herbaceous olive oil characteristics, over the previous 2018 season.


As we still predominately utilise the traditional hand-picking, pressing and bottling methods of Europe, our small team of international pickers, worked feverishly from early April through to mid July to source more than 110 tonne of combined fruit, including both table olives and oil, from across our 14 unique olive groves. the season was unique in that it represented one of the first years where the table olives and the production of olive oil overlapped, due to the extended cooler conditions in the region.

Although we experienced a bumper-harvest with strong results, the 2019 season was not without its challenges!

The cooler conditions and autumn rains, meant that we had to suspend the picking of our table olives (Kalamata and Manzanillas) mid-stream to ensure that our more delicate olive oil varieties such as Koroneike, Leccino and Arbequina, were picked early to avoid developing any fungal diseases, to which they are highly susceptible.

Our remaining middle to robust varieties such as WA Mission, Corregiolo, Frantoio, Marioli and Boutellian, then followed once the picking of the table olives resumed and was completed.

Once the pickling process is completed, we plan to release more than 6 tonnes of organic hand-harvested table olives to the market in Autumn 2020.

Like other producers in the region, we also had a constant battle with the birds attacking our crop.

Regardless, our entire process from A to Z, is a true labour of love and we’re extremely proud to present our 21st season of high quality oil.

It’s a celebration and a tribute to everyone involved with Olio Bello’s story since inception. From the moment we start hand-picking our table olives in early April, right through to the production and bottling of our popular citrus oils such as Mandarin, Lemon and Five Fruits and our infused Parmesan, Chilli & Garlic varieties, we are committed to the integrity of the process, sustainable organic farming and a quality outcome.

This approach over-rides the opportunity for speed, automation and modern short-cuts and we think this commitment to the traditional methodology makes all the difference!”

The real stand-out for the season was our Italian Leccino and Frantoio cultivars. The climate resulted in lower yields and slower ripening, but greener and more robust and herbaceous fruit characteristics! 


It seems only fitting in our 21st harvest that the Italian varieties have stolen the show and pay homage to our namesake Olio Bello!

We look forward to releasing our New Season Oils and sharing the results and health benefits with our loyal customers and visitors from around the world.”


Other highlights of the 2019 Olio Bello Harvest included the production of delicate, boutique varieties: Arbequina and Koroneike under its own label, a Garlic pressed Oil, along with a small portion of Mariolo, which will be released in November along with the full 2019 Collection.

Following pressing, the new oil (Olio Nuovo) is stored in a carefully controlled temperature storage facility for approximately 3 months to settle and clarify. The traditional and pressed Estate Oils and our popular Infused Oils, will be released to our customers in Spring.

We are also proud to have pressed over 200 tonnes of olives for external local growers in the region for the 2019 Season and to promote the strong collegiate spirit of the Olive Oil industry in Western Australia.

Enjoy your Oil!

Brett- General Manager and Oil Maker - Olio Bello