2023 Oil Maker's Notes
A CITRUS REVIVAL -
ANNOUNCING NEW SEASON OIL COLLECTION, 2023
We are proud to be celebrating our 25th Harvest at the farm and to present Olio Bello’s 2023 New Season Oil Collection and to announce 5 Medal Award Wins, at the WA Olive Awards.
Similar to the 2022 season, this year reflected another cyclical lower production year right across the South West region.
This was a result of some unusual heat patterns in late spring, which affected our fruit set during the flowering period and resulted in lower production yields.
Fortunately, our strategic new pruning measures that have been under way across the property for the past four years, helped to even out the ‘bumps’ that we experienced along the way and created stronger olive growth in key some key areas, to balance things out.
The process, which is backed by extensive research, takes a substantial 'quarter' of the tree, each year and aims to revitalise the trees, maximise yields and improve overall tree health and prosperity - for sustained and improved growth, in future years.
We commenced harvest in early May with a small dedicated team, who worked across our 14 unique groves. The picking was completed in around six weeks, almost half the time of some previous years, due to the lower yields.
Saying this, however, the quality of the olives this year, was still extremely high in quality, texture and flavours, as was reflected through our breadth of award wins, for various categories and cultivars.
In addition, we also hand-picked our Manzanilla and Kalamata, for table olives in 2023. These are now resting in brine and will be ready to enjoy, around April 2024. These can be purchased from our farm shop, or online.
Following pressing, our new oil (Olio Nuovo) was carefully stored in our controlled temperature storage facility, for around 3 months, to settle and clarify. Our traditional and pressed estate oils our popular Infused oils, are then crafted and released to create our new season collection.
Of interesting note this year, was the high Polyphenol levels of our Romanza olives Frantoio and WA Mission, which was recorded at 374 ppm (parts per million). This has made it even more robust than our 2022 estate oils and perhaps healthier, due to the well researched and associated antioxidant value and benefits, of the higher polyphenol levels.
Every year, our oils are sent off for laboratory testing on the East Coast, as a part of our certified organic status, giving us greater insight and data around the polyphenol levels, in each of our oils and their rating.
Extra virgin olive oils are inherently rich in polyphenols, which are micronutrients that occur naturally in plants. Olive Oil contains more than 20 different polyphenols, which offers significant health benefits, backed by extensive research.
All of our new season oils have their own distinct qualities, textures and flavours - and we are proud to once again release our more Robust Organic Estate oils (Romanza, Kalamata and Premium Blend), along with our more delicate and subtle Arbequina (Spain), Kurunba (Corregiola, Italy).
As always, all of Olio Bello oils are perfect for dipping, dressing and cooking!
In addition, our Chilli and Garlic, Roasted Garlic and popular Parmesan Oil are also ready and once again, we’re proud of our infused range, which offers a more intense and distinct flavour, for the creative home chef.
Celebrating Citrus Pressed Oils
Finally, one of the stand-outs for the year, has been our Citrus Pressed Oils and the long-awaited release of our Mandarin, Lime, Lemon and Five Fruits - just in time for summer. It’s great to have them back in stock.
Sourced from our organic orchard- the oils are refreshing, vibrant and uplifting and offer something really unique, as reflected in the judge’s notes for the 2023 Awards, with both the Lime and Five Fruits, receiving Silver and Bronze, respectively. The Lime was also judged as the ‘2nd best Oil in Show in its category (Class 5 - flavoured oils).
To create our pressed flavoured oils, we use a process called ‘Agrumato’ – a traditional Italian process that uses the whole fruit and crushes it simultaneously with the olives, in the pressing mill.
Agrume’ means citrus in Italian and the names derives from the region of Abruzzo, on the eastern coast of Italy, where farmers made the flavoured ‘fruit juice’ to celebrate harvest and the season.
At the farm, we pick crates of fruit from our organic orchard and then ‘toss the whole fruit into the hopper of our Pieralisi mill, to press simultaneously with the olives and produce the distinct citrus oil and flavours. Not everyone can create this type of oil and we are fortunate to have the luxury of the Mill and experience in the ancient art of ‘agrumato’ to create our range.
It’s a spectacle for the eye and the tastebuds and we’re really proud of the zesty flavours, colours and nutritional value of our Citrus Pressed Oils. Enjoy them with summer seafood, over salads - or with sweet desserts, cakes, or even over ice-cream!
Finally, we're excited to we announce that we’ve won 5 Medals, at the 2023 WA Olive Awards. This includes 3 Silver Medals and 2 Bronze as below:
2023 Wins - WA Olive Awards:
🥈Silver – Romanza( Mission) Class 2: commercial volume, single grove: 200-4999 litres
🥈Silver – Arbequina Class 2: commercial volume, single grove: 200-4999 litres
🥈Silver – Lime Press : Class 5: Flavoured Oil
🥉Bronze – Five Fruits Pressed:Class 5: Flavoured Oil
🥉Bronze– Kurunba ( Boutellian Frantoio ) Class 2: commercial volume, single grove: 200-4999 litres
Olio Nuovo Release (June)
In 2023, we crafted and released an exclusive Olio Nuovo (Liquid Gold) oils for our VIP FOOBIES loyalty Club. This featured a blend of our Corregiolo olives (Tuscany) with a hint of Frantoio - to create a fresh, medium-bodied grassy and herbaceous oil, with a hint of artichoke and almost - which delivered a slightly peppery, yet smooth finish. This sold out quickly, with only 100 bottles produced.
Oil Maker’s Pick 2023
Although another lower production year for the entire region, this year has seen the emergence of some high quality oils with slightly stronger flavours. My personal favourites for 2023 - have to be the Romanza and Lime Oil - one for its extra intensity and robust flavours and the other, for its fresh, zesty and refreshing elegance and versatility.”
Pressing for our local growers, and community, continued in 2023, although the industry experienced a downturn. As in previous years, Olio Bello pressed around 200 tonnes of olives, for external local growers during the season - which equates to over 35,000 litres of oil.
We congratulate all local growers and those across the State, for the continuing production of outstanding olive oils across WA and always value the strong collegiate spirit of the olive oil industry in Western Australia, to the highest regard.
This year, at the Olive Oil Awards, a book was launched depicting 25 years of the Olive Oil industry in Western Australia, from 1995-2020. Entitled ’Olives, Oil & Toil’ Stories from the WA Olive Groves, it provides a fantastic overview of the entire start up of the WA industry and demonstrates the collegiate spirit that has endured the test of time. We acknowledge everyone involved in the production of this valuable piece of history and all local growers and producers, for their ongoing efforts.
Our ‘Citrus Revival’ 2023 olive oil collection celebrates the unique diversity of the olive oil production of the farm, from our traditional estate pressed range, through to our infused and citrus pressed oils. Regardless of the cultivar or type of oil, the our commitment remains to sustainable and organic farming..
We sincerely thank everyone involved with the 2023 season: especially our small picking team, production and sales team and to all of our local growers.
We are extremely proud to be a part of the world-class WA olive oil industry and hope you enjoy our 2023 Collection.
Brett Roberts- Oil Maker + General Manager
“Although 2023 was another lower production year, as experienced right across the region - we are celebrating our 25th year and the diversity of olive oils across our estate, pressed and infused range. This year, my personal favourites have to be the Romanza for its robust flavours and high Polyphenol rating and the Lime Oil for its lighter, fruitier and refreshing textures. We hope you enjoy the collection and thanks for your ongoing support.”