The silver and green olive leaves at Moama’s Murray Gums Estate are not the only things shining, after the business added another medal to its growing collection.
On the banks of the Murray River, the estate grows Frantoio, the most noted olive oil variety of Tuscany, Italy, and one of the most highly acclaimed oil varieties in the world.
But it was the owners’ special care and consideration for the olive oil-making process that led Murray Gums to take out a silver medal at one of the newest and most comprehensive olive oil and table olive competitions in the world.
Having already taken out two silver medals at the Royal Adelaide Show and Australian Golden Olive Awards this year, owners Dale and Ange Bowles said they were humbled to add another silver at the Australian International Olive Awards.
“We get our olives lab-tested each year, so we know for certain we produce a true extra virgin olive oil,” Mr Bowles said.
“A bottle of our single varietal Frantoio oil retains its unique characteristics and charm and really stands out from the crowd of regular olive oils.”
The estate is also renowned for its wine, including Row 50 Cabernet Sauvignon and the newly released Backroad Chardonnay.
The initial decision to grow olives at the vineyard was to protect the grapevines from the wind.
Mr Bowles said the olive oil was ideal for occasions when you wanted the flavour of the oil to shine.
“It’s perfect when dipping into a good crusty bread, a simple dressing for a fresh caprese salad, or a drizzle over a Mediterranean spaghetti pasta,” he said.
The magic touch starts with hand-harvesting the olives while they are young in late autumn.
“Once harvested, the olives are crushed within hours to preserve the quality, taste and aroma, then gently cold-pressed, releasing an oil of vibrant colour and wonderful complexity,” Mr Bowles said.
“It was rewarding to be told that our methods of growing, nurturing and processing our fruit are only going to improve the quality of our oil.”