Australian Extra Virgin olive oil – Nullamunjie olive groves are situated on the lower slopes of Mount Stawell on the banks of the Tambo River at Tongio. Tongio is the district between Swift’s Creek and Omeo in the mountains of eastern Victoria.
The climate here is very similar to that of Tuscany with hot summers and cold winters so the varieties of olives chosen were those traditionally grown in Tuscany – Frantoio, Correggiola and Leccino, with the graceful Pendolino used as a cross-pollinator.
The first grove of 600 Correggiola trees was planted in 1998, with further groves of Correggiola, Frantoio and Leccino planted in subsequent years to a total, to date, of just over 3,000 trees.
Besides a favourable climate, the soil here is excellent for growing and producing olive oil because, unlike most Australian soils used for agriculture, it contains rocks in abundance. The olive tree over the last millennia has perfected the art of extracting the minerals it needs from rocks – think of olive trees growing on bare stony hillsides in Greece and the Middle East! It is the presence of rock in the soil which is the greatest contributor to the beautiful flavour of Nullamunjie olive oil. As is well-known in vineyards, the soil – le terroir – defines the character of a wine, and so it does for olive oil also.
The trees are tended in accordance with organic principles without the use of any pesticides or herbicides, or artificial fertilizers.
The season begins with flowering in October/November and by the end of April the fruit is beginning to flush crimson and purple. Harvest commences in May.