Our olive grove is just down the road from the vineyard on the same rugged terrain. The team at PepperGreen Estate are using innovative growth and production techniques to grow and nurture our 100-acre grove. These techniques will enable us to produce the largest volume of olives for the use of cooking and consumption in the region, all with a taste and quality of impeccable quality.
Join us at our Cellar Door and Tasting Room in Berrima to experience the delicious tastes of our olive and wine collections which are PepperGreen Estate.
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Peppergreen Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is essentially a fruit juice. It is pressed and extracted to maintain the very best characteristics, and to ensure that the greatest flavour and health benefits are preserved. Extra Virgin Olive Oil can be described by three key characteristics: fruitiness, bitterness and pungency. The team at PepperGreen Estate believes the key is to have balance across these three characteristics, and we hope you share the same opinion.
Extra Virgin Olive oil is can be described by 3 key characteristics; fruitiness, bitterness & pungency.
Fruitiness: grass, nuts, apples, tomato, banana, stone fruit, tropical fruit, rocket & radicchio, are some of the fruity characteristics you may find.
Bitterness: tasted sharply at the side of the tongue, this describes the sometimes sharp bitter green flavour, present within most olive oils to varying degrees.
Pungency: The peppery bite that felt in the back of the throat that can sometimes induce a light cough.
PepperGreen Estate Olives
Olives are a resilient fruit, being resistant to cold is a varietal trait…thankfully!
They are known to withstand temperatures of -8ºC or -10ºC as long as the tree is not at the active growing period of September to December in Australia. During the vegetative stage, the olive tree is sensitive to low temperatures which can cause damage to twigs and secondary branches, and even to the trunk and scaffold branches. To ensure our crop fruits well, however, we do need temperatures close to zero which induce vegetative rest. It withstands high summer temperatures well, and even lack of ground moisture, although it then adjusts its growing activity to an essential minimum.
A perfect plant for the Highlands weather!
Olive Growing Process
The Super High Density Olive (SHD) grove is a new planting system based on innovative technologies. The main advantage of this type of olive orchard is the lower cost of harvesting compared to standard olive groves, due to minimum labour costs needed to harvest and maintain the crop. Compared to traditional planting which consist of between 100-250 trees per Ha, we planted 1600 trees per Ha. The dominant variety chosen for planting is Arbequina which produces small, symmetrically round fruits and produces one of the highest concentrations of oil. Oils made from Arbequina are generally buttery, fruity and highly aromatic.
In order to make the highest possible quality extra virgin olive oil, it was decided that the growing and management of the grove will be done in a sustainable way. That means the use of pesticide and herbicide should be kept as low as possible. The notion of “looking after the earth, the earth will take good care of the tree” is adopted early on. Following are the steps used to set up the grove.
- Prior to planting the soil is deep ripped several times to a depth of 1.2m in order to provide a soft growing conditions to encourage root growth.
- Rotary hoe is used to turn the soil in order to increase its oxygen holding capacity as well as the absorption of water.
- 1200 tones of organic chicken manure are then applied to the growing rows and rotary hoed again to incorporate the manure into the soil to increase the organic matters in the soil, which will help the nutrient uptake for the olive trees.
- The growing rows are then rotary hoed several times to increase the oxygen in the soil.
- The growing rows are then left undisturbed for 6 month prior to planting.
- Trellis are then set up to help the young trees to grow up right. Also, in Canyonleigh, it can get very windy and the trellis also help the young trees to stay in position.
- Irrigation pipes are installed.
- Finally the olive trees are then planted.
Due to the fact that the soil is very rich in organic matters, the trees are very healthy and not stressed. A healthy olive tree is capable to withstand the pest and diseases itself which eliminate the need the use of pesticides. Also as pesticides were not used, natural predators such as spiders and ladybugs are flourishing which further help pest and diseases under control.
Leaf analysis is taken at the beginning of the growing season and in January to ensure the trees are not lacking any micro-nutrients. Micro-nutrients are also sprayed onto the trees as well as fertilised through the irrigation system.