Gooramadda Olives has won a gold medal for its 2017 Hardy’s Mammoth extra virgin olive oil at the New York International Olive Oil Competition.
Owners Rob and Melanie Whyte were in the middle of harvest when the news was announced. The table olive harvest began a month ago and the oil harvest will run until the end of May.
Speaking to The Border Mail, Rob Whyte said “It’s a strange aspect of timing that the results for New York get announced for last year’s oil about the same time we are about to harvest this year’s crop,” he said.
“Five years ago we knew nothing about olives; we bought the property for the views; now so many people in the industry are waiting on this oil.”
Gooramadda’s quality secrets
Mr Whyte said that all the olives at Gooramadda are hand-picked.
“Every grower has their thing about what gives them the edge,” Mr Whyte said. “One of our things is that everything is hand-picked; everything is picked with loving care … and only the very best olives go into the oil.”
Mr Whyte said the Hardy’s Mammoth variety was first grown by the founder of the Hardy wine business, Thomas Hardy.
There is widespread recognition of the quality of Gooramadda’s olive oil: the Australian Olive Association recently took a sample of the Hardy’s Mammoth to a Spanish olive oil symposium on the best new world oils.
Gooramadda Olives is in the Rutherglen region in North East Victoria, Australia.
Mr Whyte said that this year producers across the region had experienced a much lighter crop than usual. This was mainly due to the lack of rain in the area, and growers needed to stay focused on irrigation to make the most of their crops.
The Hardy’s Mammoth harvested this month will be released in October.