Hunter Valley is a haven for wine lovers. This region is dotted with scenic beauties and wineries that offer wine sampling and purchase. But what if we tell you there is a yellow elixir that has been getting all the line light recently? We are talking about olives and the oil derived from them. Olives and vines are cultivated together in several Hunter Valley estates in the same climate and can be tasted and purchased at cellar doors. But the question remains: why is Hunter Valley famous for olives? What in this fruit makes it so worthy to be admired? Let’s find out.
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The olives of this land are its pride; they are cultivated with love and care by the Hunter Valley’s olive growers and are inspired by Greek heritage and passion. Olives are primarily Middle Eastern in origin and have only recently become a common crop in Australia. That said, Hunter Valley saw a sharp increase in the cultivation of olive trees in the 1990s, which sparked the development of a booming olive industry there. The olive oils made from Hunter Valley olives are truly an extra virgin, have a low-fat content, and are abundant in antioxidants. These oils taste delicious, are good for your health, and may be used as a condiment or to season meals.
Olives are native to the Middle East and have thrived for ages throughout the Mediterranean. As an outcome, the Hunter Valley’s subtropical, Mediterranean-style growing conditions have an advantage in creating nutritious and scrumptious olive varieties. To put it simply, the area’s summer temperatures and moderate wintertime give ideal conditions for olive plants to prosper. Furthermore, the region’s rich volcanic soil and well-drained descends aid in the attainment of olive cultivation. In addition to these climatic and soil conditions, the expertise and techniques gained by the vine growers of the region have become advantageous for olive production.
If you like olives and want to visit Hunter Valley, don’t miss tasting olive oils at cellar doors. Although not indigenous to the region, the passion of olive growers has enabled the production of an array of olive varieties. Among the most prevalent types are the following:
Whenever we think of olives, we think of Italy. And there is nothing wrong with it. After all Italian olives and olive oils are world famous. So, if you have a fetish for Italian olives then Frantoio is the one for you. Known for its high oil content, this Italian variety is recognised for producing extra virgin olive oil and has a strong, pungent taste with a delicious scent.
Another Italian variation on the list is Leccino olives, which grow well in warm climates and are best manually plucked in late April. This olive type is well-known for producing both olive oil and table olives. Leccino olives are either marinated or seasoned with garlic or herbs as table olives.
Italy is not the only place where olives thrive. It’s Greece this time. Koroneiki is a Greek olive variety famous for its substantial oil content and sweet taste. Koroneiki is best renowned for producing high-quality olive oils.
If you’re looking for olives that, have it all (fruity, strong taste, and health benefits content), Kalamata olives are the way to go. This kind is another Greek native on our list, and it is generally seasoned in vinegar, or saltwater to enhance its savoury flavour. People who relish Mediterranean cuisine will enjoy Kalamata olive oil in their dishes.
Manzanillo olives, like Spanish Salsa, are authentically Spanish, with a pleasant, creamy taste and fleshy texture. On the other hand, this kind has a low oil content and is mostly utilised in olive oil mixes to provide depth and smoothness.
These are the top olive varieties that can be found in Hunter Valley. But the list does not end here. Some other types of olives that you can try here include the following:
- Hardy’s Mammoth
- Nevadillo Blanco
Although not as famous as its wineries, Hunter Valley’s olive groves are gaining popularity nowadays. These small, fleshy and oblong fruits with peppery and smooth flavours are winning the minds of locals and tourists alike. Sounds interesting, right? So, if you are thinking of buying olives or olive oil at Hunter Valley here are some great places to be at.
Visit olive groves or gardens
Do you want to get olives straight from the source? If so, visit the olive groves or farms. It is also one of the most traditional methods to purchase olives. You may also observe the manufacturing process and learn about this fruit.
Head towards farmers’ markets
Another great place to find reasonably priced olives is at one of the Hunter Valley’s farmers’ markets. Hunter Valley’s local ambience, cuisine culture, and fresh olives will brighten your day. Having said that, the Hunter Valley Farmers Market in Pokolbin, which takes place every Saturday morning, is a must-see. Here, you can get fresh, locally grown olives.
Did you know that vineyards occasionally produce olives as a by-product? Yes, you can sample olives and olive oil at a few Hunter Valley wineries. Olives can also be purchased through their cellar doors. For your reference, here are different vineyards where you may taste and buy olives on Hunter Valley wine tours.
Wine or food festivals
The Hunter Valley is popular for its food and wine festivals. If you want to experience the flavour of those festivals, wines, and olives, plan your visit to the region during one of these festivals. Indulge in the yellow elixir, eat the fruit as table olives, or as a condiment, and visit these festivals to experience the “olive-ness.”
While the Hunter Valley area of Australia is not usually associated with olive production, it is quickly becoming known as the “Land of Olives.” Hunter Valley olives, which are excellent for making oils and table olives, give this region its unique character. What was formerly known primarily for its wines is now becoming recognised for its olives. If you’re planning a day trip to Hunter Valley, do not forget to try Hunter Valley olives.
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