Greek by George Calombaris Koroneiki Olive Oil is one of Australia’s finest Greek extra virgin olive oils, grown and made in Australia using Koroneiki olives exclusively supplied for retail from Mount Zero Olives.
Mount Zero Olives is a family owned olive grove on the northern edge of the Grampians National Park in Victoria. Their commitment to flavour, sustainable farming and passion for quality ingredients meant they were the perfect partner.
We sat down with General Manager, Richard Seymour to give us insight into what makes his olives so special and why you’ve never experienced a Greek Olive Oil like it in the Australian retail market.
Q. Tell us about the Mount Zero Farm and your commitment to sustainable farming.
A. Planted in the 1940’s, the Mount Zero Olive Grove is one of the oldest groves in Australia. My parents took over the farm in 1993 and I’m thrilled that it remains a family business with proven sustainable farming values to this day. We practice biodynamic farming techniques and are proud to have the international Demeter certification, which means we follow a holistic and chemical free approach to our growing. The grove is self-sustaining in its farming practices – feeding the trees directly from the soil humus rather than chemical inputs and our energy supply is sourced off-grid wind and solar generators.
Q. What makes Mount Zero’s olives different to those in the market place?
A. All Mount Zero Olives are hand-picked and brine-cured, using the traditional Greek method of fermentation in water, salt and a splash of vinegar. This is a time-consuming process, however it ensures a greater depth of flavour and natural colour.
Q. The Koroneiki Olives that are found in the Greek by George Calombaris product are native to Greece. How have you managed to successfully farm and harvest them in Australia?
A. Olives, like grapes or any horticultural product will respond directly the soil and environment that they are gown in. Koroneiki olives, as it happens, have responded incredibly well to the soils and climate here. When you taste the oil, the balance of fruitiness, bitterness & pungency reflects that this variety is well suited to our region.
Q. How do you describe Greek by George Calombaris Koroneiki Oilve Oil? What makes it so special?
A. Many oils that reach our shelves (and kitchens) in Australia from Europe, are a blend of varieties of fruit from often multiple regions. They often do not make it here until a year after they have been pressed and the resultant oil can be bland and characterless. The Extra Virgin Olive Oil we are producing for the Greek by George Calombaris brand is the opposite; a single varietal (Koroneiki), grown in Australia and packed with flavour and character. Koroneiki Olives produce a very peppery and pungent oil and this provides a great well-rounded balance of flavours meaning the oil is perfect for all of your cooking needs.
Q. What are you favourite ways to incorporate this product into dishes you serve to family and friends at home?
A. There is only one way – liberally and often! Seriously, with extra virgin olive oil this good, it provides a lift to anything that it is drizzled over; fish, meats, salads, soups and bread.