Toscana Olives is a family owned, single estate, certified organic olive grove in the Grampians, Victoria. Our oil is not sold in bulk to other groves, we bottle it under our two brands: Toscana & Grampians. Our grove comprises 1,200 acres and 28,000 trees planted in 1943 as one of Australia’s first olive groves.
The traditional dryland growing method has been retained despite the lower yields, because it results in a unique and superior full bodied flavour; similar to wine from dryland grapes. However unlike wine, olive oil is best fresh.
Our grove produces a relatively small amount (for the land area) of high quality premium extra virgin olive oil; i.e. quality over quantity. And that is our philosophy in everything we do.
From tree to bottle
Grove Complex sandy soils and Mediterranean climate make our location perfectly suited to premium organic olive oil production. Our trees are carefully hand pruned. Sheep are allowed to graze among the trees as part of our organic management plan, which helps keep the grass down as well as providing natural manure fertiliser for our trees. We also have a large mob of resident kangaroos and emus at our grove!
Pressing To ensure our high quality standards are met we do the entire production process ourselves – from tree to bottle. All olives are single estate grown by us – so our oil is genuinely local. Heat, light and air degrade the quality of olive oil. The moment an olive is picked from the tree its quality is deteriorating. That’s why we cold press olives immediately (within as little as 30 minutes) after they are harvested. The olives are cold pressed and oil transferred into air-tight stainless steel storage tanks, with a blanket of inert gas to prevent any oxidisation. All this happens in our insulated and temperature controlled warehouse on farm.
Bottling We allow the oil to naturally settle before bottling the unfiltered oil.
We hand bottle small batches every week. To ensure quality is maintained, bottles are capped with a layer of inert gas to ensure no oxidisation occurs in the bottle.
Flavour Single varietal oils are often dominated by one flavour characteristic (eg too bitter or peppery) so at Toscana we press our varieties together to create the complex, fruity, well balanced olive oil we are known for – a flavour truly unique to our historic plantation. It is often said older trees produce better quality oil with more complex flavours, and the judges seem to agree: Toscana has been awarded each year since 2008 in prestigious shows such as the RASV Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards where past trophies include (2008) best single estate grown and best Victorian olive oil.
Standards As well as our own stringent quality standards, our oil consistently meets and exceeds the Australian and international extra virgin olive oil standards. We always submit our oil for testing to the NSW DPI Government laboratory to ensure it meets the chemical and organoleptic standards for extra virgin olive oil. Recognising this we are also signatories to the Australian Code of Practice (ID#268).
Australian Food Awards
Toscana Olives has received numerous awards since establishment in 1943. More recently, these include:
- Gold medal, 2012 Australian Golden Olive Awards (heritage tree class)
- Silver medal, 2012 Royal Melbourne Show RASV Fine Food Awards (single estate grown class)
- Silver medal, 2011 Royal Melbourne Show RASV Fine Food Awards (single estate grown class)
- Award for best olive oil, 2011 Nature & Health Natural Food Awards
- Silver medal, 2010 Royal Melbourne Show RASV Fine Food Awards
- Bronze medal, 2009 Royal Melbourne Show RASV Fine Food Awards
- Victorian Trophy, 2008 Royal Melbourne Show RASV Fine Food Awards (best in show)
- Champion Trophy, 2008 Royal Melbourne Show RASV Fine Food Awards (best in class – single estate grown)
- Gold Medal, 2008 Royal Melbourne Show RASV Fine Food Awards
- Silver medal, 2008 Royal Sydney Show