This was the year it all began. We planted 250 olive trees across one acre fronting the Rochford Hall cottage. The purchased trees were tiny and quite stressed, due to undergoing a long and rigorous time in quarantine. Due diligence and care were subsequently given, allowing over 95 per cent of the trees to survive. A further drought and bush fire within the region in January 2013 put the trees under further stress, but they bloomed and produced extremely good quality fruit. The main olive varietal grown is Koroneiki, of Greek origin, with other pollinator varietals being Frantoio and Arbequina.
We delivered the first crop of fruit from this grove, yielding a small but exciting 15 litres of beautiful high quality aromatic olive oil. In order to enhance Rochford Hall’s olive oil produce, the second acre of olive trees were planted late August 2012. Varietals planted included Picual with Picholine and Frantoio.
May represented the first official olive harvest from the front grove. With still a small quantity (48 litres) the oil was entered into the Royal Agricultural Show of Tasmania Fine Food Awards. The olive oil won not only a gold medal, for the boutique entry, but also Champion Oil for 2013.
This harvest yielded a greater volume but generally growth wasn’t as great in Tasmania this year. The Koroneiki nevertheless won a Silver medal in the RAST (Royal Agricultural Society of Tasmania) Fine Food Awards, despite all oils being of a lower standard that year.
The year produced an abundant growth in both the front and back grove. More equipment was required for harvesting, with help from friends and family. The volume was four times that of 2014 and two varieties were bottled, Koroneiki and Picual. Both received Gold Medals in the RAST Fine Food Awards, with Koroneiki winning the Champion Oil of show.
The Koroneiki subsequently received a gold medal and Champion Oil in the Delicate Category at the Australian National Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition.
The grove had a hard season of extremes with a major dry until January and then floods in February. Rochford Hall entered three categories in the National Olive Oil Awards 2016 and received three Gold awards, confirming once again the consistency and quality of the EVOO grown on the property.
What sets our oil apart?
We believe the high quality our Tasmanian Rochford Hall Extra Virgin Olive Oil has to offer is due in part to the cool climate of the region and amazing Tasmanian soil quality.
We ensure our picked olive fruit, once harvested is followed by processing within 24 hours. This enables us to provide the end user with our premium, high quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO).
“The love & care of our trees, plus a passion in harvesting the Olives with friends & family is paramount to our ideology.” – Paul & Chris Lovell