It was the best of times, it was the best of times. Apologies to Dickens but we’re lucky to have two incredible examples of the Picual olive in two very different ultra-premium extra-virgin olive oils (EVOOs).
Two independent producers created equally fabulous but different EVOOs. One is a family business, the other founded by two friends from university. One is from Chile, the other, Australia. Here is the story of our two Picuals.
The Alonso Estate
Alonso Olive Oil is based in the O’Higgins region of Chile, an area the Alonso family chose because of its Mediterranean-like climate. Headed by Don Abel Alonso, the family cultivates over seven olive varietals, each perfectly suited to the soil and climate of the estate.
The Alonso Family Olive Estate in Chile
Though their varietals and approach to quality are traditional, their production methods are state of the art. Not only do they use the most efficient machinery available to process the olives, they also adhere to a strict sustainability policy. Guiding their use of water and power and approach to employee training, the policy covers everything from using alternative energy sources to crediting employees for hours spent on socially responsible projects.
By combining old and new, the Alonso family creates extraordinary EVOOs that taste great, are great for you and are great for the planet.
The Boort Estate
On the other side of the world is the Boort Estate, part of Boundary Bend Limited. The Boort estate is one of the world’s largest single estate olive groves and like Alonso, they cultivate multiple olive varietals, including Arbequina, Frantoio, Koroneiki, and Hojiblanca, in addition to this lovely Picual.
The Boort Olive Estate in Boort, Victoria, Australia
Boundary Bend was established in 1998 by horticulturists Rob McGavin and Paul Riordan. Meeting at university, they shared a vision of a modern Australian olive industry. Financed by friends and family, Rob and Paul planted their first grove of 200 hectares (about 500 acres) in 1999. They now own 2.2 million producing trees on over 6,070 hectares of pristine Australian farmland.
Like the Alonso family, they rely on modern production methods to provide incredibly high-quality EVOOs at a reasonable price. Boundary Bend is vertically integrated, manufacturing olive harvesters, running Australia’s largest olive tree nursery and operating a state of the art olive oil bottling, storage and laboratory facility. They continue to innovate in all aspects of the “new world” olive industry.
Extraordinary but different, here are our staff’s tasting notes on these two great EVOOs.
Alonso Picual (Chile)
Grassy, green banana, herbal undertones with a delicate bitterness on the finish
Boort Picual (Australia)
Green tea, straw, notes of tropical fruit with an intense pungency, finishing with a distinctly pleasant bitterness.
Come in to taste all of this season’s amazing single varietals and share your tasting notes for our two Picuals!
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