Its the good oil
Picture: Iain Gillespie

It has been 30 years since the original owners of Olio Bello realised their vision to create an olive grove on a perfect piece of land in Margaret River. A few years later, the 129ha estate was certified organic and the first crop was harvested in 1992.

"Olio Bello was the first producer in Australia to make 'citrus pressed' extra-virgin olive oil," said manager Shellie Gaskin, who added the cafe's legendary lime oil and rosemary cake - a moist and nutty syrup-covered teacake - has been adored by visitors for more than a decade.

"The cake was invented by our previous chef who decided to use up the leftover crusts from the sourdough bread we use for sampling," she said.

"We use the lime-pressed oil, roasted almonds, rosemary from the garden and a little of our homemade organic pane di casa bread instead of flour, which gives a denser flavour. Eggs and a little sugar are added then we cover in syrup.

"It's so popular we give the recipe to customers - we'd never take it off the menu."

Olio Bello, unlike many commercial producers, doesn't bottle its product in bulk but rather bottles it in line with demand.

"Very few olive oil companies do this. We store the oil in stainless steel in a coolroom and bottle by hand when we need it. That way, the oil doesn't deteriorate and the freshness is retained," said Mrs Gaskin, who is also a naturopath and herbalist and is creating the brand's soon-to-be-released organic skin-care range.

The extra-virgin olive oil range includes a long line of infused varieties such as the bestselling parmesan oil, as well as vanilla, five fruits, chilli and cardamom and a recent release, ginger, garlic and chilli.

The organic range, including its award-winning Kurunba oil, is made entirely from the certified organic estate.

Also in the stable is an "estate range", "estate pressed" and "pressed" citrus, basil and passionfruit olives oils.

Olio Bello is at 36 Armstrong Road, Cowaramup or visit oliobello.com. Stockists include Nosh Gourmet Food and Gifts in East Victoria Park, the Boatshed Market in Cottesloe, Liquorice and Fresh Provisions stores.

The West Australian

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