The West

Well-oiled: Chapman River Olives owners Russell and Maree Lewis have for the second consecutive year won the top prize at the Perth Royal Show for Murphy Yetna extra virgin olive oil.
Golden Grove

Chapman River Olives has proven to be a golden grove for year running, taking out prize for its Murphy virgin olive oil at this year’s Perth Royal Show.

A judging panel, led by Australia’s best known olive oil taster, Richard Gawel, awarded the local grower with Best WA Oil of the Show and Best Oil of the Show.

Judges described Chapman River Olives’ Murphy Yetna oil as having “intense tropical fruits of guava, passionfruit and honey dew on nose with both sweet and bitter green pepper flavours” and a “clean finish.”

Chapman River Olives manager Russell Lewis said Geraldton growers enjoyed a regional advantage compared to growers in the south of WA.

“We might have a regional advantage over the southern growers … regions do throw different sorts of aromas,” he said.

“We’re entering the shows just to support our marketability, we’re not too interested in accolades so much as helping sell it.

“I’d say to any olive growers: don’t be distracted by the notion that olive trees are hardy and will grow anywhere — sure they will — but they’ll do better in good soil.”

Murphy Yetna is sold in bottles to a distributor out in Shanghai, China, and more locally to restaurants in Broome, Perth and Margaret River.

Leading the judges for the 12th annual Perth Royal Extra Virgin Olive Oil competition, Mr Gawel said the best oils were of an “excellent” overall quality.

“There were more gold medals awarded this year as a proportion of total entries than ever before, which is consistent with my overall impression,” he said.

“(Winners were) interesting, fresh and vibrant and leaving a clean, non-oily taste in the mouth.”

Chapman River Olives have been growing adjacent to the Chapman River at Yetna Farm, 24km north of Geraldton, since 1999.

They also won the Sydney Royal EVOO competition for the first time this year.

The award-winning oil will be on display at the Perth Royal Show in the IGA Fresh from WA Pavilion, September 29 to October 6.

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