Truly Tasmanian has olive trees in Blackman’s Bay and Little Swanport in Tasmania.
At the moment, our big trees are mostly the Tuscan Frantoio and the French Verdale. But depending on the crop size in any one year, olives grown by our neighbours Geoff and Gwen Price are also used for our oil. Their olives are in Sorell, about fifty minutes out of Hobart. The climate there particularly suits the Israeli originated olive variety Barnea. It’s a modern dual-purpose cultivar bred originally from Kadesh Barnea in southern Israel by Professor Shimon Lavee. It’s a big cropper and very disease resistant and copes with the vagaries of the Tasmanian drought very well. The oil has a strong flavour with a hint of green leaf. We think of it as our second strongest oil, with the Tuscan olive, Frantoio the strongest. As you can see from the picture, Frantoio olives look pretty normal, but the flavour is anything but. The oil is big and punchy and is the No 1 pick in the Truly Tasmanian household. We still have a few bottles of the 2018 Frantoio oil left at the moment. You can order it here.