A Rutherglen olive grove has taken out the industry equivalent of Olympic gold.
Gooramadda Olives won a best in class award at the prestigious New York International Olive Oil Competition recently.
Owners Rob and Melanie Whyte won the section with their King Kalamata Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
This comes hot on the heels of their Hardys Mammoth oil taking out Champion Boutique Oil at the Sydney Fine Food show in 2015.
Mr Whyte said they were surprised and thrilled with the result.
“We really expected the Hardys Mammoth to do best given the Sydney Fine Food Show result so it stunned us that our other premium oil took out the honours,” he said.
Ms Whyte said the New York competition was the peak industry event for olive oil worldwide.
“It’s like taking a gold at the Olympics,” she said.
Only 16 best in class awards are given at the New York competition, regarded as representing the best oils in the world.
Of those Australian olive oil producers won four, a result only bettered by Spain.
Cobram Estate was awarded one best in class, three gold awards and one silver award.
It was joined by Cape Schanck Olive Estate, L’Uliveto Verde, Gooramadda Olives and Alto Olives from Australia in winning a total of 15 awards.
The Australian olive oil industry produces less than 1 per cent of global supply compared with the traditional producers of Italy, Spain and Greece.
The Whytes left Sydney only two years ago to take over Gooramadda Olives, which they chose for the sweeping views across the Murray and distant plains.
“The olives just happened to come with the property,” Mr Whyte said.
“We have no background in olives, or agriculture of any kind – we just dived in.”
Ms Whyte said they were surrounded by some of the best wineries in the country.
“Our neighbours are John Gehrig Wines that we produce a dressing with. Around the corner is Morris Wines – does life get any better? This is a win not just for us but something we share with all of Rutherglen.”
The 2016 table olive harvest is under way with the harvest of olives for oil just around the corner.
This edited version of the story updates Cobram Estate’s gold medal tally from two to three. The information was incorrectly supplied to The Border Mail.