Kangaroo Island Olives | Meet the Maker


Meet some of our passionate producers.... and their favourite things about Kangaroo Island

Tell us a little about your business?

The Esposito Family Olive Grove began its journey in the early 90’s. The first olive tree was planted by Zio Giuseppe (Uncle Joe) in a small paddock surrounded by native vegetation, 400 meters from the Nepean Bay waterfront. It wasn’t exactly a smooth start, the wallabies dam near ate the whole tree! Despite all the wild animals constantly feeding on the leaves the tree kept growing. With the blessing of lots of sunshine & rainfall along with traditional pruning, the tree flourished and the EVOO it produced was described as ‘uniquely Kangaroo Island.’ 

Our mature grove is home to more then 10 varieties of olives. Major cultivars including Koroneiki, Frantoio, Leccino, Pendolino and Kalamata are harvested each year to produce award-winning Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Kalamata eating olives.

 

Day to day farming operations are overseen by Dom who lives on the Island.  You might also find Dom in the Foodland in Kingscote  – he is the little Italian guy! While son Michael who lives in Adelaide, takes care of sales & marketing.

 

‘We grow our produce using sunshine and rainfall. Nature does all the work’ – Domenico Esposito

Why do you do what you do?
Everyone in my family loves olives. Dom is passionate about farming, enjoys the lifestyle and is totally connected with his land. My motivation is around product development and innovation. The humble olive can be used many ways. We have some exciting new products in the pipeline from mono-varietal evoo’s to smoked Kalamata olives and even some niche beauty products.
Is your product seasonal?
Olives are harvested once a year, normally around Easter​ time.  This year has been totally different for Olive growers around the state.  We have only just finished our harvest, in August!  The wet summer played havoc with the ripening of the fruit on the tree.  EVOO is available immediately post harvest. It has a two year best before date but its best consumed fresh. Table olives are harvested then processed and stored for around 6 months before they’re ready to eat. We process our olives naturally (no chemicals or hardeners) so they take a bit longer before they’re ready. Well worth the wait. Amazing flavours..!
What are some secret or favourite recipe uses for your product?
We are Italian, so we use evoo on just about everything​. I love simple recipes where evoo can be the hero of the dish.   At the moment my kids are digging into toast with evoo and cherry tomatoes for breakfast; 2 slices of continental bread lightly toasted. Drizzle evoo over the bread then add sliced cherry tomatoes. Drizzle a little more evoo (let the kids hold the bottle this time). Pinch of salt… Bon Appetit

Where can people buy your product?
Various cellar doors and retail outlets throughout KI, Kangaroo Island Central Market stall in Adelaide, Select DRAKES stores throughout SA, and Online – kiolives.com.au
Where are your favourite spots on KI to eat?
The Oyster Farm Shop in American River & Penneshaw Hotel
Your favourite KI location to visit and why?
Nepean Bay. As kids – riding horses up and down the​ beach, exploring, fishing, collecting sea shells and walking out at low tide to get razor fish. Today I bring my kids to the same spot and it hasn’t change not one bit.




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