Cultivating Bounty: James and Rachael’s Journey with Hunter Valley Olives at Hunter Gleann

Nurturing Olives with Passion and Perseverance in the Heart of Hunter Valley!

In the heart of Hunter Valley lies a story of transformation, perseverance, and love for the land. Meet James and Rachael, the labour and brains behind Hunter Gleann Olives, a testament to their extraordinary journey of turning barren grounds into flourishing olive orchards.

The Genesis of a Dream

Irrigation repairs at Hunter GleannFrom the outset, the olive orchard demanded tender care and attention. James, with his background as a Fitter/Machinist, his experience in business management and years in the defence force, joined forces with his wife, Rachael with her history in management, her determination and drive. Together, they embarked on a journey of discovery, fuelled by passion and a willingness to learn.

Picture this: towering olive trees in dire need of pruning, their branches reaching for the sky in a chaotic tangle. Armed with little more than determination and a chainsaw, James tackled the daunting task, while Rachael’s strategic thinking and problem-solving skills guided the process. What started as a challenge soon evolved into a skilful dance with nature, as each branch found its place, and the orchard began to take shape.

Nourishing the Roots

Water, the lifeblood of any orchard, proved to be a challenge. Broken pipes and a defunct irrigation system greeted James and Rachael. Undeterred, they pooled their resources and ingenuity to establish new systems. With James’s hands-on approach and Rachael’s meticulous planning, water once again flowed freely, quenching the thirst of the olive trees. With a dam, a pumphouse, and a meticulously designed irrigation network, the orchard found its lifeline.

Hunter Valley Olives Harvest 2021

A Harvest of Hope

In 2021, the fruits of labour bore witness to James and Rachael’s dedication to the land. A bountiful harvest of Kalamata, Manzanillo, and Frantoio olives marked the beginning of a new chapter. With nearly 1000kg of olives handpicked, Hunter Gleann Olives proudly stepped into the market, offering the essence of Hunter Valley to olive enthusiasts.

Discovering Hidden Gems

But the journey held surprises yet to unfold. In 2023, as more trees bore fruit, the orchard revealed its secrets. Amongst the familiar varieties, the California Queen olives emerged, their plump, juicy presence adding a new dimension to the harvest. A delightful addition to the repertoire, these olives promised to captivate palates and hearts alike.

A Journey Shared

Hunter Gleann OlivesToday, James and Rachael open the gates of Hunter Gleann Olives to all who seek an immersive experience in the art of olive cultivation. Guided tours lead visitors through the olive blocks, inviting them to taste and savour the fruits of their labour. As conversations flow, and stories unfold, the passion for olives and the land becomes palpable.

A Future of Promise

As the seasons unfold, James and Rachael look towards the horizon with anticipation. New additions to the brand, innovative practices in orchard management, and a commitment to sustainability promise a future filled with abundance. The journey of Hunter Valley Olives at Hunter Gleann continues to evolve, with James and Rachael nurturing the spirit of the land every step of the way.

Join us in celebrating the essence of Hunter Valley Olives, where every harvest tells a story of love, perseverance, and the timeless connection between farmers and the land. Welcome to Hunter Gleann, where the journey of olives is more than just cultivation—it’s a journey of the heart, guided by the passion and dedication of James and Rachael.

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Hunter Olive Association

Our pottery is courtesy of Hunter Valley Ceramic Studios.