The Texas Hill Country Olive Company is set once again to celebrate all things olive, along with local foods, wines, art and live music, at the landmark Tuscan-styled Tasting Room and Mill House set in the middle of 17 acres of Hill Country acreage-turned-organic olive orchard in Dripping Springs.
More about the 2nd Annual Texas Olive Fest from owner Cara Gambini – who says she does “a little bit of everything” at the family-run business – in her own words:
Texas Hill Country Olive Company is a family-owned business. We have a strong desire to educate people about growing olives and making great olive oil, as well as the many healthy products it produces. We do all of that right here, locally, so we can give visitors an up-close look and taste of what olives and olive oil-based products are all about.
Not everyone has seen an olive tree or even knows that there are over 700 varieties of olive trees around the world. As well, these beautiful trees can live to be thousands of years old and have been referenced in some of the most notable texts and events in history.
Texas is one of the few states in our country where olive trees can actually thrive. We want to share that experience of farm-to-table with as many people we can and nothing gives us more pleasure than sharing it in our beautiful hill country orchard.
This year our focus is to support the local food movement. We have partnered with the Sustainable Food Center to share their message about strengthening the local food system and improving access to nutritious, affordable food. Beyond that we will have more participating food & wine vendors as well as some stellar chefs who will demo their recipes using our products with samples provided. We are also excited to have a short opera called Bon Appetit! that is based on actual text from one of Julia Child’s best-loved television shows, when she bakes a French chocolate cake.
The categories are Food, Wine, Artisans, Live Music & Olive Education Seminars. This year, we have: 16 wineries, 5 chefs, 10 restaurants, 10 specialty vendors, 3 Live Bands & 1 Acoustic Set, 3 Olive Education Expert Seminars, Olive tree sales, a Kids Area with Bouncy House, and a live performance scheduled by the Hill Country Opera House of Bon Appetit! – an entertaining opera based on one of Julia Childs’ most loved TV episodes, when she makes a French chocolate cake!
The Texas olive industry is where the Texas wine industry was 20 years. We consider ourselves to be one of the pioneers of this movement and want to educate the public on this sustainable crop. Therefore, we are learning, growing and starting to co-op with other growers. We feel strongly that everyone should have access to fresh, local, high quality extra virgin olive oil. The health benefits and richness that fresh olive oil adds to our diet makes it an important part of everyone’s kitchen.
We currently have 5 varieties of olive trees on our land and will continue to plant other varieties to see how we can incorporate them into new products. Each variety of olive has it’s own characteristics that makes coming up with new blends that much more fun.
HOW WILL THE SUSTAINABLE FOOD CENTER BE PARTICIPATING, AND BENEFITTING?
The sustainable food center will be providing educational material at their booth as well as organizing and managing all of our volunteers. We will be donating proceeds from ticket sales to support the Sustainable Food Center.
Visit the Texas Hill Country Olive Company online to learn more about the Adopt-A-Tree program, and shop a full line of artisanal organic olive oils, flavor-infused balsamic vinegars and olive-based spa products:
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Follow on Twitter: @TXHillCtryOlive