SIX years ago Rob and Melanie Whyte knew nothing about agriculture.
They lived at the foot of the Blue Mountains and Rob was working in a high-pressured job for one of the world’s biggest technology companies.
Fast-forward to today and the pair wakes up each morning to sweeping views of the Murray River and their 900 olive trees.
And if that’s not enough, they have won international awards for olive oil production, something they had never dreamt of.
Gooramadda Olives in beautiful Rutherglen is now the couple’s lifeblood and passion.
“We definitely knew nothing about agriculture or being olive farmers, we weren’t foodies, but we knew the area and we loved it,” Rob said.
“It wasn’t just the scenery and the phenomenal view, but it was the people, they were just so nice.”
A crash course in olive farming and a one-year handover from the previous owners saw the pair confidently working with more than 10 varieties of olives, including Kalamatta and Manzanillo.
And their hard work has certainly paid off, achieving recognition on the world stage over the past five years both at the New York International Olive Oil Competition (NYIOOC) and the Australian International Olive Awards.
Rob said the aim was to provide visitors to the region with the best tasting experience possible at his cellar door tastings.
“We are in a wine region but this is also turning into an olive region and we want to showcase the amazing produce we have here,” he said.
“From olive oils, to table olives and olive and wine matchings, we are also working with other producers to help showcase their produce.
“We really like to meet people in our shop and educate them about things like the difference between early harvest and late harvest olives.
“You just have to look at this region, there is so much going on and so much to showcase and highlight.”