Traditionally known as cattle country, generations of families have grazed their stock in the rolling pastures beneath Mt Bogong, Victoria’s highest mountain. (see map) Despite this traditional usage, Estate founder Sveti Ignjatovic believed the area, with it’s high altitude and clean trout filled waters, to be well suited to cool climate olive production as conditions are similar to the Tuscan hills.
Sveti had fallen in love with Victoria’s alpine region during ski trips to the Falls Creek area in the early 1970s. He brought 12 hectares of hilly paddocks at Coral Bank and set about the task of self-education on the aspects of olive farming. By the early 1990’s Sveti had planted over 2000 olive trees on a hill rising from the banks of the Kiewa River facing North West at an altitude of 700 meters. Morning dew and afternoon sun, late autumn frosts and a sprinkling of snow allow the olives slow maturity for optimum flavour to develop.
Despite the occasional hiccup and the battle to stop ring barking and leaf stripping by wombats, kangaroos, rabbits, goats and deer, Kiewa Estate produced it’s first bottles of olive oil in July of 1996. The Aboriginal name ‘Kiewa’ means ‘sweet water’ which Sveti believes along with the alpine climate are the secret to the delicate distinctive flavour and quality of his Kiewa Estate Olive Oil.