Pukara Estate is located at the Upper Hunter Valley in NSW. It started in 1999 when two chaps called Bruce and Steve joined forces. It has become a fixture in the Hunter for producing award winning olive oils and vinegars of the highest quality. A dedicated team showed me around and were only to helpful to explain all aspects of Pukara Estate. Taste is one thing that you can’t depict in photographs. But what you can capture is life on the Estate, the personalities and passion of Pukara and the luscious product in all its forms from tree to bottle.
I’ve no doubt that the hospitality and genuine warmth I received is what you would experience if you stopped by Pukara Estate or if you saw them at the many markets they attend.
The last light of the day…ready for an early start tomorrow.
The first light is the best light – delicious and soft in April.
Driving in from the highway.
There’s an irrististable movement, softness and texture in olive leaves.
If you walk out into the grove you’ll see a few birds.
Sorry did I say a few?!
I meant sweeping flocks of birds!
A stunning and totally unique Pukara experience.
The gorgeous textures and lines of the old olive trees.
The lovely Jenny in the tasting room, ready to welcome and dazzle you with all the offerings.
How gorgeous is that?
You could just reach your finger in and take a swipe-and-taste.
Even the coffee is gold here.
And the smiles (care of Kara).
Adam in packaging – I was warned it could be tricky to get a smile from him.
A rather happy chappy wouldn’t you say?
Look at the line up of flavour possibilities for the oil!
And so beautifully and carefully packaged.
Then of course there’s the industrial side.
Here is where the vinegars are kept.
Massive great barrels towering over you.
The Connoisseur Club is Pukara’s loyalty reward program.
How’s that for liquid gold!
I could do a few salads with that…
Kris, Rhonda and Irene provide the invaluable hands-on help.
Bottling, labels, packaging…that sort of thing.
Such a happy place to work.
Planning the details, in this case suitable boxes for the bottles.
And of course the visitor comes to learn about it all at the tasting room.
Jenny will guide them through every aspect.
Raquel provides business and admin assistance – in reality she’s a jack of all trades in this place.
She also surely knows her way around the tastings as well.
I just love the flat landscape on which the trees were planted, in the finest of rows, as far as the eye can see.
The Ronnie they know and love.
Hard to crack a smile, even harder to pin down for a chat.
But he’s your man for anything mechanical you need done around Pukara.
What a true character.
Steve joined Pukara back in the beginning in 1999.
So this place is his baby, really.
He knows everything there is to know about the seasons, the soil, the sun.
And he sure knows the vinegars inside out as well.
You could call this his office!
Thank you Steve (and Bruce in Sydney), Raquel, Kara, Ronnie, Kris, Rhonda, Irene, Jenny and Adam for sharing your morning and your special place, Pukara Estate, with me. You create an amazing product to be proud of, in such a stunning setting, and deliver a truly special experience to anyone that visits.
Next time I’m in the region, I’ll stop by!