Agritourism revenue has tripled since the early 2000s. The practice offers tourists a chance to experience and appreciate rural lifestyles and industry. Agritourism has also allowed communities to preserve practices, grow business, and establish sustainable food practices especially if the farm sources food to nearby urban areas. The family-run Texas Hill Country Olive Co. is a staple of the Dripping Springs community and is known as a Texas olive oil producer and a tourist destination. Visitors in the area can enjoy nature, local culture, and gourmet dining at the Texas olive oil company’s venue.
The company offers the following attractions for its customers.
The Texas Hill Country Olive Co. is located on 15 acres of farmland in Dripping Springs. The company offers daily walking tours in its olive orchards where visitors can explore the vibrant greenery of different olive tree species. A tour offers the chance to unwind in nature as well as opportunities for learning. The company offers three kinds of tours that can be arranged for private groups or accessible to all in public groups for scheduled tours.
The Texas Hill Country Olive Orchard Walking Tour is an early morning tour through the olive orchards. The walking tours will be conducted by guides that provide information on olive tree planting techniques, harvests, and farming practices.
The guides will explain the history of the orchard and the current practices and status of the olive oil industry in Texas. The orchard tour also includes a quick stop in the chicken coup and the farm-to-table garden that provide fresh supplies to the company’s bistro. The tours will end in visits to the bistro and gift shops.
The Texas olive oil mill tour teaches visitors about the olive oil production process in the mill and in the overall industry. The tour focuses on the company’s authentic Italian olive press and an Extra Virgin 101 lesson.
Extra Virgin 101 focuses on the conversion of Virgin olive oil to Extra Virgin olive oil and explores the latter’s benefits and history. The guide will explore best practices about storing and consuming Extra Virgin olive oil and will divulge industry secrets about keeping olive oil fresh and fragrant.
An additional afternoon tour explores both the mill and the orchard and is called the Texas Hill Country Olive Industry. The tour educates visitors on the company’s history, on-site olive pressing, milling, harvesting, and the Texas olive oil industry farming practices.
The Texas Hill Country Olive Co. has an on-site bistro that offers fine dining and fresh farm-to-table ingredients from 10:00 am till 3:30 pm every day. The bistro offers gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options for its menu and practices sustainable food sourcing.
The bistro offers a regular menu of sandwiches, salads, and flatbreads. Groups of friends, families, and travelers can find crostinis and salumi boards with meats, cheeses, and fresh produce from the farm-to-table garden.
The Bistro’s menu also features the Texas olive oil company’s star ingredients in its Olives and Oil section. Customers can try the farm’s extra-virgin olive oil dip with olives and focaccia bread. The home-grown Texas olive oil and fresh, gourmet food can be paired with a selection of Texas wines from the bistro’s wine bars.
Texas Olive Oil Tastings
There are tastings offered on-site for the products produced and sourced from the orchards. The Texas Hill Country Olive Co. has a Tuscan-style tasting room for its olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting bars.
The Texas olive oil company offers an olive oil flight menu that features multiple varieties of olive oil blends as well as traditional balsamic vinegar. The menu tasting is conducted like a wine tasting with a progression from one blend to another. Palate cleansers are offered and a guide offers tips on the best way to consume, swirl, and taste the olive oil blends.
Visitors can sign up for separate tastings for private groups or enjoy sampling the products on walking tours. All walking tours end with olive oil tastings and a visit to the gift shop to promote Texas olive oil. Private tasting sessions are encouraged for social events for friends, couples, or family gatherings.
A Texas Olive Oil Gift Shop
The Texas Hill Country Olive Co. offers its visitors the chance to buy its products. The gift shop has a collection of olive oil blends, balsamic vinegars, gourmet products, cooking accessories, and other gifts. A visitor can explore the shop during the tail end of a walking tour, after a Bistro lunch, an olive oil tasting, or even a separate gift-hunting visit.
Some of the popular varieties of olive oil blends include the Sola Stella Extra Virgin Olive Oil, the Terra Verde Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and the house specialty Texas Miller’s Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Other specialized blends like the Garlic-infused olive oil are recommended for adventurous palettes.
The company sells gift boxes on-site and online. The Sicilian Gourmet Gift Box, for instance, features prominent products from the farm’s line of Texas olive oil products. The olive oil comes accompanied by bread dipping spices, a jar of olives, traditional balsamic vinegar, a pour spout, and two of the bistro chef’s recipe cards.
The Texas Hill premises include a Tuscan-style building and acres of farmland. Due to its beautiful location, the company offers customers the chance to both host and attend events. Regulars in the area are free to host special events on the premises, catered by the bistro.
Tourists and nature enthusiasts can attend events hosted by Texas Hill Company. The farm’s orchard manager, Anthony Grassia, offers lessons in maintaining, growing, pruning, and irrigating olive trees. The bistro’s head chef, Michael Anderson, offers cooking demonstrations for visitors to let them know the best way to incorporate olive oil into food.
The Texas Hill Country Olive Co. is one of the local success stories because of its insistence on farm-to-table practices and agritourism. The venture revitalized sustainable food sourcing practices and helped grow the local Texan olive oil industry and authentic olive farming methods.