Looking back over five generations of olive oil making, Rocco Tigani commenced in 1869 in the township of San Eufemia, Calabria, using a water wheel to drive stone crushers. The family have olive oil plantations in San Procopico, and the famous Gioia Tauro plains. In 1936, son Giuseppe and grandsons Rocco and Francesco transferred the oil processing to Sinopoli, Calabria using a motorised stone crushers and hand presses. In 1950 after the Second World War, Grandson Francesco migrated to Australia.
In 1972, granddaughter Nina introduced a modern method of processing using defoliation, washing, hammer crushing, temperature control mechanisms, separation decanters and final separators. They always took into consideration low temperature storage to maintain the quality of oil. Updating the processing line and blending and processing, great grandson Carmine still operates using the press in the family’s traditional way.
In 1972, Great Grandson Tommaso commenced visiting Italy on an annual basis keeping in touch with the family olive oil business. Since then he has travelled the world annually investigating all aspects of the olive oil industry, taking into consideration quality, taste, climate, markets, variety, storage, blending and harvesting. In 1983 Tommaso bought the family farm near Pinnaroo, which was well suited for olive groves because of its Mediterranean climatic conditions — and submersible water which originates from the Grampians. In 1999 we began our first plantation, and today own and manage 170,000 trees in the Riverland and Fleurieu region.
In 2002 great, great grandsons Francesco and Emilio joined the family business. Francesco is currently in charge of farming operations and Emilio in charge of processing and blending. Emilio works under the supervision of the company agronomist and panellist Domenico Galiulo, who has 30 years experience in agronomy and is a well-recognised European panellist of 20 years, winning awards Cibus and Vinitaly. Great, great grandsons Giancarlo and Marco also joined the company in 2004 and 2005 respectively, assisting in farm operations and harvesting.
In 2004 to 2005 our company expanded into contract harvesting in South Australia, Southern Western Australia, Southern Queensland, Western New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania servicing over 400 olive orchids. We were using Sicma olive harvesters. The harvesters were so effective that we became agents for them and over the years sold 54 machines. During this time that we were contract harvesting we were in contact with the factory making modifications to the machine One of my sons went to the factory in Italy for 2 months learning all about the machines so that we could offer backup service for the machines. Other son went to Italy for 2 months to learn the art of processing olives into olive oil. During this time our base moved to 403 Grange Road, Seaton and Alberton.
From 2006 to 2010 the business went through a time of turmoil due to matrimonial problems, family issues and internal director and shareholder differences. These events brought the company to it’s knees and changed the structure of the business.
In 2011 I, Thomas Tigani, continued the business as a sole trader consultant for the harvesting of olives, processing of olives oil and marketing olive oil to wholesalers, restaurants and some retail. My emphasis is on purchasing quality olives from prime locations such as Yarra Valley Victoria, McLaren Vale South Australia, Hobart Tasmania.
I have been an olive oil consultant for over 10 years, harvesting over 400 groves and conducting study tours all over the world. Years of experience have taught me that the first criteria of excellent olive oil is to select olives that are grown in the best climate and best growing conditions. In my experience, the regions which produce some of our best wines are also perfect for olive oil production so where you find great wines you will also find great olives.
Today in 2018 I have 7 harvesting machines harvesting up to and over 100 tons of olives per day and this processed into oil within 24 hours by one of our accredited processing plants throughout Australia.
We can assure any of our customers that our oil is:
- First Press
- Cold Press
- Extra Virgin
- Mediterranean Variety
In Spain in 2012 during one of my world study tours I discovered an olive harvester made by Noli that was stronger built, more robust and user friendly. The harvester head was attached to a Manitou telehandler making it very comfortable for the operator and it uses a multi function machine that can be used for many other farm operations. These harvesters are up 130HP with 3 different sized heads to cater for any size tree and 5 metre umbrella which can extend to 8 metres. They are cost effective and can harvest an average of one tree per minute, as long as the trees are pruned correctly. We are agents for these machines and they are are available for sale.