Summer was made for adventures; for road trips and exploring new, interesting places. If you’re living in The Lone Star State or planning a holiday there over the next few months, you don’t want to miss the Texas Hill Country Olive Company! From touring the orchard to tasting the moreish Texas olive oil it produces and other locally sourced products – the location offers something for everyone.
Located in Dripping Springs, the heart of the Texas Hill Country, this is a family-owned business and it shows. The Gambinis are 3rd and 4th generation Italian immigrants and the Tuscan-inspired buildings are an homage to their heritage. Whether you are taking a tour, enjoying a farm-to-table meal, or browsing the gourmet shop, you will be greeted with the same family-run hospitality.
Tour & Taste – From Olive Tree to Texas Olive Oil
The process of making extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) starts with carefully picking the olives when they are perfectly ripe. Getting the timing right is vital to ensure the oil will have the best flavor and will be packed full of nutrients. The selected fruits are then gently washed to remove any dust or residue before they are taken to the mill within 72 hours of the harvest to be turned into EVOO.
The Olive Mill Tour & Extra Virgin 101 experience is a guided tour that will take you through the milling and newly renovated bottling facility. At the mill, the fresh olives are cold-pressed at a 65-85 degree Fahrenheit temperature. Your guide will tell you all about the process before you proceed to the bottling plant. Here, you will discover how the color and material for each bottle are carefully selected to ensure the EVOO is stored correctly.
After the “behind the scenes” tour, your guide will lead you to the tasting room. You will have the opportunity to taste award-winning EVOOs and unique flavors of infused balsamic vinegars. You will surely fall in love with the products, which you can then purchase in the gourmet shop at the end of your tour. And when you run out, rest assured that all the products are also available for purchase on the website.
The Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar Tasting tour is a guided tasting with small bite food pairing. It’s a fantastic way to treat your taste buds with some of the signature EVOOs and balsamic vinegars and learn how to pair each variety with certain small bites. If you love organizing dinner parties for your friends, this is a must-have experience. Your next event will be the perfect moment to share your new knowledge and prepare fantastic dishes for your guests.
The orchard can also accommodate Private Tours & Events for larger groups or special occasions. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with them to find out more and organize your visit. The friendly owners and staff will be more than happy to answer any questions and make sure your event will run smoothly.
Drink & Dine – Seasonal Farm-to-Table Meals
The Bistro at Texas Hill Country Olive Co. is a beautiful Tuscan-style building located in the breathtaking hills of Dripping Springs. The restaurant’s menu features award-winning products such as EVOO, balsamic vinegar, and preserved olives. In addition to the indoor bistro seating, the restaurant also has tables on the patio if you prefer to dine outside while taking in the lovely scenery and enjoying the fresh air. Dogs are also welcome on the patio.
The Bistro is open daily for lunch between 10:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. and operates with counter service ordering. A member of the staff will bring your food and beverages to your table. The menu offers plenty of options for vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free guests. Small bites, salads and entrees, and even gelatos and cocktails are all lovingly prepared by the talented kitchen staff with the freshest ingredients available straight from the garden.
Sample & Shop – Souvenirs With a Twist
It’s almost a tradition to return home from a holiday with a small souvenir – whether you were away for a few weeks or just a couple of days. But we can promise the souvenirs you pick up in the Gourmet Texas Gift Shop won’t end up forgotten at the back of a drawer. Kitchen accessories such as pour spouts, kitchen towels, dipping bowls, and wooden spoons make for great souvenirs or useful gifts for your loved ones.
For foodies, the shop features EVOOs, infused oils, and balsamic vinegars. Purchase a bottle of your favorite product, or go for one of the sets if you want to relive the tasting experience at home. If you have a green thumb, you can even purchase your very own tree to plant in your garden and enjoy homegrown olives for years to come.