Daydreams of An Olive Oil Maker, Nick Wilkinson of Rio Largo talks to us…

Brenda & Nick Wilkinson, Rio Largo Owners

Life is very different now!

Thoughts of monthly Board meetings, budgets, financial reports and strategic plans a distant memory – brings a wry smile to my face. The corporate life of a trained chartered accountant is dead and buried. I’m an oil maker yes- I now make olive oil.

It’s processing time, my disciplined three months, early start and sometimes a late finish but it does instil a sense of self-discipline after the freedom of farm life throughout the rest of the year.

The Olive Harvest on Rio Largo

Mine’s not an office in the city with a daily commute and a pitched battle with taxis and the competitive edge of time restricted office jockeys. Chasing the clock is now irrelevant – patience my man – that is what the Italian mentor taught me in creating premium extra virgin olive oil. The fruit will determine time and you will have time to think, no not think, more like day dream.

The Olive Groves on Rio Largo

Reinvent the world, indulge in a creative spirit and produce an end product that will enhance the art of slow food and perhaps reverse some of the ills of the city life. High cholesterol and hypertension are no longer the topic of dinner party conversation, a good dollop of my extra virgin olive oil daily and its inclusion in most mealtimes has put paid to those concerns which even has my GP thinking. Yes, this stuff, if good quality, really does help and the bureaucratic European Union even acknowledge such findings.

Freshly pressed Olive Oil from the Rio Largo Press

Up with the sunrise, a brisk walk to the shed, check out the olives to determine the press settings and fire it all up. A logical sequence olive to the washer, then the crusher pushing paste into the malaxers and slowly kneaded until the oil starts glisten. From here its pumped through the centrifuge to separate the oil from the pomace and water and finally lightly filtered and stored away in stainless steel tanks with a nitrogen blanket to keep it fresh until packed and sent to you the customer.

Nothing added and nothing taken away, patience a virtue and time dictated by a process as old as time itself – equipment is more modern today but principles haven’t changed and those original Olympians and even Julius Caesar consumed the same liquid gold. The pace of life has changed, the surrounding countryside is now my view, the birds my music and the sunshine my light. Do I miss the race of time, the daily grind, chasing the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?

Nick Wilkinson with his state of the art equipment

No – I’m alive not dead, I create something worthwhile with my own hands and it’s good, really good. What is more it promotes health and well-being for all who choose to consume my creation.

RIO LARGO extra virgin olive oil has changed my life!

Read more Bout Rio Largo Olive Oils – CLICK HERE


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