Meet The Locals

Paddock to press in Danks Street

Olive oil pressing will take place at Danks Street Produce Merchants this coming weekend. Credit: Supplied

It all started over twenty years ago over lunch beneath the Tuscan sun.

When Dominic Quattroville was a teenager, his family had a meal under an olive tree in Tuscany, Italy. It was this moment that his father “fell in love with the olive grove” and was inspired to start one of his own back home in the Hunter Valley.

What started as an empty piece of land in Pokolbin is now Fourth Village Estate: a thriving farm producing thousands of litres of olive oil, wine, bespoke jam, marmalade, and a variety of seasonal fruits which are sold direct to the public at Danks Street Produce Merchants in Waterloo.

The three Quattroville brothers, John, Sal and Dominic, all work with their parents to run the family business.

“One of us is always on our shop floor, and I think that’s nice because there’s a point of contact and a familiar face when you’re shopping with us,” said Quattroville.

April is what he describes as “a special time of year.” It’s the time for the annual olive harvest and to celebrate the family will stage a live olive oil pressing and tasting over three days at the store.

Coreggiolo and frantioio olives from the estate’s fifteen year old trees will be delivered direct from the farm to the store, where they’ll be fed into the Italian-made centrifugation, pressing machine. The fresh extra virgin olive oil will be ready for immediate tasting.

It will be a rare opportunity for customers to witness the process and taste the oil straight away.

“It’s the first time within the Sydney basin that there’s been a live olive oil pressing,” said Quattroville.

He says it’s always worth the year’s wait.

“The romance of firstly the smell, and then the flavour is something unimaginable until you actually try fresh olive oil,” he said.

“When that first bit runs off the press, there’s nothing more special than a fresh extra virgin olive oil with a good crusty ciabatta loaf.”

The weekend pressing isn’t the only opportunity to sample the freshly made oil. The family also runs a restaurant, Mezzanino above the store, where a unique Italian menu compiled by chef Riccardo Interdonato makes use of many products you can buying store.

“That’s also a very special component, because not many restaurants have a produce market below, where they’re able to source their ingredients directly. The head chef is able to go downstairs and speak directly with the butcher onsite, the cheesemonger, and myself about what’s in season,” said Quattroville.