Texas Hill Country Olive Company is family-owned, a collaboration between my father John Gambini, his brother-in-law Rick Mensik, his family and myself (Cara Gambini). We are passionate about what we do, and the most awarded olive oil company in Texas, located in the beautiful and beloved "Texas Hill Country" of Dripping Springs Texas. The company began in 2008 when my dad John, and his brother-in-law Rick, bought 17 acres of land in the picturesque town of Dripping Springs, TX, with the idea of planting olive trees. Since day one the focus has been on preserving the natural beauty of the area while providing fresh locally produced extra virgin olive oil and other premium quality products.
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Our story starts with my dad John, who always had the dream of owning a vineyard. We are 3rd & 4th generation Italian immigrants by heritage, and he loved the idea of having a bit of our heritage here in Texas. So, we were talking about this dream over Thanksgiving in 2008, after he had just read an article about local Texas farmers who had planted olive trees and were starting to figure out what varieties to grow and which areas they would grow best in. Right here in Texas, and it intrigued us! We all thought it would be much more fun to help pioneer a new industry vs jumping into an already well established one (there were already 160 wineries in Texas at that time). From there, it happened very quickly, and by December of 2008 we had the land, and by spring of 2009 we had trees in the ground. It was an entire family effort, something we are all proud of (thank you to everyone involved!). It’s been a labor of love ever since!
Why Dripping Springs? Well, not only does it have the perfect land conditions, but it also shared many similarities to certain landscapes in Italy which we love about this area. It was a bit of a homage to our motherland that we chose to plant where we did. The trees are planted on a slope in rocky limestone soil – the limestone keeps the soil more alkaline, the slope of the land and the rocks in the soil help with water drainage. There is always a nice breeze in the orchard which helps the pollinator trees (Pendolino variety) to pollinate the varieties that need pollinating. We sourced some olive varieties from nurseries in Texas, and have also purchased trees from California. We are proud of the fact that we have created the only certified organic orchard in the State of Texas and were first to win medals in competitions for our olive oils starting in 2010, and continue to lead the pack today (so to say).
If you are planning to visit, I, my dad and Rick would love to share more of our story with you, as I and my dad regularly guide tours through our facility and into our olive orchard next door to our Tasting Room. I also lead several educational tastings to help spread the word about premium extra virgin olive oil, but not only that, premium extra virgin olive oil grown right here in our own amazing state of Texas! Go Texas!
I look forward to meeting you, and if you can’t make it to Texas, feel free to look through all our offerings, available here on our website. I personally guarantee all of them, and hope you enjoy our olive oils and gourmet food. Thank you.
- Cara Gambini
Don't Miss: Tasting Room & Bistro • Orchard Tours
Whether you are looking for a fun day-trip with your friends & family or you want a cool place to bring guests, we have something for everyone. Make us a destination and visit Texas's Hill Country! For a list of our partners, wineries and breweries in the area, click here. We hope to see you soon! - Cara