Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Rosnay Organic Wines, Olives and Figs

On our recent visit to the Central Tablelands of NSW, we organised to drop in on Sam Statham at Rosnay Organic. I had the pleasure of meeting Sam at an expo in Sydney in May this year, where I was doing a cooking demo and he was exhibiting his Rosnay Organic produce. I was already a big fan of their beautiful organic olives and had heard great reports about their organic wines too. So since we were 'in the neighbourhood' on our recent getaway, I thought we would look him up and go and see for ourselves, where all this beautiful Rosnay produce was coming from. We made the forty five minute scenic drive from Millthorpe to the town of Canowindra, a little town which oozes with history and character. Driving on a further ten minutes out of town, we arrived at the Rosnay Organic farm, which is part of the Rivers Road Organic Farms.

Originally wool producers from Northern NSW, Richard, Florence and Sam Statham moved to a small farm at Canowindra, in the NSW Central Ranges, in 1995. They began converting the farm to produce organic wines and olives in 1997. Richard's parents were organic farmers, whilst Florence's grandfather, Alberic Francois Dulong de Rosnay cultivated a small vineyard in the French Beaujolais - hence the name 'Rosnay' in honour of the four generations now living on the property.

At Rosnay they offer an extensive 'Taste and Tour' experience, which is not just about tasting the beautiful wines, but also about seeing the workings of this organic farm. The tour packages start at $60 for one hour, including three bottles of current vintage wine.

Sam took much time to show us around and shared with us some of his organic wisdom.
'Our strict avoidance of harmful chemicals in the growing of all our products is based on strong evidence that long term effects of chemical pesticides and herbicides (and combinations of these) are detrimental to our health and environment. Chemically grown grapes are frequently listed among the most highly sprayed crops. Our sustainable approach encourages a 'living soil' environment that producess quality fruit without any need for toxic chemicals.'

Rosnay is one of four Certified Organic vineyards in the Cowra Wine Region, with more growers converting over time.

Little did we know that as we strolled the groves and vineyards of Rosnay with Sam, that we were fortunately spending time with the soon to be announced NSW Organic Pioneer 2012.
The NSW organic Pioneer award is about looking for passionate people active in the NSW organic industry, who have either worked in, discovered, promoted, created, grown or processed an organic system or product that we can celebrate to the world.

Just a couple of weeks later in conjunction with the Sustain Show - Organic Expo & Green Show in Sydney the winner of the award was announced.
This media release announced Sam's success:
Sam Statham, an organic farmer from Canowindra in the State’s central west, has taken out the inaugural 2012 NSW Organic Pioneers Award.
Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Acting Director Skills and Communities, John Newcombe, presented the award at the opening of Sydney’s SUSTAIN Show at Moore Park.
Sam first started growing grapes and olives organically in 1997 and is now widely respected in organic industry circles right across Australia,” Mr Newcombe said.
Sam is a trailblazer in the organics industry and has made a significant contribution to the development of the rapidly growing sector. Sam’s family business ‘Rosnay’ is a certified organic farm producing winegrapes, olives and figs as-well-as value-added products such as olive paste, fig preserve and award-winning wines.
Sam founded the Australia-New Zealand Organic Wine Show and previously chaired the Vignerons Committee of the Biological Farmers of Australia.
Sam will receive a $6,000 travel bursary to investigate other organic enterprises or research facilities and continue his great work in the industry.

There are so many reasons to visit Rosnay Organic Farm and when you do you can stay in Rosnay Guest Cottage, refurbished to comfortably sleep six adults with serene surroundings and stunning views past the vineyards toward the Belubula Valley.

Maybe a three and a half hour drive from Sydney and some time to unwind and switch off in the countryside, is not on your current agenda! So how can you get your hands on Rosnay Organic Wines, Olives and Figs, Olive pastes and Fig preserves in the meantime? They are readily available at Organic Stores and Fine food stores Australia wide. I currently sell their table olives and serve their organic wines in my cooking classes. You can also join their Organic Wine Lovers Club online.

Not only did we leave the farm that day with much Rosnay produce purchased and loaded in our car boot, beautiful wines and olives, as well as a sample of their fig preserve and olive paste, but we were also able to take some organic vegetables from a neighbouring farm, which resulted in some lovely Organic Pumpkin scones with fresh cream and Rosnay's delightful Fig preserve.

Recipe included in my soon to be released cookbook
'NAKED FOOD the way food was meant to be.'

Rosnay Organic
Rivers Road Organic Farms
Canowindra, NSW 2804
t 1300 767 629


As it was a rather bleak day, the day we visited Rosnay Organics, many of the beautiful photos in this post were courtesy of Sam Statham.

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