Under the ownership of the Campbell family Pialligo developed a character that remains in evidence today.
In 1824 Robert Campbell commenced farming 4,000 acres of land in the Parish of Pialligo. A generation later the Pialligo station was a green oasis with river side willows and vegetable gardens. Along the river flats lucerne was grown to sustain stock over the winter.
The Campbells began building the homestead now known as Duntroon House in the 1830s. Convict and ex-convict masons recruited from Sydney quarried local rock from Mt Pleasant for the building.
Pialligo continued to be farmed intensively throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth century.
Prior to taking up residence at Duntroon Robert Campbell was a strong advocate for the abolition of transportation, helped establishing the sealing industry in the colony of New South Wales and was an active supporter of Governor Bligh in the period leading up to the Rum Rebellion.
In 1910 the Campbell homestead and lands were resumed by the Commonwealth as part of the formation of the Australian Capital Territory. The homestead and outbuildings from the Campbell family estate were transformed into the Royal Military College.
Farming and gardening on the land along the Molonglo River continued. In 1926 leases were granted to three families which established Pialligo as a kitchen garden for the planned city of Canberra.
Today the river flats at Pialligo are used for fodder crops and market gardening just as they were in the nineteenth century
Pialligo Estate is located on the banks of the Molonglo River. Long used by the Ngunnawal people, the river corridor was first settled by Europeans in the 1820s when intensive agricultural uses commenced. A Pialligo local was reputed to have said “the soil is so good, you could grow gold sovereigns in it-if you knew where to find the seed”.
The famous fertile river flats have been producing food for the Canberra district ever since.
Now Pialligo Estate, with its 800 metres of river frontage and 28 hectares of deep sandy loam continues the tradition of producing the finest produce for the region to enjoy.
Our olive Grove consists of four hundred Coriggiola olive trees, a Tuscan variety well suited to the region. Our trees are carefully tendered, pruned and handpicked, delivering the very best fresh olives to the mill within hours of harvest.
The hot Canberra summer and cool clear nights of autumn means ripening brings complexity and freshness. The oil is of medium intensity with fresh grassy notes and a hint of apple and spice on the nose. Tasting produces a fresh balance with a hint of bitterness and pungency that lingers with mild pepper on the palate.
Our award winning Extra Virgin Olive Oil has been recognised with Silver and Gold awards in national and local competitions.
Our orchard has been designed by Paul Bangay who is widely recognised as Australia’s foremost garden designer with celebrated projects in Australia and around the world.
One thousand fruit trees have been positioned to create curved pathways, continuous avenues, private green rooms and beautiful open spaces.
The fertile soils of the Molonglo River floodplain ensure the orchard is thriving and bursting with growth.
A variety of trees produce fruit over an extended period with early, mid and late seasonal varieties. Fruit is picked daily in season and delivered to our chefs to create today’s dining experience.
Our orchards bounty has an emphasis on heirloom varieties for their timeless flavour including:
Our two hectares of market garden are farmed using organic practices that have been practised at Pialligo for more than a century.
Our seasonal plantings are planned in consultation with our culinary team to serve our seasonal menus. Vegetables, herbs and flowers are cultivated, picked and delivered to our chefs daily. Fresh, flavoursome and healthy produce – guaranteed when you grow your own.
The Canberra region’s first wine was produced by settlers who established small vineyards in the Gunning and Yass districts for local consumption in the 1840s.
When commercial wine production in South Australia was established a decade or so later local vineyards became unprofitable and were largely abandoned.
The 1970s saw a number of scientists establish small blocks of grapes around the Canberra district. Today the tranquil rural countryside around the ACT is home to 140 vineyards with more than 33 wineries located within 35 minutes of Canberra. The district’s vineyards cover an altitudinal range of 300 to 800 metres, producing award winning cool climate wines.
The range in temperature, vineyard elevations, varying soil types and different wine making styles is well suited to a range of grape varieties – from Riesling and Chardonnay to Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Sangiovese and Tempranillo.
Our wines are an expression of regional style and the application of traditional wine making techniques.
Fragrant citrus aroma with a hint of honey. Lovely delicate flavour viscosity and weight from the balanced level of fruit and crisp acidity that is typical of the Canberra region. Subtle development of honeysuckle and toast, providing character to enhance drinking pleasure. A fresh, clean finish with uplifting savoury aspects.
Medium bodied, red berries and cherry with cool climate varietal aromas are complemented by myriad spices. Vibrant flavours fill the mouth, covering the suggestion of oak and faint vanilla with fine skin tannins.
A light to medium bodied style with fresh varietal nose. On the palate cherry, and hints of coco nib is supported by a touch of fine oak, with lovely acid balance. The wine synergises with lighter dishes, finishing with rustic savoury gusto.
Rich plummy fruit with aromas of blackcurrant and fruit cake. The flavours are soft, plummy, long and rich, balanced by fine-grained ripe tannins and light vanilla oak giving structure while maintaining a fruit driven softer style.