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Simon Johnson Oils

Continuing our series on Simon Johnson’s preferred producers, we reveal the good oil on two premium family-owned olive oil brands. 

Like your favourite wine varieties, quality extra virgin olive oil is rich in beautiful aromas and flavours. As Joe Grilli of South Australia’s Primo Estate describes, these include “freshly cut grass, green tomatoes, avocado and nuttiness.” Joe goes on to explain that a quality extra virgin olive oil should “taste of fresh olives” and be free of fusty, vinegary or rancid characters. 

His extensive knowledge comes from the fact that his family has been producing extra virgin olive oil since 1989 from their South Australian estate. But before olives came grapes, with Joe’s father Primo planting their family vineyard in 1973. This led to Joe becoming a winemaker and the Primo Estate wine range is widely acclaimed. And just as only the very best grapes go into their wines, only the very best olives are used for their oils. 


Exclusive Offer: Complimentary bottle of PONS 

Shop in store or online at SIMON JOHNSON and when you purchase a JOSEPH First Run Extra Virgin 750ml, you’ll receive a complimentary bottle of PONS Green Oil 500ml.

Use the code goodoilselector on checkout!

*Offer ends 30 September 2021.


For close to 30 years, Joe has worked with many of the same olive growers from the Adelaide Hills, Mount Compass and McLaren Vale on South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula and has seen groves ripen to full maturity. From these he picks the finest parcels of olives from different groves and varieties to produce the very best oil of the season.

For instance, depending on the year, the JOSEPH First Run – the freshest oil of the new season – can contain a blend of Leccino, Frantoio, Coratina, Koroneiki or Pendolino olives. The family, along with their head winemaker, then use their winemaking skills to blend the oil together, creating perfect balance. As a result, the JOSEPH First Run Olive Oil has become an Australian gourmet icon.

It’s no wonder, then, that Primo Estate extra virgin olive oil is a favourite of SIMON JOHNSON. Their commitment to only offering the finest culinary products makes Primo a natural choice. What SIMON JOHNSON also love is Joe Grilli and his family’s passion for the sweet life. As Joe explains, “We are lucky to live in Australia. We have the freedom to live the life we choose and we choose to live la dolce vita.”

And when it comes to food, for Joe it is about simplicity; not too many flavours, lots of fresh ingredients, long tables, sharing platters and good extra virgin olive oil. The Grilli tradition continues with Joe’s sons Daniel and Matteo now integral to the Primo Estate team. As Joe says, “It was never our intention to brainwash the children into becoming part of the family business. However, they did grow up fully living la dolce vita and immersed in the romance of it all.”


Catalan quality

A deep passion for creating the finest olive oils is also shared by another SIMON JOHNSON favourite, the Pons family, who have been growing olives in Catalonia for four generations. 

Having continuously developed their olive business since 1945, GRUP PONS is still a family-run company specialising in the production and marketing of high quality extra virgin olive oil – four generations (with a fifth generation starting to learn the business) – who all have an inherited passion for the land and its produce. 

They grow, process and market their 100% Arbequina olive oil to more than 140 countries all over the world (Australia, through SIMON JOHNSON, was one of their first). 

The Pons family farm is in north-west Catalonia, in the area of Les Garrigues (Lleida) along the border with Spain. A rural area with almond trees, olive oil and wine estates, peaches, apples and pears, Les Garrigues is the heart of Catalan olive oil production.

Year after year, one of the most awaited moments for the Pons family is the harvesting and pressing of the new olive crop. A moment that comes alive every 12 months and is characterised by the perfume and fragrance from the oil in the initial hours of milling. You can tell it is a passion, not just a business.

The Arbequina Olive grown in the regions of northern Spain produces some of the finest quality extra virgin olive oils in the world. Its origin is from a town in the Lleida province called Arbeca where the olive gets its name.

GRUP PONS produce a range of styles – intense organic extra virgin olive oil with hints of bitterness and spicy notes that perfectly balance out the fruit. The olives are grown at higher altitudes and have a sweetness not always found in other Arbequina oils. Their organic oil is sourced from their own olives (non-organic is sourced from other producers) and identifies with the four main standards of organic certification. 


Buy from the Simon Johnson range now 

Joseph First Run EVOO 750ml                                       Joseph First Run EVOO 375ml

Joseph EVOO 750ml                                                      Joseph EVOO 375ml

Pons EVOO Blend Tin 3L                                                Pons Extra Virgin Olive Oil Primum Oleum

Pons Green Extra Virgin Olive Oil                                   Pons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Published on
2 Jul 2021


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