History of Dionysus

Dionysus Australia has its roots in a family business which has been producing and exporting olives and olive oil from Messinia in the Peloponnese, Greece for over 350 years.

Dennis’ village of Aipeia is 20 minutes north of the city of Kalamata on the lower  western slopes of Mount Taygetos overlooking the Pamisos River Valley.  His ancestors have continuously inhabited and cultivated kalamata olives and produced wine as well as other delicacies from this village for hundreds of years

The family enterprise had estates throughout the Messinian, Lakonian and Arkadian Prefectures producing table olives and olive oil – as well as operating a regional olive press – table grapes and wine, figs and pomegranates for the domestic and European markets. The extent of our family’s international trading market extended to shipments to Venice, Antwerp and Amsterdam.

Following a series of regional and international crisis such as the Balkan Wars, First World War and the Great Depression of the 1920-30s the family business contracted its land holdings and operations to producing only for the domestic market. The family estate further contracted during the Second World War and the Greek Civil War. The family tradition of producing olives and olive oil was almost lost with the Greek Diaspora of the early and mid Twentieth Century with family members seeking a better life in the cities of Greece and elsewhere around the world.

In recent times some family members have returned to the village of their origin and tendered to their ancestral fields and practices … but only for subsistence and nostalgic reasons.  Dennis says:

My father returned to Greece in 2002 retiring to the ancestral home where he was born and returning to the old practices. Over the years my father has taught me the wealth of our family’s historical knowledge, skill and practices of tendering, growing, harvesting and producing olives and olive oil.

This liquid gold has been produced, traded and enjoyed for thousands of years, learning this trade and consuming the exceptional premium extra virgin olive oil from this region Dennis’ started to ship olive oil for my own and other family members enjoyment.

Dionysus Australia is based in Sydney and has a strong presence in Canberra and surrounding district.  Our olive oil is distributed by discerning delicatessens and fine food outlets as well as used by leading restaurants and caterers.  With the growing consumer and commercial interest we are receiving we hope to expand in the near future into Melbourne and Brisbane.  Until then, consumer interest from other parts of Australia will have to order on-line.

 

“Over the years my father has taught me the wealth of our family’s historical knowledge, skill and practices of tendering, growing, harvesting and producing olives and olive oil.”