Pukara Estate was founded by Bruce Eglington, who planted the first trees in 1999 and was joined 12 months later by Steve Goodchild. The first commercial harvest took place in 2003 and the Pukara Estate brand was launched. Husband and wife team, Steve and Racquel now manage Pukara Estate’s operations across the country.
Their 300 acre property with frontage to the Hunter River is located near the township of Denman in the historic viticultural region of the Upper Hunter Valley, New South Wales. Their mixed farming enterprise comprises of, 20 000 olive trees, fat lambs and prime Lucerne Hay production. Located on site, Pukara have olive oil and vinegar production, olive oil processing, bottling and warehousing facility. The facility allows them to operate with the ability to produce the freshest products consistently throughout each season.
Continue reading to find out a bit more about Steve’s journey and what he enjoys most about the Upper Hunter!
What inspired you to launch the Pukara Estate brand? What was your ‘a-Ha’ moment?
From a very young age I was quite entrepreneurial, and I have always been passionate about farming. I guess growing olives in Australia caught my attention when I was 20 years old and the rest is history as they say!!
My a-Ha moment was simply the opportunity to build a career with a product that I truly believe in.
What has been the most challenging thing you’ve faced in business so far?
There always seems to be something that changes me daily – of recent years I would say the major challenges from Pukara’s perspective would be… mining verse agriculture, drought, bush fires, COVID-19…and me being able to keep up with technology!!!
And the best?
I would have to say the success of Pukara Estate establishing itself as a National and International brand is quite satisfying.
Anything exciting in the works for Pukara Estate?
I am really excited about what we are currently achieving with our skincare range (Earth & Grace) and I think there are some exciting opportunities for Pukara Estate Premium Lamb products to gain some momentum over the next 12 months as well.
What’s your typical day look like?
I have no idea…it can change very quickly. I don’t do repetition or routine well!
Who inspires you the most?
There are several people that have inspired me over the past 20 years of Pukara’s existence, some as a result of their good decision making, others as a result of their poor decision making. One stand out would be Steve Higgs from Rosto Olives at Merriwa, he has been unwavering in his commitment and support for me personally and Pukara.
You have visitors – what do you show them? What is the best thing they should discover about or in the Upper Hunter and why?
I enjoy having visitors – the local cellar doors, restaurants, pubs are always great fun and I am always keen to pursue outdoor activities, so the Barrington Tops or the Hunter River are a great way to spend time.
What time of year should people visit the Upper Hunter and why?
Autumn is a great time of year in the Upper Hunter.
What are you currently reading or binging on TV?
Reading – Lee Child; Jack Reacher series. Watching – Action/adventure TV series or movies.
One thing you can’t live without while in lockdown?
Social contact – I really enjoy the company of my friends and family.
To find out more about Steve’s Pukara Estate products, visit the website below. Plus keep update with the latest news via Facebook and Instagram.