BASTROP COUNTY, Texas -- At Red Rock Vineyards in Bastrop County, Sonny Rivera pours a sample of olive oil. It's actually from 2012, but it smells like it was milled just yesterday.
"Very different from what you get in the store," he said.
To get the oil, Rivera has his very own milling machine. He's been growing olive trees for eight years. When he told his friends he would start growing olive trees, "Most of the people had a blank stare on their face. And it was like, 'What did you say?" he said.
Because of Central Texas' extremes in weather -- from freezes to hot summers and droughts -- growing olives here has its challenges.
"When you know you're going to get very cold weather, how is that going to affect your tree? If you don't have enough water in your tree, it will freeze and it will die. However, if you can get enough water to them before it freezes, then they will actually survive and they will thrive," said Rivera.
He said water is important for the olive trees, although too much water is bad for them.
Rivera said it's a risky business, but urged growers not to give up.
"There is a gold rush-type thing for this type of oil. It's a little bit more difficult than people think," Rivera said.
Jeannie Weigl and her husband began growing olive trees in Bastrop in 2010.
"When we first planted, they said, 'You can't grow olives in Bastrop County.' And so we just have set about to prove them wrong," Weigl said.
Weigl hasn't seen any fruit yet, but said, "Our dream is to someday have olives and to produce our own Texas oil."
The Weigls have accepted the challenge of growing olive trees in Central Texas. It can take years for the fruit to appear on these trees. So for them, the hard part is sitting back, being patient and waiting.
While Weigl hopes she and her husband will soon begin to see the fruits of their labor, she said the challenge is worth it.
"They're beautiful. And if we never grow an olive, it's been a delightful journey, and they're quite beautiful," Weigl said.
Rivera says you won't see his olive oil at the supermarket, but he hopes to start selling it to some local restaurants soon.