Blog – Bella Lavender Estate



Closure of the Cafe at Bella Lavender Estate from June 28 2020 ... 0

To Our Bella Lavender Family,

With Mario recently turning 70 and Lucy not far behind, we would like to step back and enjoy our long-awaited retirement, therefore, sadly we have decided to close our cafe at Bella Lavender Estate at the end of June this year.

David will not be able to take over Bella Lavender Estate because he will need to be home for his children now that Nicola has recently embarked on a new career which requires her to be in Adelaide and away from their children for a great deal of the year.

Once the restrictions are lifted and we get back to “normal”, we will continue to open for large bookings (birthdays, engagement, reunions, wakes, weddings, Christmas parties etc.) and bus groups however we will not be trading through the cafe to the general public on an ongoing basis.

Mario will continue to have his coffee van at various venues throughout the Riverland so look out for him.

Our body products will still be available online when you visit our website or just give us a call.

Over the years the lavender farm has given us the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people both local and from afar, including our great staff. How fortunate we have been to be able to employ so many young people who commenced work with us during their high school years. We have been able to watch them grow from young teenagers into young adults and move on to further studies or full-time work either in the region or further afield. Some of these beautiful young people who were employed with us when we first opened Bella Lavender eleven and a half years ago are now married and have children of their own (where has the time gone?). Thank you so much to every staff member, young and “older”, who has worked at Bella Lavender over the years for all your hard work, smiles and support.

We know that everyone who has worked at Bella Lavender has tried their best to give good service to our customers at all times and thank you to so many people who have acknowledged this. However, we are aware there are a couple at times we “may” have got it wrong so here are a few bloopers that at the time made us positively cringe but now we can smile and put it down to experience.

We had an interstate bus group in for a three course dinner and for desert decided that they would enjoy homemade apple crumble. When the customers started eating the desert it tasted rather salty. Oh dear, how embarrassing. Lucy had mistaken the caster sugar for salt and used the salt to make the crumble. She claims that the salt and caster sugar containers were very similar but really, how hard is it to read the word “sugar” that was so clearly plastered all over the lid?. What is worse - this happened more than once, the second time to a Cambodian delegation who were too polite to complain about it!!!!!!!

It may also be possible that a customer could have been given the wrong takeaway pizza or an empty pizza box, (more than once!...detecting a trend yet?) Oh dear!

And if you are a regular at Bella Lavender or if you were ever served by Mario then there is a good chance that we may also have gotten your coffee order incorrect occasionally!

There have been moments when our customers were (hopefully) blissfully unaware of the chaos in the kitchen and our staff would laugh and compare ourselves to a hilarious scene from Faulty Towers.

We can honestly say there are many more great moments than bloopers and those happy moments happened because of you, our customers. Thank you for supporting us over the years and for sharing your stories, smiles and heartaches with us.

For us, this is a very difficult decision and is an equally sad moment for our families and staff, who are like family (or are family), as it is for you, our beautiful customers who have been so loyal and encouraging to us over the past eleven and a half years.

Please come and see us in the coming 6 weeks before we close our doors and share a story and a smile. We would love to see you.

Again thank you all so much

Mario, Lucy & David

  • Lucy Centofanti

Ever wondered how we harvest and distil lavender 0

In this short movie you will find out exactly how we pick, process and distil lavender right here are Bella Lavender Estate.  Mario will talk you through the whole process step by step.

What to expect when you visit Bella Lavender Estate 0

Check out this little promo about what you can expect when you visit Bella Lavender Estate

Planting Lavender 0

Here we have a small clip from our Facebook page where Mario and Thierry are planting small lavender seedlings.  Mario is very proud of his planting device. 

  • Lucy Centofanti

Kirbanu Vlog 0

When Kirbanu visited the Riverland recently for her regional South Australia tour she make the terriffic video blog of our fine region.  Bella Lavender Estate features in the first part.  Hope you enjoy

  • Lucy Centofanti

Harvesting and Distilling Lavender 0

Steam Distillation


Mario wakes up extremely early (!) in harvesting season to ensure the lavender is harvested in the morning before loading it into the distillation vessel. 


If a large amount of lavender is to be harvested then Mario will use a Tea Picker, otherwise you will often see him harvesting by hand using a strawberry sickle. 


You can view the Tea Picker havesting in this video

The lavender is placed into a stainless steel pot and when full, the pot is sealed, and low-pressure steam is introduced into the bottom of the vessel.


The steam then boils the lavender essential oil off the plant material as it works its way up through the charge. The steam exits the vessel through a copper pipe that is fed through a condenser which cools the steam, returning it to a liquid form called the condensate. This is subsequently fed into the separator. 


The lavender water known as hydrosol, discharges through a separate orifice situated below the oil surface where it is collected in a separate container. The essential oil, being lighter than water, rises to the surface of the condensate, and is collected. This essential oil is then used in all of our lavender products. These products can be viewed and tested inside the cafe. 


Listen as Mario explains the distilling process



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A little bit about Lavender 0

Lavandula (common name lavender) is a genus of 39 known species of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae. 

Many members of the genus are cultivated extensively in temperate climates as ornamental plants for garden and landscape use, for use as culinary herbs, and also commercially for the extraction of essential oils. 

Two members of the genus Intermedius and Augustofolia are most commonly used for producing essential oils and these two varieties can be seen here at Bella Lavender. 

Both varieties flower in Summer with December and January being the prettiest months for lavender at the farm. Lavender is a drought tolerant plant however young plants do benefit from good irrigation. It is important not to over water lavender plants as this can cause stress to the lavender. 

  1. Augustofolia

L Augustofolia is a strongly aromatic shrub growing as high as 1 to 2 metres (3.3 to 6.6 ft) tall. The leaves are evergreen, 2–6 centimetres (0.79–2.36 in) long, and 4–6 millimetres (0.16–0.24 in) broad. The flowers are pinkish-purple (lavender-coloured), produced on spikes 2–8 cm (0.79–3.15 in) long at the top of slender, leafless stems 10–30 cm (3.9–11.8 in) long. L Augustofolia plants produce an excellent quality essential oil. 

  1. Intermedius 

These lavenders are a cross ( Hybrid) between Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula latifolia. This is where the name intermedia comes from as in between. They are typically much larger and more robust in growth the L. angustifolia, often reaching over 4ft in height and width. They are wonderful to fill larger spaces in gardens or for creating large flowering hedges. They have broader leaves than L. angustifolia and have much longer flowering stalks making up to 2/3 rds of the plants height. The long stems make them suitable for use in the house as a cut flower. L. Intermedia produce much larger quantities of oil than L. angustifolia sometimes as much as 10 times more. Unfortunately the oil is not of the same quality, it has a stronger camphor tone, and is mainly used in detergents, soaps and cheaper perfumes.

  • Lucy Centofanti

Riverland Trust Mark 0


Today we were honoured to be chosen as one of twelve founding Riverland businesses to have the privilege of using the Riverland Trust Mark.  The Riverland Trust Mark was established to provide you with a mark of integrity which when placed on a product, produce or an experience means that you can be assured that you are enjoying only the very best from our region.  To find out more about the Riverland Trust Mark and to see which other businesses share the logo please click here


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Worlds Greatest Shave 0

Sunday July 24 - 1030am

Come along to this wonderful charity event to see some popular faces have all their hair shaved off or coloured.  Raising money for the Leukaemia Foundation, this is their biggest annual national fundraising event and we will be hosting the team Friends of the Foundation - Riverland.

If you would like to donate to the Team or to any member of the team pleas click here




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Harrison Lowe Acoustic Live 0

Friday June 10

Harrison Lowe

Postponed!  Unfortunately Harrison has broken his arm and is unable to play music at the moment.  This event has been rescheduled for September the 2nd.

Introducing Harrison Lowe.  Harrison has been playing music a long time but we will let hisTriple J Unearthed Bio do the explaining...

" Bio shmio..... I just "Rock" as I have for a very long time and If you like details got o the bio on my page for a gander!

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