15 Dec

Koroneiki olive oil: Olive Venture is Cooking

A Doubtless Bay couple who knew nothing about growing olives five years ago are now producing olive oil that ranks among the country’s best.

Colin and Lynette Wilson won a silver medal at the New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards last year for their Hihi Olive Estate 2005 Koroneiki olive oil.

This year, the Wilsons won a gold medal at the awards for their 2006 Koroneiki oil.

“You know you’ve made it as an olive grower if you achieve that standard.

“It means we must be doing it right,” Lynette says.

The Wilsons moved to Hihi to grow olives on 14 hectares of farmland in 2001 after selling their Wellington-based nationwide transport business of 20 years.

They say it’s taken hard work and money to bring 1000 olive trees into production and set up a press and bottling plant on the estate.

There has been valuable support from Northland olive growers support group Oliveti and from industry body Olives New Zealand.

But the Wilsons have been less than impressed with the help they’ve received from ‘olive experts’ who charge consultant fees to give novice growers advice.

Yet, they reckon they’ve learned enough in five years to know what makes an award-winning olive oil.

High quality oils start with good trees, well-drained, fertile soils and a warm microclimate with good air circulation, Colin says. Good plant husbandry is also essential, while at harvesting and pressing, timeliness and hygiene are of the utmost importance.

“Quality is not an issue for us.

“We can hold our heads up,” he says.

“Getting the quantity and finding markets for the oil is our main concern.”

The Wilsons combine their olive harvests with those of three Kerikeri growers, pressing the olives at Hihi and marketing the oil as First Drop Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

In a good year, the four growers can produce up to 3000 litres of oil from their 7000 trees, which they sell locally and in Auckland and export to Canada.

But the Wilsons say they’re a long way off from making profit from sales of their olive oil or from what they earn pressing small growers’ crops.

“It’s a lovely lifestyle and a great journey. What we do here is to occupy our minds,” Colin says.

[Source] Click Here

2 Responses to “Koroneiki olive oil: Olive Venture is Cooking”

  1. fauzi effendi Says:

    Dear Sir / Mada ,

    I do love Olive tree and would like to plant it on my garden at home.
    But , it is really difficult to find it in my country , Indonesia , Jakarta.

    May i know your recommendation where to buy the olive trees scions that could be shipped to my city Jakarta ,Indonesia.
    My I know what is the minimum order and the shipping cost estimation

    Thanks and best regards
    fauzi

  2. Lynette Wilson: For the Love of Olives « In Search of Simplicity Says:

    […] the North, Lynette Wilson chronicles a recent journey to the traditional olive groves of Sicily. Lynette and her husband, Colin, are the proprietors of Hihi Olive Estate. They press their own oil and regularly win awards for […]

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