Best New Zealand Olive Oil – Best in Show Extra Virgin Oil went to KÄ ?? piti Frantoio Blend from KÄ ?? piti Olives.
If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by the huge selection of extra virgin olive oils on offer, the results of the 2021 Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards will help you.
And it was the olive oil makers Kāpiti and Wairarapa that took top honors this year, winning all five major awards for olive oil excellence.
The Best in Show went to Kāpiti Frantoio Blend. Kāpiti Olives is a commercial-sized grove of 2,300 trees near the Otaki River. Owned by David and Helen Walshaw, Kāpiti Olives is one of the few olive groves in New Zealand to offer a range for supermarkets as well as specialty food stores.
They have already won the Best in Show award twice and have also received gold at the prestigious New York International Olive Oil Competition.
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The prize for the best shop was won by Tauherenikau – Olive2Oil, Wairarapa. Tauherenikau Olives is a medium-sized grove of nearly 1,300 trees near Greytown, owned by Rod and Elaine Corlett.
The Reserve Best in Show award went to Blue Earth Intense, Wairarapa. Hanson Farm Partnership which produces Blue Earth olive oil is owned by Mike and Margaret Hanson. Located on the outskirts of Martinborough, it is a medium-sized grove of around 1000 trees.
The best Reserve Best Boutique was won by Totara Tunnel Frantoio, Kāpiti. Totara Tunnel is a grove of around 550 trees located on the Kāpiti Coast and owned by Brent Meldrum and Sally Murrey. Totara Tunnel is one of the few olive groves in New Zealand to follow organic practices and their three nominations for the 2021 NZ EVOO Awards have won gold medals.
The best flavored oil was Pressed Gold Midori No Yuzu, Wairarapa. Pressed Gold is the trademark of The Olive Press in Greytown, Wairarapa. The Olive Press operates a number of groves across Wairarapa and Kāpiti and specializes in the production of extra virgin olive oils as well as flavored olive oils.
Midori No Yuzu was produced by processing fresh Yuzu fruit with Frantoio olives “in the manner of citrus fruit”.
Gayle Sheridan, spokesperson for Olives NZ, said this year there had been a record 165 admissions. She attributes part of the success and international sales to the climate and soil of Kāpiti and Wairarapa.
“New Zealand has a reputation for producing exceptional extra virgin olive oil that can compete at the highest international level,” she says.
“Despite difficult growing conditions with our maritime climate, our producers have adopted proactive plantation management strategies that have allowed our olive oils to improve every year.
“We were very excited about the 2021 crop, and to have this recognized with a record number of gold medals awarded is fantastic. “
Chief Justice Charlotte Connoley called the quality of the nominations “superb”. “This shows how healthy the New Zealand olive industry is. Achieving 81 gold and 72 silver out of a record 165 olive oil entry was an outstanding achievement for the industry. “
Dane and Stacey / Stuff
A day sipping wine straight from the barrel, tasting fresh olive oil, devouring platters of food, and drinking craft beer.
Connoley says the harmony and complexity of the oils was of a high standard through the unique varietal entries as well as the blends: The skills of those who craft the oils are immense to ensure a positive experience for those who consume these oils. extra virgin olive ‘.
Connoley, who has been involved in pricing since her 2001 University of Lincoln olive oil quality study, says the overall quality of New Zealand oils has improved dramatically since. the first days of the competition, which is reflected in the high number of gold and silver medals.
“In particular, the high quality of the oils, evidenced by the high number of gold medals, is becoming the norm rather than the exception, as it may have been in the past. We have certainly seen this year that the bar has been raised across the industry and this may be partly due to a good season, but also no doubt to the work that Olives New Zealand has contributed to within the industry. “
Support to growers is a key objective for Olives New Zealand, with ongoing projects focusing on improving planting practices, as well as professional development workshops, processing practices including optimal harvest time, racking and storage practices.
“Producers are better informed about what is perceived to be quality oil based on consumer feedback,” says Connoley.
This was particularly evident with flavored oils “Producers understand the importance of using a quality base oil or olives that will complement the infused flavor and ensure the flavor is authentic with good purity of character.”
A full list of all the winners can be found here.