It’s not widely know that there are over 180 varieties of olives grown around the world and many of these can be grown in New Zealand with the Spanish ‘Picual’ and the Greek ‘Koroneiki’ varieties being two of the most well-known.
The ‘Frantoio’, ‘Leccino’ and ‘Pendolino’ grow well on Waiheke and are also the three most commonly grown varieties of olives in the Tuscany region of Italy.
My wife Stephanie and I delight in introducing our family and friends to a new approach to Olive Oil. Our Single Estate Extra Virgin 2016 Waiheke Island Olive Oil was produced from a blend of Italian olives sourced from Tuscany.
Our olive oil is of course delicious and in contrast to the typical imported ‘Italian olive oil’ varieties, available in local shops here in New Zealand. While these imported oils may be cheaper, they are typically made – not from Italian olives as you might think – but from a blend of non-Italian olives!
Per the Italian government ruling, olive oil produced in Italy must contain at least 7% of Italian grown olives – leaving up to 93% of the other olives sourced from various Mediterranean countries like Libya, Tunisia, Greece and even Syria in some cases.
Each variety we produce locally here on Waiheke, offers different properties to the unique taste we have created: from the fresh grassy start of the Frantoio, to the creamy buttery middle tones of the Leccino and the peppery finishing bite of the Pendolino.