New Zealand Producers Enjoy Strong Showing at World Competition

Producers from New Zealand celebrated their success at the NYIOOC World Competition, earning their second-highest tally of awards.

Ross Vintiner
By Lisa Anderson
Jun. 6, 2022 14:48 UTC
Ross Vintiner

Part of our con­tin­u­ing spe­cial cov­er­age of the 2022 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.

For the sec­ond year run­ning, New Zealand’s extra vir­gin olive oil pro­duc­ers earned six awards at the NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.

Despite birds, the threat of frost and the lack of avail­abil­ity of com­mer­cial har­vesters com­pli­cat­ing pro­duc­ers’ 2021 har­vest, they cel­e­brated their third-high­est suc­cess rate at the NYIOOC after pro­duc­ing 270,000 liters of olive oil.

I’m proud to see our pro­duc­ers punch­ing above their weight by cre­at­ing high-qual­ity prod­ucts that com­pete on the world stage.- Damien O’Connor, Minister of Agriculture

I’m so pleased to see all the win­ners rec­og­nized for their hard work, focus on sus­tain­able pro­duc­tion, and great under­stand­ing of grow­ing excep­tional olives in New Zealand con­di­tions,” Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor told Olive Oil Times. New Zealand’s olive oil indus­try is small and enthu­si­as­tic.”

I’m proud to see our pro­duc­ers punch­ing above their weight by cre­at­ing high-qual­ity prod­ucts that com­pete on the world stage,” he added. All the win­ners should be very proud of this achieve­ment, and I am excited to see this vibrant indus­try con­tinue to develop and inno­vate.”

See Also:Best Olive Oils From New Zealand

New Zealand’s biggest win­ner, Loopline Olives, located in the Wairarapa region on the North Island, took home two Gold Awards, extend­ing their record of suc­cess in the com­pe­ti­tion for the fourth year in a row.

I am delighted that Loopline Olives Picual and Picholine extra vir­gin olive oils have once again been rec­og­nized as one of the best in the world,” owner Stephen Davies Howard told Olive Oil Times.

It is very spe­cial to have your hard work rec­og­nized in such a pres­ti­gious com­pe­ti­tion,” he added.

Davies Howard said win­ning these awards helps in our quest to edu­cate more palates and lets peo­ple expe­ri­ence what real-qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oil tastes like.”

He added that the Wairarapa region’s Mediterranean cli­mate lends his oils their unique char­ac­ter, and Loopline’s oils are pressed on the same day the fruit is har­vested and are bot­tled to order. Whether you order 250 mil­li­liters or 1,000 liters, the qual­ity is the same,” Davies Howard said.

He added Loopline had a high yield last year, but the inten­sity of their oil and the polyphe­nol count was down on pre­vi­ous years.

2020 was a drought year, and it was as though the trees were com­pen­sat­ing for a low yield the pre­vi­ous year and the very intense oils pro­duced,” Davies Howard said. We have just com­menced the 2022 har­vest, and after a per­fect sum­mer, things are look­ing good for the 2023 NYIOOC.”


Photo: Loopline Olives

Another pro­ducer from the Wairarapa region, Blue Earth Intense, walked away with a Gold for their medium-inten­sity blended extra vir­gin olive oil.

Margaret Hanson, who co-owns Blue Earth Olive Oil near Martinborough with her hus­band, Martin, said they were delighted” to receive the award.

It is great to have our own judg­ment, and the judg­ment of Olive New Zealand com­pe­ti­tion pan­elists affirmed,” she said. It is also great to see how New Zealand oils stack up inter­na­tion­ally.”

Hanson told Olive Oil Times that birds were a chal­lenge dur­ing their pre­vi­ous har­vest.


They like our fruit as much as we do,” she said. So it is a bal­anc­ing act to get the fruit to the level of ripeness we want before the birds eat too much of it.”

She added that win­ning the award firmly estab­lishes Blue Earth’s olive oil as a qual­ity brand at an inter­na­tional stan­dard.

The size of our olive grove – about 1,100 trees – means that we can be metic­u­lous as to how we care for it, and our local press is fan­tas­tic about pro­cess­ing it very quickly and effi­ciently,” Hanson said. “ Much was processed within four hours of com­ing off the trees.”

Another win­ner from Martinborough, the Vintiner’s Grove, earned a Silver Award for its medium-inten­sity Koroneiki extra vir­gin olive oil.

Co-owner Ross Vintiner, who pro­duces the award-win­ning oil under the Dali brand, said he was hon­ored to receive the award espe­cially for the most com­pet­i­tive com­pe­ti­tion cul­ti­var, Koroneiki.”

Vintiner said Dali Estate, where the olives for the award-win­ning oil are grown, had their largest-ever har­vest last year.

Using hand-held har­vesters, it took over a month to com­plete,” he said. The weather was benign, and the oil had a shine and bite from the wealth of sun­shine pre-har­vest.”

For our brand, this is a peak global award, adding to our cre­den­tials as a top bio­dy­namic and organic grower,” Vintiner added. For our work­ers and press, it’s a shared recog­ni­tion of a great job. For Aotearoa (New Zealand), the award is one more step in being rec­og­nized as a small but sig­nif­i­cant olive oil pro­ducer.”

Our oil is bio­dy­nam­i­cally and organ­i­cally grown,” he con­tin­ued. It is early har­vest with high phe­no­lic com­pounds and is full bod­ied. Dali is a prod­uct of our liv­ing soil, along with the energy nature pro­vides above the ground.”

Further west, pro­ducer Totara Tunnel Olives from Te Horo on the Kāpiti Coast scooped up a Gold Award for its medium-inten­sity Frantoio.


Photo: Totara Tunnel Olives

We are thrilled to be rec­og­nized on the world stage for the qual­ity of our extra vir­gin olive oil,” co-owner Sally Murrey told Olive Oil Times. After win­ning gold for sev­eral years in the New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards, it’s hum­bling to be acknowl­edged as a pro­ducer of truly world-class olive oil. This award cements our pre­vi­ous results.”

After announc­ing our award we’ve had a lot of new inter­est in our oil and we are cer­tain sales will con­tinue strongly until we sell out,” she added.

Murray, who said they man­aged to har­vest at the per­fect time and in favor­able weather con­di­tions last year, said the extra­or­di­nar­ily high” organic mat­ter in Totara Tunnel’s soil, cou­pled with their organic grow­ing prin­ci­ples, sets their oils apart.


Diana and Grant Crosse

Another pro­ducer from the Kāpiti Coast, Kapiti Olives co-owner Diana Crosse, said win­ning a Silver Award for their del­i­cate Frantoio blend is some­thing of which to be proud.

Winning a Silver Award in an inter­na­tional show such as the NYIOOC is a won­der­ful recog­ni­tion of the qual­ity of Kapiti olive oil,” Crosse, who together with her hus­band, Grant, bought Kapiti Olives in April, said.

This award endorses Kapiti olive oil, giv­ing our cus­tomers con­tin­ued con­fi­dence that the olive oil they are buy­ing is a pre­mium prod­uct,” she said. Kapiti Olives sits at the top of extra vir­gin olive oils in New Zealand, shown by its con­sis­tent win­ning of medals and awards.”

Crosse said the 2021 har­vest chal­lenges were birds and the pos­si­bil­ity of frost. Harvest chal­lenges are always about the tim­ing to get the desired qual­ity and fla­vor,” she said.

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