Few culinary ingredients rival the taste, versatility and health benefits of good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO). Waiheke Island is fast emerging as a world-class EVOO region, with oils that are alive with plant-based nutrients and renowned for their distinct character; herbaceous, grassy and peppery.
The island offers near perfect conditions for cultivating olives. Our soil is rich in essential elements like potassium and magnesium, while Waiheke’s abundant sunshine, low rainfall and long, dry summers make an ideal climate for thriving groves. The interplay between the olive trees and native bush that surrounds many of our groves, influences the distinct character of our Waiheke EVOOs.
Our olives mature in the island’s salty sea breezes, which naturally keeps bugs and leaf moulds away, so there’s no need to use chemical sprays.
What defines extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)?
EVOO is the highest quality olive oil available, carefully extracted from the olive fruit without the use of high heat or chemicals. It’s the gold-standard of oils due to this natural extraction process and its low fatty acid profile, high biophenol content, antioxidants and well-researched health benefits.
To be considered ‘Extra Virgin Olive Oil’, oil must have a low ’Free Fatty Acid’ (FFA) level. Low FFA levels prove that an oil is produced from high-quality olives, carefully harvested and processed fresh without heat. To qualify internationally, an oil’s FFA level must be no more than 0.8 grams per 100 grams. Here in New Zealand the bar is even tougher, at 0.5 grams per 100 grams.
World-class EVOO on Waiheke Island
Allpress Olive Groves Waiheke EVOOs are FFA tested each season, and all meet International and New Zealand FFA standards.
Our Waiheke EVOOs have also featured in the Flos Olei Awards every year since 2010 – unanimously considered the most important publication in the EVOO sector worldwide, Flos Olei reviews 500 ‘farms of excellence’ from 56 countries.
From our island home to your table
Olive trees have formed part of the Waiheke landscape since the 1990s, and today, over 20,000 trees span from coast to coast. We grow varietals from across Southern Europe including Picual and Manzanillo from Spain, Koroneiki from Greece and Frantoio, Leccino, and Pendolino from Italy.
The power of Waiheke EVOO
Packed with clean, bright flavours and plant-based nutrients, our extra virgin olive oils transform simple dishes and elevate everyday food rituals.
EVOO is considered one of the best oils for frying because it’s rich in more stable monounsaturated fatty acids and low in unstable polyunsaturated fatty acids. Its natural antioxidants protect it against degradation during cooking. It also makes a great substitute for butter in baking and a nutrition booster in you morning smoothie!
Click here for EVOO cooking and baking inspiration.
Caring for your Waiheke EVOO
To help maintain the flavour, quality and health benefits of your EVOO:
Keep it in the dark – store your oil in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight, heat and temperature fluctuations. Light and heat can degrade your oil quality.
Keep the lid tight – Always seal your oil tightly when you’re not using it. Oxidation can degrade the oil quality.