Olives New Zealand

South Island’s Olive Oil Producers have Emerged as the Champions

October 18, 2023

Congratulations to Robinsons Bay Olives winner of Best in Show and Isobel Olives Picual winner of Best Boutique oil in the 2023 New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards.

This prestigious event sponsored by HortiCentre Charitable Trust, was held in Napier, Hawke’s Bay on Saturday, September 30th. The evening successfully brings together growers and industry sponsors from across the country to celebrate excellence in the olive oil industry, recognising finest producers and their exceptional Olive oils.

The top awards for the 2023 New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards are as follows:

Best in Show – Robinsons Bay GB1 , Canterbury
Best Boutique – Isobel Olives Blend, Marlborough
Reserve Best in Show – Loopline Olives Picual, Wairarapa
Reserve Best Boutique – Olivo Koroneiki, Wairarapa
Best Flavoured Oil – The Olive Press, Pressed Gold – Meyer Lemon Agrumato, Wairarapa
Best Label – Lot Eight, Wairarapa

Best Processor – The Olive Press, Wairarapa

Emma Glover, spokesperson for Olives NZ, expressed delight in the South Island securing the top two positions this year, closely followed by producers in the Wairarapa. She congratulated all winners on their achievements, attributing the top winner’s success to dedication and hard work by the growers, higher sunshine hours and favourable growing conditions in the South Island during the summer.

“New Zealand has a renowned reputation for producing exceptional Extra Virgin Olive Oil that can compete on the global stage. This year, despite the challenging season, our olive oil industry continues to shine with 32 gold medals, 74 silver medals, and 6 bronze medals awarded out of 119 entries from all across New Zealand’s olive-growing regions,” said Glover. She noted New Zealand oils are k

nown for their robust and intense flavours, however due to many regions unseasonably wetter conditions preceding and during harvesting time,  many of the oils produced this year are medium and delicate in flavour.

The distribution of medals by region is as follows: Wairarapa received 49 medals, Kāpiti 14, Canterbury 12, Nelson 8, Central Otago 7, Auckland 6, Waiheke Island 5, Marlborough 4, Northland 3, with Hawke’s Bay and Bay of Plenty each receiving 2.  The Awards were judged by two panels, each comprising of three experienced judges to International Olive Oil Council Panel (IOC) standards.   The six judges then re-judged all of the Best in Class winners to confirm the major winners.

Reni Hildenbrand, the head judge for 2023 from South Africa, praised the overall quality of the oils. Commenting from her experience in South Africa, high quality less intense oils appeal to a wider range of consumers. Hildenbrand is widely recognised for her contribution to the South African olive industry and has been tasting and judging Extra Virgin Olive Oils internationally since the year 2005.

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