About Aquiferra Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The Grove

Aquiferra is a grove of 650 olive trees planted on 6 acres of free-draining, ashy sandy loam over gravel. The soil type is classified as Poporangi known locally as red metal. Below it flows the Heretaunga Aquifer. The area experiences hot, dry summers and frosty winters. Of the traditional olive growing regions of the world, New Zealand’s climate most closely resembles that of Tuscany.

Morning Trees

The Trees

The majority of olive trees at Aquiferra are Tuscan varieties – Frantoio and Leccino with some Pendolino as pollinators. The balance are Picual, from Spain, and a hedge-row on the western boundary of the more wind-tolerant Greek variety, Koroneiki. These were selected to produce high quality cuisine oil. In one corner of the grove are three trees each of Kalamata and Manzanilla for home use as table olives.

Most of these trees were planted in Autumn, 2003, laid out in formal rows 6 x 6 metres apart. Posts and wires along the rows were used to hold the drip-line irrigation hoses and provide support for juvenile trees. In order to allow some mechanical harvesting, the posts and wires were removed in 2010.

The Process

Olives at Aquiferra are harvested during late May and June. With the trees now being well established, the harvest is mainly done by Hawke’s Bay Olive Harvesting, using a tree vibrator mounted on a tractor which shakes the fruit into an up-turned catcher. The olives are then pressed within 24 hours of harvest.

Our harvest is cold pressed at The Village Press in Hastings. The oil is stored in stainless steel vats and allowed to settle before blending and bottling in dark green glass.

The Oil

We have a limited supply available of our silver-medal winning 2016 Aquiferra Extra Virgin Olive Oil Blend. This is a delicate/medium intensity blend of oil from our Picual, Leccino, Frantoio and Pendolino olives. It has smoothly balanced fruit and herbaceous flavours with a soft peppery finish. Lab tests verified the free fatty/oleic acid levels and peroxide values are well within internationally requirements for certified extra virgin olive oil. If stored correctly this oil will easily last for 2 years from the date of pressing.

Aquiferra now produces a range of flavoured olive oils. The base oil is EVOO quality and flavours added using essential oils.

Awards

 2017 Olives New Zealand  Silver  Aquiferra Blend 
  Olives New Zealand  Silver  Lemon & Fennel Infused 
2016 Olives New Zealand Silver Aquiferra Blend
  Olives New Zealand Bronze Aquiferra Koroneiki
  Olives New Zealand Bronze Garlic Infused
  Olives New Zealand Bronze Mandarin Infused
  Olives New Zealand Bronze Herbs de Provence Infused
2015 Olives New Zealand Silver Aquiferra Blend
  Olives New Zealand Silver Aquiferra Koroneiki
  Olives New Zealand Bronze Lime & Thai Chilli
  Olives New Zealand Bronze Herbs de Provence