The tiny Waiheke Island (New Zealand) hides an unimaginable treasure inside: a couple of hectares of irrigation olive groves cultivated with care and attention by its owners, John and Margaret Edwards, an adorable couple whose love affair with extra virgin oil olive emerged during their frequent visits to Spain and other Mediterranean countries in the 60s.
Waiheke is the most popular and accessible island in the Hauraki Gulf, only surpassed in size by the Great Barrier Reef. Matiatia port, located on the west end of this heavenly setting outlined by green hills and well known for its warm waters and the quality of its wines and olive juices, is located 17.7 kilometers from Auckland and its east end is at 21.4 kilometers of the Coromandel Peninsula, being Mount Maunganui, the highest peak, which rises up to 231 meters.
In 1992, the main characters of our history, Margaret and John Edwards, planted their first olive trees in Waiheke, of which the first harvest was obtained five years later, in 1997. What started as a hobby soon became their current job, once leaving behind their professional obligations. Nowadays, both are fully involved in all stages of the production process, from the field to the bottle (harvesting, milling, packaging, and developing marketing tasks and sales).
The Edwards’ business, The Waiheke Olive Oil Company, one of the oldest and largest of the island, began in 1997 with the aim of producing high quality extra virgin olive oil. A decision based on several factors, including the high cost of suitable land for olive cultivation and labor, New Zealand’s small population and large distances to overseas markets. Hence, to be economically viable, the oil obtained needed to be aligned in the Premium segment, with a high price on the market.
Two acres of Italian and Greek varieties
The plantation, Matiatia Grove, of just two hectares, is located around Matiatia Bay and is one of the oldest on the island.
Currently, it has about 1,200 olive trees aged between 2 and 21 years which clearly dominated by the Italian and Greek varieties: Frantoio, Leccino, Moraiolo, Pendolino, Koroneiki and Nocellara.The Waiheke Olive Oil juices enjoy a well-deserved reputation,