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Rangihoua Estate

Rangihoua extra virgin olive oil USA

Rangihoua Estate was founded by Anne Stanimiroff and Colin Sayles. The extra virgin olive oil business caught their eye in the mid 1990s when a neighbor on Waiheke Island made an off handed comment about Anne and Colin doing something with the olives that happened to be growing along side the grapes at his vineyard. This serendipitously followed with befriending some Italians half way around the world at a wine bar on the Ponte Veccio in Florence where Anne and Colin were vacationing. The friendly locals who invited them to Sunday lunch at their nearby farm. The table was set out in the farm's olive grove, laden with the most fantastic Italian food where the star of the table was the farm's gleaming, green, perfectly-peppery olive oil.

The by-chance experience was life-changing for the Anne and Colin, and later that year Colin returned to help the Italian olive farmers, Helene and Gincarlo, in harvesting and milling of the olives. After the harvest season Colin returned to New Zealand with a 5 liter jar of fresh Italian olive oil dreaming about producing the same quality of oil on Waiheke Island. 

In April 1997 Rangihoua's inaugural harvest took place, producing oil that was delightfully green, herbaceous and peppery. Waiheke Island's mediterranean-like climate turned out to be an exceptional spot for olive growing and by 2013 Flos Olei, the ultimate guide to the World's Best Olive Oils included them in the World's top 20 farms.  

Rangihoua is run by a close team. Anne runs Rangihoua full-time. Visitors may meet Melissa, Helen and Maslinka in the Tasting Room.  Darryl can be seen driving the tractors, planting, pruning, harvesting and working the olive mill and Charlotte is the incredible office manager who keeps everyone smiling and on track. 

The relationship with Helene and Gincarlo at Podere Valdibotte has continued with Anne and Colin frequently enjoying time at their B&B in Italy.

Producing Rangihoua Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Rangihoua Extra Virgin Olive Oil EVOO available in the USA3

At Rangihoua, all the olives are hand picked at the optimum level of ripeness, using small hand rakes to comb the olives from the tree. Within 24 hours of picking the fresh olives are processed and pressed into olive oil using an olive oil mill especially imported from Italy.

For those interested in the technical side of the mill, the imported mill is a Pegaso. It's engineered by an Italian firm in Florence who have been making olive processing equipment for well over a century. Designed to the highest specifications, the mill which works on a centrifugal separation system is capable of processing over a 1000 pounds of olives per hour. 

Also technically speaking…

Extra Virgin is the term used to describe the best quality in olive oil. For an olive oil to be classed as Extra Virgin the oil must have an acidity level (free fatty acid or oleic acid) of less than .8% and have a peroxide value of less than 15.

In other words, Extra Virgin Olive Oil (often shortened to EVOO) is the finest quality in oil and obtained by cold extraction so that it doesn't oxidize and remains in pristine condition. EVOO containes higher levels of polyphenols and anti-oxidants than other oils making it extremely healthy for you, and incredibly delicious too!

Rangihoua Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oils are all very carefully cultivated, harvested and processed to ensure they all achieve a very low acidity and low peroxide values. 

Awards

Part of the post production process at Rangihoua is every batch has to pass an internal sensory tasting which is led by Anne. As an external audit to these measures, each year Rangihoua enters their oils in the toughest National and International competitions and the team are very proud of their ongoing recognition by the world's foremost olive oil experts. 

Rangihoua extra virgin olive oil awards

Rangihoua has been recognized Four times in the Flos Olei competition which is an International Competition in Italy, created to be a guide to the world's best olive oils. The rankings are based on a comprehensive evaluation and strict judging criteria where the Estate must reach an excellent result in each of the categories including organoleptic qualities. The resulting guide describes in detail each top ranked oil, including tasting notes, gastronomic matches and estate production data, for the few that excel in their selection.  In 2013 Rangihoua Estate was selected in the top 20 producers in the world. More recently in the 2017 awards, Flos Olei awarded Rangihoua an almost perfect score of 95 out of 100. 

The Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition is now in its 18th year and is the top ranking EVOO competition in the United States and fifth in the world, with the highest standards of integrity and professionalism in awarding medals to the best olive oils around the globe. Rangihoua's extra virgin olive oil blends have won numerous Best in Class, Gold and Silver medals at this prestigious competition over the last few years.

Some of the other accolades they have received: Best in class and Gold and Silver medals at the Royal Easter Show Competition, The New Zealand Gourmet Oil Competition, The Canterbury A&P show, Olives New Zealand National Awards, Orricolo Awards Italy, Los Angeles County Fair, NZ Olive Association Awards, and the NZ Culinary Olive Oil Awards. 

Waiheke Island

cactus bay1 e1449714894227 Waiheke IslandWaiheke is one of the volcanic islands in the Hauraki Gulf, just 12 miles (and a short ferry ride) from New Zealand's biggest city, Auckland. It has it's own little micro-climate which is quite Mediterranean-like being warmer than Auckland, and has about 40% less rainfall. These factors make it perfect for the olives and grapes alike (there are lots of Vineyards on the island too). The island's unique climate it has a long, dry, hot summer essential for ripening olives. Being an island, there is also plenty of wind, these special climatic conditions mean no chemical sprays are required as the warm winds keep the groves dry and clear of fungal issues.

It is a relatively small island, only 40 square miles in size with just 7,000 full-time residents, but is becoming one of New Zealand’s top tourist destinations especially with food, wine, art and adventure travelers.

rangihoua New Zealand extra virgin olive oil

The Legend of Rangihoua

New Zealand was settled by the Maori in the 1200s, and many place names in New Zealand are named by Maori from historical events that took place at that location. Rangihoua Estate is above a coastal inlet where Maori landed approximately 600 years ago to rest a repair their canoe. As the canoe was re-lashed they named the land Rangihoua, which means, the day of renewal. The olive grove now sits on that land.

After their time at Rangihoua the group carried on their voyage to the Coromandel Peninsula on the west coast of the North Island but the important landing remains celebrated in the name today.

 

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