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Wins for olive-loving locals

Award-winning olive oil from Opaki’s Loopline. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Helen Holt

Wairarapa olive oils have taken out three medals in the 2022 New York International Olive Oil Competition.

Martinborough-based Blue Earth Olive Oil won a gold medal, and Opaki’s Loopline Olives won two golds.

The competition is the world’s largest and most prestigious olive oil quality contest – with this year’s adjudicators presented with 1200 entries from 28 countries.

This was Loopline Olive’s fourth year winning gold in the competition for its Picual and Picoline oils.

Owner Stephen Davies Howard was “delighted” with the result.

“To maintain a global standard is huge. On a global stage, we’re tiny, compared to olive oil production in Europe.

“We’re all about quality, not quantity. To be able to compete with them is a testament to the quality we produce.”

Blue Earth owners Mike and Margaret Hanson started planting their olive grove on an old river terrace on White Rock Rd in 1998. They now have about 1100 trees in their vineyard.

This was the second time Blue Earth had won an award at the New York competition for its Intense oil.

“It’s been such a good indication of [the quality of] New Zealand olive oil, especially Wairarapa.

“It’s been hard work, but a lot of fun.”

She said Wairarapa was a special place to produce olive oil.

“It has a great climate, and we’re able to produce interesting flavours.”

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