Gold In New York Competition
This week we were notified our Picholene olive oil received a Gold award in the New York Competition. (see Blog)
Welcome to Old French Road Olives
Old French Road Olive Grove situated in Takamatua near Akaroa on Banks Peninsula is a stunning place to grow olives. It is a boutique grove of about 1200 trees with Tuscan, Spanish and Greek Olive varieties. This gives us a wide variety of differing flavours
Each year the Grove consistently produces award winning Olive Oil. We are late to harvest usually mid June to end of July and the oil produced is often quite intense flavoured although this depends on time of harvest the variety and weather. Frantoia tends to be the mildest. The intensity of the flavours comes from the high amount of organoleptics in the oil which provides the health giving properties.
The Story of Old French Road Olive Grove
Old French Road is located on the outskirts of Akaroa, overlooking Takamatua Bay. Akaroa is a small historic French and British settlement nestled at the heart of an ancient volcano in Canterbury.
Olive trees were first planted in Banks Peninsular in the mid to late 1880’s and there are some very old trees in Robinson’s Bay. However, the New Zealand olive industry only flourished from the late 1990’s with groves planted from Central Otago to North Cape.
We bought the Grove in 2011 from Gayle and Lionel Sheridan and renamed it Old French Road as it is located on the track used by the early settlers to go from Takamatua to Akaroa. The Grove is known by locals as ‘the Gateway to Akaroa’. Olive trees were first planted on the property in 2000 under the ownership of Rob and Sue Cooper. Prior to this the land received little care and was riddled with gorse and broom. The groves are nestled in a valley of 20 acres with fresh water springs, ponds and native woods. Garry McFarlane, who has been involved in the maintenance of the grove since its inception, has helped landscape the property to its current beauty complete with paths, olive trees and native plantings. The Coopers sold to the Sheridans who continued to develop the grove and produced award winning Olive Oil.
The unique northerly, almost frost free position, fertile soils and maritime weather create an ideal growing location. We harvest for the production of single variety oils. Repeated success in Olives New Zealand awards, both under its previous name La Casa Toscana and now as Old French Road, confirms the exceptional quality of our oils.