Behind the scenes for olive harvesting at award winning Rangihoua
I was recently lucky enough to witness the amazing work that goes on behind the scenes at Rangihoua Estate to create some of their gorgeous extra virgin olive oil. So I met up with Daryl, 'the hands on guy’ at the estate, to find out how it all worked.
Once the hard work of harvesting the olives from the trees on the estate has been done, they are brought back to HQ where it’s a hive of activity and the team get down to creating.
It’s quite a simple process where the olives are weighed into the olive mill hopper. The first step is the leaf sorter and washer, which vacuums any leaves out and washes the fruit not because it’s been sprayed, just to rinse off any dust. Once washed the olives travel up into the crusher which shaves the flesh off the olives first then crushes the stone (the stone is crushed to release the tannins). The olive paste is then kneaded for 45mins before travelling up into a centrifuge which separates the fruit water, the fruit solids and the olive oil. The fruit solids 83% are fed to the cows down the road and the fruit water 2% is tipped back onto the land.
Amazingly it takes a whole 7 kilos of Olives to make approximately 1 litre of extra virgin olive oil. Rangihoua produce the most divine extra virgin olive oil and many award winners too and that's why we love it in our gift hampers!
Rangihoua Estate is well worth a visit, so to find out more, go and experience an olive oil tasting and take a tour for yourself.