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New Zealand’s Top Olive Oil up there with the Best

10th August 2002

New Zealand’s Top Olive Oil up there with the Best

Waiheke Island, which for some years has established a reputation for award-winning wines, can now lay claim to also producing New Zealand’s top Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Gulf Island Estates Matiatia Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil produced by Gulf Island Estates, a partnership of Waiheke Island growers, has taken the top honours at the second NZ Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards judged in Auckland on Thursday. The Awards were announced at a special prizegiving dinner at the Auckland Showgrounds tonight as part of the NZ Olive Association Annual Conference.

Gulf Island Estates Matiatia Blend was awarded best in its class (Early Harvest), and of the four category winners was chosen as the Royal Easter Show Supreme Award winner for best overall oil.

The oil, a blend of Greek and Italian cultivars, was praised by judges as “well balanced” with “good harmony” and “wonderful on the nose”. Guest judge from California, Roberto Zecca - a Board member of the IOOC (International Olive Oil Council) and the Leader of the US Panel Of Tasters – had high praise for the top oils in the competition saying they were of exceptional quality and could compete with the best of the Mediterranean.

There were four classes awarded in the competition. The winners were:

Class 1 (Previous Harvest) - Tussock produced by Tussock Ltd, a Marlborough
olive company owned by Colin and Hillary Clere.

Class 2 (Late Harvest) - Muratai produced by Muratai Olive Oil Company
a Bay of Islands company owned by Roger and Mary Wyatt.

Class 3 (Single Varietal) - Awatere River produced by Awatere River of
Redwood Pass in Marlborough and owned by Mark and Phyllis Heard.

Class 4 (Early Harvest) - Gulf Island Estates Matiatia Blend also the
Supreme Winner produced by Gulf Island Estates, a Steele, Edwards, Cuthbert, Fisher partnership.

Manager of the Royal Easter Show, Kevin Cholmondeley-Smith says the Show is proud to put its name behind the Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards, believing that like our wine industry it has enormous potential internationally.

“The Royal Easter Show Wine Awards has done a great deal in the 50 years it has been in existence to draw attention to the quality of our wines and set a benchmark for quality. We are proud to now be able to give that support to another thriving New Zealand industry that is on track to make an impact on the world stage in years to come.”

- ends -

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