The Waipara Difference

What makes Waipara Groves Fresh Extra Virgin Olive Oil special?

The Waipara Valley is situated in North Canterbury, 50km north of Christchurch city. While this area is famous for its excellent wine, it is also gaining a reputation for its fine extra virgin olive oil.  Not surprising when one considers that Waipara is geographically and climatically similar to Tuscany, also renowned for its premium olive oil.

Waipara Groves Olive OilWaipara’s cooler climate and excellent soils imparts a real richness to the flavours of our premium quality extra virgin olive oil. Our oils tend to have a greater complexity of flavours, higher oxidative stability and a freshness that isn’t found in warmer-climate oils or supermarket imports.

Apart from the oil’s chemical composition and complexity of flavours, a local chef says its greatest appeal and point of difference is its intense greenstone colour – highly appropriate given that it comes from New Zealand’s home of pounamu, the South Island. Olive trees in the Waipara Valley are slower growing and tend to produce less fruit compared to those in warmer regions, but what is produced tastes better and is better for you. Despite our relatively small production, we are becoming a highly respected player on the national stage.

Internationally, olive oil is classified according to the chemical profile of two components: highly nutritious Oleic Acid; and Free Fatty Acid. The best Fresh Extra Virgin Olive Oil features high levels of Oleic Acid and low levels of Free Fatty Acid (FFA). Also, while the International Olive Oil Council states that FFA must not exceed 0.8%, the FFA in our oils are generally as low as 0.2%, and feature very high levels of Oleic Acid.

Tests show that extra virgin olive oil from cooler climates have higher concentrations of nutritious mono-unsaturated free fatty acids and antioxidants


Take the EVOO Taste Test –

– Is the packaging dark to prevent light getting in?

– Is the oil clearly labelled with date of harvest, contents and place of origin?

– Does the oil have body and flavour  (or does it have a light or watery appearance)?

– Does the oil carry the red mark which certifies that the oil is 100% New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

– Now taste..and see the difference!



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