Old French Road Olives
Old French Road Olives
Old French Road Olive Grove, consistently producing award winning oil. Olive Varieties pressed separately to give distinctive Olive Oil flavours. 2016 Olive oil and Table olives now available see the website or email or phone Jan.
We market Old French Road oil and olives to leading Christchurch and local restaurants. The oil and olives are available retail at a number of stores in Akaroa and at the local Saturday Farmers Market. Check our website Akaroa Olives or current outlets.
Nutritional information of Olive Oil
1) Olive oil is mainly comprised of monounsaturated fatty acids. A healthier type of fat, it reduces total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol levels in the bloodstream, while raising high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good”) cholesterol levels.
2) High quality extra virgin olive oil, in particular, provides a high content of antioxidants, like polyphenols, vitamins E & K, chlorophyll and carotenoids. Antioxidants are key to strengthening the immune system and protecting the body from the damaging effects of free-radical molecules.
3) Olive oil contains anti-inflammatory agents, like oleocanthal, that act as a natural ibuprofen-like substance.
4) Exciting new research is starting to explain why the Mediterranean is so beneficial for health. Extra virgin olive oil slows down the production of trimethylamine (TMA) by gut bacteria. This is a nasty chemical which makes its way into the blood stream to contribute to heart disease, kidney disease, poor brain health. Olive oil promises to be able to counteract some of the bad aspects of the Western diet by influencing gut bacteria.
We bought the Grove in 2011 and renamed it Old French Road.
It is located on the outskirts of Akaroa, overlooking Takamatua Bay and is known by locals and visitors alike as ‘the gateway to Akaroa’.
Olive trees were first planted on the property in 2000 under the ownership of Rob 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 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.
Olive trees were first planted in Banks Peninsula 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.
About Olive Trees and Olives
There are many varieties of olives trees, each producing unique flavours. Some are used only for pressing into oil, some for both table olives and oil and others for table olives only. The olive tree starts blossoming around December locally. Trees are wind pollinated with fruit set visible in early January.
The fruit reaches maturity six months from fruit set, meaning the local harvest is in June and July. Olives are green in colour when unripe and progress to black as they ripen. Table Olives can be harvested for pickling from when green to fully black, each stage producing a different flavour.
Olives are harvested for oil when they are about 1/3 green and 1/3 black. The blacker the olive the more oil contained but riper olives have less of the beneficial polyphenols which provide the intense flavours and health giving properties.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is natural olive juice without the water. It is processed directly after picking in carefully controlled conditions, without excessive heat or chemicals that damage the chemical makeup. Extra virgin olive oil maintains the highest levels of herbaceous and healthy components.
All Olives NZ Certified olive oil goes through a rigorous testing process to ensure quality and freedom form faults.
When buying olive oil, look for the red Olives NZ certification sticker. This is your guarantee that it is a premium quality product.
Unlike wine, olive oil doesn't get better with age.
Olive oil is best consumed within one to two years after it has been pressed. It will retain its fresh flavour for much longer if it is stored away from light, with minimal air exposure and at a temperature between 14 and 18 degrees centigrade.
The appreciation of fine quality olive oil is a new concept for many New Zealanders, but people who live in Mediterranean countries are always excited about tasting the first olive oil of the year and debating the relative merits of fruitiness, herbaceous and peppery flavours.
We attend the local Akaroa farmers market on Saturday mornings between October and Easter where the oil can be sampled and explained.
These oils have won Best in Show, Best in Class and Gold awards in the NZ Olives competition so are highly thought of by those qualified to judge oil flavours.