Rangihoua Estate is a award-winning boutique olive oil producer on Waiheke Island, which is situated a 40 minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland. They have around 3,500 trees on site, and press their own oil. Anne Stanimiroff, the owner, took us through the process of producing the oils and described the differences between the blends that they produce.
Anne showed us their Italian made machine that remove debris using vacuum and wash the olives. A another machine then crushes the olives and kneads the olive paste, before using centrifugal force to separate the oil (15%) from the bitter olive water (2%) and the olive waste. Different varieties of olives require different pressure to crush and amount of kneading.
Batches of oils are profiled and tasted, then blended to create the oils that Rangihaou puts in the bottles for sale.
Anne told us that the term “extra virgin olive oil” could only be used for cold-pressed oils that have less than 0.8% oleic acids. Cold-pressing releases about 15% oils, whereas with heat, about 30% of oil can be extracted, However, this distorts the free acid profile, and breaks down certain molecules leading to a shorter shelf-life.
1. Koroneiki – a Greek variety, fruity, with a grassy middle and floral finish. The Koroneiki is a gold-award oil, and was rated 92/100 in Flos Olei (Italian Guide to the Worlds Best Extra Virgin Olive Oils). There is no surprise why this is rated so highly, it tastes really balanced and finishes well.
2. Frantoio – an Italian variety, which has a creamy start and a peppery mesclun finish.
3. Waiheke blend – another grassy blend with a peppery finish.
Rangihaou Estate also blends olive oils for specific markets. Anne was in the process of making up a blend for the Japanese market which prefers lighter flavours.
And some to bring home…. yum!