Olivery News

When do I pick? February 28, 2019 16:50

This frequently asked question is often answered with another question....what do you want to do with your olives?

Eat or Oil?  

The rule is the eating olives (table olives) are picked first, while the flesh is still strong so that it will not soften during the natural fermentation, which lasts up to 8 months.

Oil olives are picked later, so that the oil has maximum time to accumulate in the olive prior to pressing.

The next question:  where are you?

Northland start picking in March, Otago in June, and anywhere in between is in between!

Ripeness determines the time to pick, a rule of thumb is:

Table: green olives are picked before any colour change starts to happen, black olives are picked when they are black.  (unless they are coloured in process, then they are picked green and, well, coloured with iron oxides),  We don't colour olives at Telegraph Hill.

Oil: when the tree has 1/3 green, 1/3 coloured and 1/3 black olives. This will give a good flavour to the oil.

November in the Olive Grove November 20, 2017 16:31

Telegraph Hill Olive Grove
See how to spot a set flower on an Olive tree, and the mechanics of flowering.

Olive Harvest 2017 - Tips for you at home! March 24, 2017 11:30

The olive harvest at Telegraph Hill is almost underway and this year it is running to schedule - bang on time with a medium sized olive crop. 

The first variety of olives harvested are an Italian variety called Ouvo D'Piccione, known for their large green fruit. These are ready to be harvested now at two of our groves.

Manzanillo Olives are next - this is the main crop which is harvested from 8 groves dotted around Hawkes Bay. 

Kalamata Olives are the final variety harvested around mid May - see these trees next time you visit The Olivery.

Here are some tips on harvesting your own crop!

- Sun ripened olives should have some variation in their colour. This is called quid pro quo and allows for not only colour variation but better flavours that only tree-ripened olives can produce.

- Once harvested make sure you use Olives swiftly - once picked the quality and flavour can deteriorate quickly. 

- To cure your own olives follow this method

- If you are interested in having your crop pressed into Olive Oil contact these Hawkes Bay based businesses

Olivewood Farm Partnership - Julie and Zane / 0272784947 / 06 8367923

Ken Mark / 06 8749455

Happy harvesting!

Harvest 2016 Update June 29, 2016 13:31

This years Olive Harvest was a great success. A large crop and excellent weather meant we could harvest a total of 50 tonne, 15,000,000 olives in total. This year Manzanillo, Kalamata and Uovo di Piccione varieties were harvested. 

What happens now.....

Once the olives are harvested (watch here) they then go through the grader to be sized. Smaller Olives are pressed to make oil and larger olives are kept for our table olives. The large olives are then washed, and placed in 2000L vats or 200L barrels in brine (salt and water). Over the first 3 weeks, rapid fermentation begins using the wild yeast and spores within the olives. This produces carbon dioxide and acid and smells delicious like making bread at home. It is this yeast which gives Telegraph Hill Olives their distinctive flavour.

Over the next 6 months the sugars in the olives will ferment and the bitterness contained in the olives will be converted until they become edible. Then the olives continue to ferment their sugar. If you are interested in fermenting your own olives give this recipe a go!



Night Harvest May 16, 2014 11:36

Olives picked today are processed tonight.  Here is some pictures from last nights processing.

I find the olives always look better at night, I think it is 'selective seeing' in the low light...certainly the spills look smaller until the next day.

I use this equipment to deleaf and size out the small olives.  The large olives go into barrels and vats for fermentation in brine and the smalls get pressed for oil within 24 hours..

Harvesting 2014 May 15, 2014 16:37

Have had a lot of inquiries for Fresh Olives for home curing, so have made these available on the website.  Check them out.

Some pictures from this years harvest .  

Harvest Highlights May 7, 2014 16:30

Telegraph Hill Olives
This shows the matrix we use to identify the quality of the olives after harvest as they come in from the grove.  This lot is from our Haumoana contract grower.
Harvest notes from the log:
Manzanillo Olives
Good colour range
A little disease (see the two green olives five rows down position three & four have brown spots).  These will need hand grading out.
Not many stalks attached (makes for happy hand graders)
Good size olives
No wrinkle
No frost damage
Acceptable leaf and sticks quantity

Harvesting Green Olives May 7, 2014 11:54

Hand picking olives at Telegraph Hill
Here I am picking green olives on the 31st March at the Olivery.  This is an Ouvo D'Piccione tree, its olives a variety known for their large green fruit.  This tree had 35kg of olives on it, a fantastic yield!  I immediately thought I know how to grow olives.... until the next two trees had zero olives, sigh... such is horticulture.  This precious crop will be sold through the Olivery tasting room and to local restaurants.  When its gone its gone!

Olive Harvest 2013 ends June 12, 2013 13:45

It has been two months since we picked the first green olive, so it is nice to move on to the next phase in the process.  This is when we nurture the olives in their barrels and vats so that we get the best natural fermentation starting.  Salt and pH levels are monitored and adjusted as necessary, but really we are just guiding the olives to do their own thing for the next 6-8 months.

Here is a video of the mechanical harvester emptying into a bin.


Harvest has started May 9, 2013 10:57

 First olives in this season were from the Olivewood grove in Esk Valley. Olivewood grove is hand picked by Julie and Zane due to the sloping hills the grove is placed on.  The planting format was in the old style of thinking of placing manzanillo trees as pollinators among the rows of other olive varieties. This means Julie and Zane first have to find the Manzanillo trees (about 1 in 20) dotted around the grove before harvesting!