Olivery News

Best Olives in New Zealand September 25, 2014 16:49

Telegraph Hill awarded Champion Olives in the 2014 Royal Easter Show Olive Oil awards.  This is the third year running we have received this award, a great reward for the team here.

The award winning olives were our Traditional Olives.  One assumes the judges liked the classic taste of these where we keep the salt low so that the olive flavour shines.

Happenings on the Grove September 23, 2014 20:22

Under-grounding irrigation, flowering heads up and pruning....

Olive Oil on my Porridge September 19, 2014 13:15

This article Cereal for Breakfast? Pass the EVOO got me thinking why not?  I already use olive oil at every other meal time so lets not hold back from breakfast.  I recommend using a fruity or delicate oil so that the pepperyness or pungency doesn't influence your porridge too much.  I enjoyed it but did hold off on the sliced garlic!

Cancer fighting compound isolated in olive oil September 19, 2014 13:05

Amazing scientific research undertaken by a student in isolating the natural compounds in olive oil.


Inside a centrifugal olive oil press July 29, 2014 16:39

Telegraph Hill olive oil pressThis is the inside of the centrifugal olive oil press.  This simple yet complex machinery separates the oil from the water and other solids.  It is fed the mushed up olives slowly through the center, while it spins at around 3000rpm.  Olive Oil comes out one exit and the waste another.

Kalamata Olive Tree Transplant July 29, 2014 16:29

Telegraph Hill Kalamata Olives

October 2013 we moved 31 Kalamata trees.  They had a good growing season over the summer resulting in a good amount of foliage.  They then have 'sat around' for the winter with no growth at all.  The tallest trees are now around 2 meters and the smallest only up to my knees.
Telegraph Hill Kalamata OlivesSome of the tender shoots have been slightly frosted, which will slow down the spring growth.  This morning we had a minus 4 degree frost in parts of Hawke's Bay, a chilly start.  You can see the damage here.  Sigh!

Creating Robust and Medium Oils July 29, 2014 15:58


Telegraph Hill olive oil

A change from our current offerings this year.  Instead of creating a traditional varietal or grove blend of oils we have elected to blend together our oils to meet flavour profiles.

Robust; a strong oil showing characteristics of pepperyness, pungency and full mouth feel.  To be used with stronger flavour foods like tomato sauces, game meats, mushroom risottos, & roast vegetables.

Medium: an oil of middling pungency, with good balance of fruityness bitterness and astringency.  To be used liberally on vegetables, salads, pasta and dishes with a 'medium flavour'.

Available from September.

The Food Show Auckland May 27, 2014 12:33

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

Sensory Evaluation Evening May 7, 2014 13:13

Olive and Oil tasting at Telegraph HillDo you want to taste more in your meals?  

This fun evening will help you evaluate flavours in food.  You can apply this knowledge to olives and olive oil at the evening, and every time you eat or drink afterwards.

Recognise what part of your mouth tastes

  • sweet
  • bitter
  • sour
  • salt
  • astringency 
  • umami.

Test your nose, can you pick a scent?

If you have ever wondered what it is in a good olive or good oil you are supposed to recognise then this is for you.

Join us for a relaxed evening, where you will get the chance to educate your palate and apply these learnings to olives and olive oil (& life of course!).

Date : Thursday 26th June 7.30pm

Location: Common Room, 227 Heretaunga st East, Hastings, Hawke's Bay

Cost: $20


The fine print.  We recommend you eat dinner prior to coming.  As part of the evening you will be required to taste and smell liquid and solid samples. Cash bar operating, you can sup while evaluating!

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!

Visit to the Spanish Olive Library March 10, 2014 09:33

In January I had the opportunity to visit the Spanish Institute of Agriculture, in Cordoba, Spain.  This is a government organisation of scientists who investigate olives.  They are experts in growing olives and specialise in DNA coding olives to ensure varieties are pure.  As you could imagine an amazing amount of knowledge held be this organisation and the people who work in it.  Our Hosts Angela and Jarvier led us on a walk through the 'Olive Library'.  A grove with 800 different varieties.  I was like a kid in a toy shop as we browsed the different shapes and colours of olives.   We've started investigating how to bring in some of these varieties for us to grow & produce different tasting olives.  It is a long and expensive process just to get them into the country.  Bio security is a serious threat to horticulture.  The Olive Fly is one we know about, we do not have it in NZ, and do not want it!  The Olive Fly is a bug that can devastate crops.  It is a small larvae that eats into the fruit as it ripens.  You can see olive fly larvae eating through the olive in this picture.  

I will keep you posted on developments!

H4 - Heddie the Olive Tree in March March 3, 2014 11:11

Kalamata Olive Tree Telegraph Hill H4

Here is a picture from today of Kalamata Olive tree 'H4' or 'Heddie' as Eddie its owner likes to call it.  We are pleased to report that this tree is flourishing.  You can see the new growth rising 600mm above the stump.

Eddie has chosen well! 

The next picture is of F8, our 'slow starter'.  Transplanted in October at the same time as the rest of the trees, this tree is the last to sprout.  You can just see on the right hand side of the tree a small shoot - approx 20mm long. 

Kalamata Olive tree Telegraph Hill

This is especially pleasing as it means we had a 100% success rate with the transplanted trees.

Grove Update - So How Big Are Those Olives? March 3, 2014 10:48

Telegraph Hill Manzanillo OlivesWith Harvest fast approaching (May) we are starting to asses how the olives are doing.  Big change this year, I am measuring the olives and recording their size.  This is to give a benchmark for future years as to where the olives are at.  I hope to make better growing and harvest decisions as a result.  The ultimate objective is to grow larger olives by changing the variables on the grove.

This picture show the Manzanillo tree at the Olivery.  At 19mm it is a big fruit for this time of year.  The average width is around 16mm.

Good tree health and a continuation of the good summer weather will help these olives size up in the next 8 weeks.

Grove update Eddie checks his tree February 10, 2014 16:07

Telegraph Hill Kalamata Olive treeEddie is our youngest olive tree adopter.  His recent visit (Oct 2013) was soon after our transplanting of the Kalamata Olives.  We tracked his tree from its old location to new.  It has a new number (H4) and Eddie has appropriately named it 'Heddie'.

We gave Eddie the choice of new tree but he chose to stay with this one.  Well done Eddie we like your loyalty!

We are pleased to report that 33 of the 34 transplanted trees are growing well with plenty of new growth.  One has not sprouted yet, but we are remaining positive!

Kalamata Olive Telegraph Hill


'Heddie' at 31 December 2014, some sprouts coming....

If your tree has moved we will let you know your new number with March packages.  

Remember we have a product guarantee - we guarantee your products even in a bad year (and this will be a bad year for 'Heddie' & other transplanted olive trees)

All march packages will contain 6 pouches of yummy olives.



On the Olive Grove December 24, 2013 09:55

Telegraph Hill Kalamata Olives regrowth

What's up on the grove?.  

We've had one of the best springs for 25 years.  It has been warm, regular rain and gentle winds.  This has facilitated a fantastic fruit set on the trees.  (Fruit set is a terms used for the conversion of flowers to fruit.)  so things so far are looking good.  The last couple of weeks have had some severe Hail storms in the Hawke's Bay.  This has damaged some fruit crops.  We have been lucky in that they have missed our olive groves.

The transplanted Kalamata Olives (right) are starting to grow with little shoots starting to come away.  We are keeping up the water to these stumps, as they can very easily dry out.

The Villas grove (below) has now has two years of growth from the 'reset' prune we did.  Here is the comparison pictures.  We will get some fruit off these trees this year.  But not from the tree the sheep have eaten! (front right of picture).


Wild swarm of bees at Telegraph Hill November 26, 2013 13:13

Bee swarm at Telegraph Hill
Morag Black and Janet Luke at Telegraph Hill with the bees

We recently came to work one morning and found a swarm of bees in an olive tree.  

While it sounds like a nursery rhyme we weren't going near it.  A quick call to local green urban living expert Janet Luke and the bees were re-homed to one of her 'top bar' hives.

These bees are now residing on the top deck of local pizza restaurant Pipi, in Havelock North


left:  Adrienne keeping a respectful distance!          right:  Morag and Janet work out a plan.

 Check the video to see Janet move the swarm.  

New e-book Remarkable Recipes by international olive oil expert Judy Ridgway November 26, 2013 13:04

Judy Ridgway Remarkable Recipes olive oil e bookTelegraph Hill extra virgin olive oil features in the new e-book Remarkable Recipes by international olive oil expert Judy Ridgway.  It is used in the recipes for Feta and Olive Dip And for Telegraph Hill Fish and Chips.  Judy remembers with nostalgia her very first visit to New Zealand when she stayed in a cottage on the estate and enjoyed an excellent dinner with Rose Gresson, then running the Telegraph Hill groves.

All 76 recipes in the book come from olive growers and olive oil producers around the world because, as Judy says, who knows more about cooking with extra virgin olive oil?  “Some of the most interesting and delicious dishes I have ever eaten have been served at the tables of the olive growers and oil producers”, she comments.

The recipes are arranged in sections according to the time taken to prepare the dishes with great fast food dishes followed by quick and easy breakfasts, snacks and suppers as well as salads and cold dishes.  Savoury dishes that take a little longer come next with a final section on baking with extra virgin olive oil. Some of the recipes are traditional, others are family favourites and yet others are modern creations from gifted cooks but one thing Judy is sure of is that they are all quite different to the recipes found in general cookbooks of the various regions.       

The e-book is available in kindle form from Amazon and in a form suitable for iPads, tablets and the like from iTunes for iBookstore.

Transplanting Kalamata Olive Trees November 15, 2013 08:56

Time will tell whether this was a good decision or not.  I've moved every second Kalamata tree to increase the space it has to grow, so that it will grow larger, produce more fruit and be happier!

Telegraph Hill Olive tree transplantFirst we had to chop the tops off them.

Olive tree transplanting at Telegraph HillThis ones ready to move.  We labelled each one to keep track of the adopted trees

Olive tree transplanting at Telegraph HillDig them up with a digger.


Olive tree transplanting at Telegraph HillPlant them in pre dug holes. 


Olive tree transplanting at Telegraph HillSome water and this olive tree is ready to grow. 


Olive tree transplanting at Telegraph HillUnfortunately some didn't make it.  This one we ring barked so we decided to chop off right at the base. It should still grow. 

Art in the Olives Festival November 8, 2013 12:21

A fantastic day had by all.  2014 will be held early November again. 

DJ Floyd setting the atmosphere at Telegraph Hill

DJ Floyd set a lovely ambiance for the day with his 'soul food music' theme.




Jules Clarke at Telegraph Hill


Jules Clarke painting live!














Olive Oil Massage at Telegraph Hill


Olive Oil Massage...mmmmm














Rae West at Telegraph Hill


The amazing Rae West 














Ricks Terstappen Paddy Cooper and jules Clarke at Telegraph Hill


Ricks Terstappen and Paddy Cooper both has amazing sculptures.

Champion Olives for Telegraph Hill September 25, 2013 09:52

Olive & Olive Oil Awards Telegraph HillRoyal Easter Show awards are announced with Telegraph Hill getting champion olives.  We also picked up a silver medal for our Barnea Manzanillo Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Full list of winners are on the easter show website.

Spring Grove Update September 25, 2013 09:29

Telegraph Hill Olive tree flowersSpring has begun in Hawke's Bay with beautiful blossom everywhere.  Everywhere except the olive trees that is! Olives will blossom in late November.  We are starting our pruning program in October.

This picture shows the start of the flower buds.  You can see them growing from where the leaf meets the stem.

NEVOO (say nee vo) New season Extra Virgin Olive Oil June 21, 2013 17:02

NEVOO is dance in your mouth flavour, splash it on everything and enjoy the aliveness of this fresh from the press olive oil.  Harvested on the 17th May 2013 this oil is at its best right now.  I'm really enjoying it on steamed vegetables in season right now is broccoli and cauliflower.  Pop into the Olivery to get yours or visit Bellatino's in Havelock North.

It's raining Kalamata Olives June 13, 2013 11:22

Once a year we get to see this sight.  I love my Kalamata olives!

How many olives fall outside the net? June 12, 2013 16:22

This is a quick video of Andrew machine harvesting olives on the Telegraph Hill Villas grove.  You can see a fair amount of olives falling outside the net, unfortunately a cost of harvesting!  I have been known to get on my knees and pick these up, but its really not worth the time!

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.


5-10 Olives is a healthy addition to the diet May 22, 2013 15:07

Kalamata Olives at Telegraph Hill OliveryI was pleased to read today in the June 'Healthy Food Guide' that "A serving of five to 10 olives is a healthy addition to the diet.  The phenolic compounds in olives have been studied for their antioxidant properties."  We all know that extra virgin olive oil is a 'good oil' it follows that the olives have this goodness in them too.

The magazine does mention that as olives are processed in salt brines there can be around 320 mg of sodium in 5 olives.  This made me think, does the salt in olives 'offset' the goodness in them?  The answer is NO it does not! As long as you eat a balanced diet. 

The recommended daily intake of sodium (mainly found in salt in our diet) is 920-  2300mg.  Interestingly 2300mg is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of salt. 

Sold Out of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, more on the way May 10, 2013 16:53


Sorry last years olive oil has sold out, which means we will be filling orders in 6 weeks time once the new season oil has settled.   We have pressed 2013 olive oil but it is pungent with high astringency so needs some time to settle, level out, and balance.  Just as soon as this happens (6 weeks) we'll bottle it.  It will then be labelled fresh or 'olio nuevo' oil, it will taste absolutely delicious - fresh, crisp and a powerful aroma of herbs and grass.

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!

Soon we will harvest April 30, 2013 09:29

Manzanillo Olives ready to harvestCheck out these olives!  This picture of the Manzanillo olives on the trees in the Villa grove.  They are huge! Its been a fantastic growing season this year.  We've had healthy trees and low rainfall - a drought in fact!  

Looking to harvest in a week or so, around the 6th of May.

Interesting how the olives are green and black right next to each other.  

Green Olive Harvest Begins April 4, 2013 03:35


Today I harvested the big green olive tree.  We think it is a Uovo D'Piccione or UDP for short.  We ended up with three of these among the Kalamata trees due to a mix up at the nursery.  Its very hard to tell olive trees apart, especially when they are still seedlings resulting in nursery mix ups being a regular occurrence.

This one tree produced 14kg of fruit, which we will process and make available through the Olivery shop.

As the picture shows they are a large fruit, they have a nutty & light olive flavour.    

Cabernet wine & Olive Oil Easter eggs March 22, 2013 13:39

Olive Oil Easter EggsCabernet drizzle and olive oil centers, with dark chocolate coat.

In what perhaps is a world first, Vinnie Beaumont at Telegraph Hill has made a cabernet wine and olive oil Easter egg.

This is definitely an egg for adult taste, while sweet from the cabernet drizzle, the olive oil gives richness and depth, with a chocolate coated finish.  These delectable eggs are strictly adults only!

The gooey centre is made of Cabernet Drizzle and Olive Oil.  Utilising his Chef skills Vinnie has combined these two ingredients into a gooey centre.  Then covered with dark chocolate.  With each egg just a mouthful they are a perfect for desert canapés 

The eggs come in a three pack with a dark chocolate, white chocolate drizzle and olive powder 


“You can definitely taste the oil in the filling showing how olive oil can highlight to good flavours in food” says Vinnie.

Vinnie making easter eggs from olive oilWe’ve made these eggs as a fun reward for our customers who visit the Olivery shop.  Just something a little different and fun to eat after a day of children and chocolate!

Traditionally olive oil is used when painting Easter eggs.  Olive oil is used when creating the marbling effect on the shell.  Beautiful patterns are created using the oil to displace the dye. 

Olives New Zealand DVD March 18, 2013 13:17

 View this latest promotional DVD from Olives New Zealand the national body for growers in NZ.

It gives a good background on growing olives and what it is that makes New Zealand olive oil so good.

Kalamata olive grafts March 11, 2013 11:26

You can clearly see the graft splicing into the existing trunk and branches.  It looks to be a good bond.  The bond will be tested in the years ahead as the branch gains weight and volume.

This is year three for these Kalamata grafts.  It has been two and a half years since they were grafted, so this year is the first fruit. While its only a small quantity on this graft it is a promising start.

Interestingly another graft tree has grown faster than this one it is three meters tall.  It has no fruit this year.  Our theory as to why? It has been happily putting energy into growing tree rather than fruit.  Quite why it chose to do this is another theory again!

Olive tree water lines February 27, 2013 11:53


Telegraph Hill Olive trees

It is certainly dry, this picture shows the direct result of irrigating the olive trees.  Nice green grass along the row!  A bit of a pain as we now need to mow under the trees only. 

We haven't cut the remainder of the lawns for a month, the only things growing are weeds and the grass along the rows.

To reduce the need for mowing Morag has planted comfrey in between some of the trees.  We hope this trial planting will grow and keep the weeds down, as well as looking nice.  Will bring you updates on that as it develops.


The big dry February 21, 2013 20:40

 Summer rain stats are low.   Just looking at January today, 25mm rain recorded, average is 70mm for January.  But the real surprise for me was the last three Januarys have been 180mm, 200mm and 120mm.  That's too much rain for happy olives!

New Website up February 21, 2013 15:59

Our new website has been up for a month.  Thanks to all our visitors who have picked up the typos very much appreciated!.

We hope the new site provides a smoother ordering experience, unfortunately returning customers will have to re-enter delivery addresses.  

We are giving a free pouch of olives with every order, so don't delay get your olives today!