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Rangihoua Estate

Rangihoua extra virgin olive oil USA

Rangihoua Estate was founded by Anne Stanimiroff and Colin Sayles. They were initially inspired by the wonderful world of the extra virgin olive oil business in the mid 1990s when a local vineyard owner challenged them to make olive oil from the olives grown at his vineyard. This serendipitously followed with a a chance encounter at a wine bar, half way around the world on the Ponte Veccio in Florence, which led Anne and Colin being invited to Sunday lunch at a local Italian farm. The table was set out in the farm's olive grove, laden with the most fantastic Italian food drenched in the farm's gleaming, green, peppery olive oil.

The experience was life-changing for the Anne and Colin, and later that year Colin returned to visit the friendly Italian farm owners, Helene and Gincarlo, to help with the harvest and milling of the olives. He left with a 5 liter jar of fresh olive oil and carefully carried it 36,000 miles back to New Zealand. Proudly he showed friends and family back home, knowing that if they could produce the same quality of oil on Waiheke Island then they'd be in business. The relationship with Helene and Gincarlo at Podere Valdibotte has continued with Anne and Colin frequently enjoying time at their B&B in Italy.

In April 1997 Rangihoua's inaugural harvest took place, producing oil that was green, herbaceous and peppery – perfect! Since then, Rangihoua has grown to 4,200 olive trees which thrive in Waiheke Island's mediterranean-like climate and produce outstanding Extra Virgin Olive Oil of international acclaim. In 2013 Rangihoua Estate was ranked ‘Best 20 in the World’ by Flos Olei – The Italian Guide to the World’s Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Every year both International and National Gold medals have been awarded to their Extra Virgin Olive Oils confirming that Anne and Colin have truly created some of the world's best olive oil.

Rangihoua is run by a close team. Anne runs Rangihoua full-time and is assisted by Melissa McIntyre, Helen Oakes and Maslinka Sayles in the Tasting Room. Charlotte Cohen is the incredible office manager who keeps everyone smiling and focused. Darryl Beech works fulltime at Rangihoua and is the hands on guy that can be seen driving tractors, harvesting olives, bottling, labelling, pruning, planting, swinging hammers and driving trucks! Most importantly, he operates the olive mill and works with Anne to do the sensory analysis of the oils.

Producing Rangihoua Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Rangihoua Extra Virgin Olive Oil EVOO available in the USA3

At Rangihoua, all the olives are hand picked at the optimum level of ripeness, using small hand rakes to comb the olives from the tree. Within 24 hours of picking the fresh olives are processed and pressed into olive oil using an olive oil mill especially imported from Italy.

In 2002, the volumes of olives for processing increased dramatically and Rangihoua Estate purchased a new olive oil mill, capable of processing over a 1000 pounds of olives per hour. The Pegaso works on the same principle as the oliomio with centrifugal separation. The Pegaso has been engineered by an Italian firm in Florence, Officine Meccaniche Toscane, who have been making olive processing equipment for over a century. The Pegaso is designed to the highest specifications and Rangihoua is proud to be associated with this company and delighted with the Pegaso performance.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (often shortened to EVOO) is the finest quality in oil and obtained by cold extraction. It is more pristine in condition and less oxidised, therefore EVOO containes higher levels of polyphenols and anti-oxidants making it extremely healthy for you, and incredibly delicious too!

Technically speaking…

Extra Virgin is the term used to describe the best quality in Olive Oil. For an olive oil to be classed as Extra Virgin the oil must have an acidity level (Free Fatty Acid or Oleic Acid) of less than .8% and have a peroxide value of less than 15.

Rangihoua Estate Olive Oils are all very carefully cultivated, harvested and processed to ensure they all achieve a very low acidity and low peroxide values. As a result, all of Rangihoua Estate’s Olive Oils are Extra Virgin.

Awards

Part of the post production process at Rangihoua is every batch has to pass an internal sensory tasting. As an external audit to these measures, each year Rangihoua enters their oils in the toughest National and International competitions and the team are very proud of their ongoing recognition by the world's foremost olive oil experts.

Rangihoua extra virgin olive oil awards

Rangihoua has been recognized 4 times in the Flos Olei competition which is an International Competition in Italy, created to be a guide to the world's best olive oils. The rankings are based on a comprehensive evaluation and strict judging criteria where the Estate must reach an excellent result in each of the categories including organoleptic qualities. The resulting guide describes in detail each top ranked oil, including tasting notes, gastronomic matches and estate production data, for the few that excel in their selection.  In 2013 Rangihoua Estate was selected in the top 20 producers in the world. More recently in the 2017 awards, Flos Olei gave Rangihoua an almost perfect score of 95 out of 100. 

The Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition is now in its 18th year and is the top ranking EVOO competition in the United States and fifth in the world, with the highest standards of integrity and professionalism in awarding medals to the best olive oils around the globe. Rangihoua's extra virgin olive oil blends have won numerous Best in Class, Gold and Silver medals at this prestigious competition over the last few years.

These are just some of the other accolades they have received: Best in class and Gold and Silver medals at the Royal Easter Show Competition, The New Zealand Gourmet Oil Competition, The Canterbury A&P show, Olives New Zealand National Awards, Orricolo Awards Italy, Los Angeles County Fair, NZ Olive Association Awards, and the NZ Culinary Olive Oil Awards. 

Waiheke Island

cactus bay1 e1449714894227 Waiheke IslandWaiheke has been described as a little Mediterranean jewel nestled in the Hauraki Gulf, just 12 miles from New Zealand's biggest city, Auckland. Surprisingly it is warmer than Auckland, and has about 40% less rainfall. These factors make it perfect for the olives and grapes alike. With it’s unique micro-climate it has a long, dry, hot summer essential for ripening olives. Being an island, there is also plenty of wind, these special climatic conditions mean no chemical sprays are required as the warm winds keep the groves dry and clear of fungal issues.

It is a relatively small island, only 40 square miles in size with just 7,000 full-time residents, but is becoming one of New Zealand’s top tourist destinations especially with food, wine, art and adventure travelers.

rangihoua New Zealand extra virgin olive oil

The Legend of Rangihoua

New Zealand was settled by the Maori in the 1200s, and many place names in New Zealand are named by Maori from historical events that took place at that location. Rangihoua Estate is above a coastal inlet where Maori landed approximately 600 years ago to rest a repair their canoe. As the canoe was relashed they named the land which is now the olive grove, Rangihoua, which means, the day of renewal.

After their time at Rangihoua the group carried on their voyage to the Coromandel Peninsula on the west coast of the North Island but the important landing remains celebrated in the name today.

 

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