We would like to introduce ourselves, we are Chris and Linda Smith and we have always been up for a challenge.
Purchasing the grove that is now Olives on the Hill is one of those challenges, but one with a long term goal. We have found a passion in producing beautiful, fresh tasting, full-flavoured extra virgin olive oil.
Take a quick video tour around our grove. Then next time you're in Mangawhai, pop in and see us. Details are on our CONTACT US page.
Friends and family came to help out with picking, lunch in the grove and some of our first pressed oil was their reward.
The trees were planted around 15 years ago by a local expert, David Prankard on instruction from the previous owners, Graeme and Phillip from Wheels on Wairau.
Some say the trees are too close together, but now that Chris has pruned the old grey branches out and opened up the interiors, the dappled light brings an airy peacefulness to anyone strolling down the avenues of trees.
We are not afraid of hard work and we know there is a lot of it still to come. But so far our new venture into creating olive oil of the finest calibre is our new exciting adventure, and we are loving every minute of it.
During a bicycle ride through the beautiful countryside of Mangawhai Heads, we came across a 'field of trees'; a paddock planted with olives that looked like they needed someone to love them. The seed of an idea was planted.
We purchased the grove in April 2012 and spent the next 6 weeks pulling together the necessities for our first harvest; a second hand tractor, a container to house our gear and crates for the hand-picked olives, and hours of research into olive varieties and what to do with them.