ABOUT US and DUCK CREEK
“We are no novices when it comes to the love of the land. Having developed the famous Glenora Estate on Waiheke Island where we planted a olive grove and vineyard, we have now settled in this beautiful Mahurangi Valley so close to Matakana. Living on site and working the grove full-time our passion for our oil is evident, our aim is to produce organic extra virgin oil, one, which is extra special for the region, an oil, which transcends all palettes, and culinary requirements,” says Derek.
“At 19 I cultivated my own vegetable garden without really understanding the word “organic,” says Sally. “I grew up having parents who lived on the typical quarter acre dream section and grandparents who lived on 2 acres. Both had massive compost pits, vegetables and fruit trees all over the back yard. My parents had a pear tree, which dominated part of the garden, and my grandparents had a huge walnut tree, which did the same. I can still remember scratching in a raised pit and jostling with granddad’s hens for position. They were after the wonderful worms, I was after the wonderful asparagus!”
Derek’s father was also a marvelous vegetable and flower gardener, when we married I picked his fathers roses the morning of our wedding and naturally arranged them for my bouquet”. “When we lived at Waiheke Island,” says Derek, “our Cabernet Franc vineyard was one of the best producing and quality fruit on the Island. Sally would be lost in her Potager garden and I in my vineyard! We still have vintage bottles from 2002 and 2003 tasting superb. Our olives were only just starting to produce when we sold the property.”
At conception every aspect of the olive tree growth was closely considered from the drainage for the clay soil, to scientifically planning the grid and positioning each of the six varietals in the manner learned in Italy. The grove is being maintained in the most sustainable manner possible in the Northland climate. We spend weeks pruning the grove. We look at each tree independently and look at its balance and natural form. We give space to each tree, as they require wind for pollination and an open wineglass shape to allow maximum light penetration to ripen the fruit. Derek studiously mulches our entire prunings and cuttings after harvest and we lay it under the trees and organically enrich the soil with organically certified products. We have created a “walled garden” adjoining the house, which produces vegetables and herbs, and have extensive organic vegetable gardens across the courtyard, which includes a small orchard. “We believe our food, which includes the oil in which you enjoy, be it cooking or dipping, should be the best you can possibly have”. says Sally.
This love for the soil, our food, our oil is evident. The availability of our oil is limited, our aim is to cold press only the best olives and we studiously hand pick out any defective fruit and concentrate only on the good. We harvest with hand held harvesters. We grade the olives immediately when they fall into the PickaPod net, we then grade them again when they roll into the baskets and again before they are transported to our processors on the day of picking. They are finally graded again and washed for cold pressing at the processors.
We are certified growers of Extra Virgin Olive Oil New Zealand