Italy trip for award winners
Christmas has come early for Anne Stanimiroff and Colin Sayles.
They are on a flight to Italy tomorrow to receive one of the world's top accolades for extra virgin olive oil.
Rangihoua Estate, their olive grove on O'Briens Rd, already produces an award winning product.
Now it has won the coveted title of Il Frantoio di Frontiera - the frontier farm, by the Flos Olei - the revered Italian guide to the world's best extra virgin olive oils.
The Flos Olei guide marks Rangihoua Estate as a young emerging olive oil producer. The award acknowledges the olive oil's "excellent organoleptic properties" and notes the dedication, passion and commitment of the grove in optimising the oil production from tree to bottle.
Rangihoua Estate is also ranked among the best 20 in the world in the 2013 guide - from around 3000 oils tasted by a panel of 50 judges.
It is also the only grove from the Southern hemisphere in the top 20.
"We were so pleased to receive the award but logistically thought it would be too difficult to go to the ceremony in Rome," Anne says. "But a group of friends decided it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to go so they surprised us with the plane tickets.
"We are so humbled and grateful to them - and extremely excited," Anne says. "We'll be doing Waiheke proud."
The couple will fly to Italy to attend the prestigious Flos Olei awards ceremony and 2013 guide launch at the Westin Excelsior hotel in central Rome.
And this is a hat-trick for the olive grove that ran away with two top New Zealand awards this season.
The Rangihoua Estate Waiheke Blend received the 2012 Supreme Champion Award at the Royal Easter Show and Best in Show at the New Zealand Gourmet Oil Competition.
"Tasting and judging are so subjective and for us to receive the two top awards for the same oil at different events, then to go on and win this is amazing," Anne says.