'Royal oil' part of showcase
An extra virgin olive oil made on Waiheke Island in Auckland is getting some right royal exposure.
Rangihoua Estate has already been named one of the top 20 extra virgin olive oil producers in the world by the Italian Flos Olei guide.
Now it's been chosen as one of just 15 culinary products from around New Zealand - and the only one from Auckland - included in a showcase for international media covering the tour of Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge.
The royals arrived in Wellington with their 8-month old son Prince George on Monday for a 10-day visit - their first overseas outing since the birth in July last year.
Around 120 journalists from around the world attended an informal welcome at Rydges in Wellington on Sunday night and were treated to the extra special smorgasboard.
Rydges sales executive Rhiannon Bevan says the various products were set out in stations so people could go up and try what they wanted.
The showcase included lamb, beef, seafood, cheeses and bread with the olive oil, gelato and patisseries, and a bar with craft beers.
The Rangihoua Estate extra virgin olive oil was the only product from the Auckland region to be chosen, she says.
"In fact, the closest product to Auckland chosen was the angus beef from Hawke's Bay."
She says the Rangihoua went down a treat.
"They had a bottle and a half each of the Waiheke Blend and the Picual. It was very popular.
"I have to say I was pushing it though. I spent a summer on Waiheke a few years back and loved it."
Rangihoua Estate co-owner Anne Stanimiroff says she and her husband Colin Sayles feel honoured their oil was selected alongside other top Kiwi food products.
"They said they chose us because of our reputation.
"We're calling it the royal oil now. I do hope Prince William and Catherine get to try it as well."
This could be the only global media exposure Waiheke Island is given during the royal tour.
Tourism New Zealand communications manager Deborah Gray says the international media won't be coming to the island.
"Unfortunately there is no down time in Auckland.
"They are there on Friday but, at the conclusion of the royal sailing engagement, the media are being given the option of going to Hobbiton on their way to Hamilton, where they need to be on Saturday."