Otago artisans, makers, distillers, vintners and brewers are the latest local producers to be showcased on the national stage as we expand into the region to meet the ever-increasing demand from Kiwis to back their backyards.
We have now returned almost $1 million dollars to small businesses all over NZ since 2020 by sourcing only from local producers and makers. Launching into Otago will take us over that threshold.
Our Outstanding Otago South Island Gift Boxes feature the best of the region, including Ocho Chocolate, Kitchen Window Catering and Dunford Grove Olive Oil. The award-winning oil producer that makes exquisite oils from their property on the shores of Lake Dunstan is well aligned in terms of community focus. Co-owner Jocelyn Robinson says the support she has seen within the olive oil industry is more akin to a big family than competing businesses, which means they can boost each other — as well as their local communities and economies.
We grow mainly the Tuscan varietals of Frantoio, Leccino and Pendolino as they are best suited to the extremes of the Central Otago Climate. The underlying philosophy at Dunford Grove is to provide an environment for the olive trees and ourselves where everything can do its very best in harmony with our surroundings.Jocelyn Robinson – Dunford Grove
Along with this, the business puts sustainability at the forefront, composting waste, including the pomace (olive paste) left from pressing, mulching prunings or creating Biochar, a fine-grained bio-charcoal, which is returned to the soil along with the compost and seaweed teas. They even make pure olive oil soap from the oil left after racking.
Jocelyn says olive-picking in Central Otago is done early to avoid the frosts.
This results in a lesser oil yield because the oil develops as the fruit ripens but we end up with a distinctive Extra Virgin olive oil. It’s a really good reflection of the Central Otago terroir, and when you can literally taste the characteristics of the land, you know you are not only enjoying a premium quality product, but also a truly local experience.
COVID-19 restrictions increased the appetite for locally made products, and we’re excited to add Otago makers to our offer. Gifting intentionally and sustainably, we also donate one percent of all their profits to charities via the One Percent Collective.
During these unpredictable and difficult times, it’s heartening to see the love Kiwis have for the products made in their backyard and in local communities.