About River Estate
ONZ Certified Oil - certified Extra Virgin
You will notice that not all of the 2021 season oils have a red label displaying that the oil is 'ONZ certified oil'. This is verification that the olive oil is indeed Extra Virgin, in every sense.
To receive this 'red label' the oils are firstly laboratory tested first to ensure they meet the chemical composition required by Olives NZ, detailed below. They are then tasted by specially convened sensory tasting panel, looking for fruitiness, flavours, complexity, intensity and no defects. This panel is convened in Australia and are blind tested at frequent intervals to ensure their accuracy.
To meet the NZ standard the chemical analysis must 0.5% maximum Oleic acid measured as free fatty acid and 15 meg/kg maximum peroxide content. The International standard is 0.8% free fatty acid maximum and 20 meg/kg peroxide.
Our olive oils tests were not consistent this season - the results were a little high, with 2 not meeting the International standard. They are given to one decimal place, so were from 0.2% to 0.5 % free fatty acids and 5 to 7 meq kg fat peroxide value, which is within the NZ standard, by laboratory testing. The total Polyphenol content was mild to slightly intense this year. The high FFA are due to a double flowering sequence by some varieties, a very humid summer and early ripening by the first sequence of flowering thus being down graded to virgin olive oil.
The 2 virgin grade olive oils were 1% and 1.6 %
River Estate oils are processed at approximately 25°c, thus maintaining the maximum extraction of oil and retaining the excellent qualities of the olive oil. Any oil processed above 35 deg C is not classified as ‘cold pressed’.
At River Estate we press each variety separately and store the oils in airtight variable capacity vats to retain the freshness.
River Estate Olive oils are non filtered to retain the richness of the flavours in the oils. This may lead to a slightly cloudy appearance in some oils and a very fine deposit of sediment in some of the bottles. The oils are decentered a number of times from small vats until the sediment is removed. They are then, and only then, placed in the large variable capacity vats.
We endeavour to press the same day as picking which gives us the freshest oil possible.
The oils are left to stand for a period after processing for the sediment to settle, before transferring to the variable capacity vat and bottling.
At River Estate we have our own pressing and bottling facilities onsite which ensures the freshness of our olive oil. The oil is bottled direct from our own sealed vats.
Click here for more information about our pressing and bottling facility.
River Estate olive oil is bottled in dark glass to help preserve the excellent properties of the oil. Larger quantities are canned to eliminate the light as much as possible.
Olive oils stored in clear bottles start losing qualities when exposed to light, particularly fluorescent, for extended periods.
Heat and air are the other two elements that will cause oil to deteriorate and exposure to both will shorten the life of your oil.
The oil should be stored in a cool cupboard with the cap on to retain the high quality of the oil. Once opened, it is recommended that the oil be used within 5-6 months.