Pigeon Rock Olive Oil is produced beneath the rocky schist outcrops of Pigeon Rock on historic gold mining peninsula of Cornish Point in Cromwell, Central Otago. Our first 450 tree grove, the lower grove, was planted in 2004 and an additional 2,950 trees were planted on hills adjacent to this grove in 2006.
Central Otago summers are hot and dry and winters cold and frosty making growing olives a very weather dependant business. While several olive trees had been planted in private gardens in Central Otago as ornamentals, the first known attempt at a commercial planting was at Cornish Point in 1992.
Dick Coker who owned an apricot orchard at the Point planted different varieties of olives to see which varieties would be suited to Central Otago conditions. Unfortunately this was about the time of the Pinatubo eruption and the following winter was particularly severe. For a week the minimum air temperatures ranged between –8° and –12°, which spelled the end of the olive trees.
With the weather in mind our harvest takes place between May and July meaning fruit is usually harvested somewhat green and unripe. This contributes to the crisp, peppery, grassy flavours of Central Otago olive oil.
We harvest our fruit by hand with the utmost care and to maintain freshness it is pressed the same day. Harvesting has become quite a social gathering of travelers from around the world as well as locals. We normally share interesting experiences while moving from tree to tree as well as hot soup, and scones on what is normally a cold day.
You will find our olive oil on sale at local specialty food stores and cellar doors and once our upper grove is in full production Pigeon Rock Olive Oil will be sold worldwide.
New Zealand Gourmet Oil Competition
Royal Easter Show
New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards
To see historical weather information and near real time data head over to our Harvest Weather Station located on Lot 2.
For real time weather see the Weather Underground Station, which is located near Cornish Point Development.