Producing property amid the olive groves

5:00 AM Saturday November 12, 2016 Paul Charman

The Olive Place is set in a picturesque north-facing valley between Matakana and Wellsford.

The Olive Place — an 11-hectare property north of Auckland, with orchards, oil production facilities and its own boutique brand — is now for sale.

The property is at 788 Whangaripo Valley Rd, a location Premium Real Estate agent Jim Mays describes as: “a picturesque north-facing valley between Matakana and Wellsford and less than 90 minutes from Auckland City’s CBD”.

“The vendor is selling the complete land, building, and equipment,” says Mays. “This includes the land under one title, a home, olive groves, commercial buildings comprising a manufacturing plant, equipment plus, business infrastructure, yards, part of a shared lake and the award-winning Virtuo extra virgin olive oil brand.”

Mays says the property’s manicured olive grove of more than 600 trees takes up about four hectares. Trees, which range from five to 12-years-old, produce five-to-six tonnes of olives annually.

He adds that the land is fully landscaped with mature trees, open lawns areas, significant native and bird-attracting plantings, access to the water storage lake which is shared with the neighbours. There are also various creeks and walking paths throughout the property and a private driveway giving access to the main house, which could be turned into a manager’s quarters.

Custom built by the present owners about 12 years ago, the two-level residence is a high-end design comprising about 430sq m; it has three-bedroom, three-bathrooms a designer kitchen with butler pantry, living and dining room, a sunroom, an extensive garage, a workshop and a retail shop in the lower level. However, the residence could have more than one use in future.

“The present design lends itself to be transformed into a tourism venture with the existing commercial kitchen, conference room, plus plenty of space for buses and parking,” he says. The factory building is a precast concrete structure of about 600sq m. “It was built to highest food production standards and includes loading and cleaning areas, pressing and production, cool stores, bottling and processing, packaging, plenty of storage and a laboratory,” says Mays.

Staff quarters, changing rooms and a separate public viewing area are included. Adjacent to the building, is a vast concrete manoeuvring area for trucks, general parking and possibly buses. There is also a large Implement Shed for equipment storage and other maintenance requirements.

Mays says the factory mezzanine floor — of about 100sq m — comprises a full commercial kitchen, reception area for functions or conferences. It overlooks the production areas below. Superior quality and finishings are apparent throughout this complex which also has easy access between both levels.

Meanwhile, he says an artistically designed outdoor amphitheatre is a real bonus, this space aiding the flow from the conference room into the stunning gardens and pergola area nearby. “All of the hard work has been done by current owners and the business is ready to reach its full potential either in its existing format or branching out more into a tourism venture,” says Mays.

“Additional opportunities include using the extensive facility for a car collector’s showcase, health & wellness retreat, or possibly a possibly a wedding/conference business — though this last would require Auckland Council approval. Local staff may be available to help manage and maintain the Olive Groves and to operate of the processing plant for the new owners.”

Mays says the Virtuo extra virgin olive oil is made from 100 per cent New Zealand grown fruit, the oils are processed and bottled at the Olive Place, which is Virtuo’s home base.

The Olive Place is an established centre of production excellence in the New Zealand olive oil industry with international standard technologies.

“In no small part this has been achieved by the present owners maintaining full control of the operation; including laboratory, production, storage, bottling, training and the conference areas,” says Mays.

“Virtuo’s’s award winning olive oils are blended from premium NZ Certified olive oils.

“They have been verified by Olives New Zealand, the NZ certification guarantees that the oils are extra virgin status. They are hand-crafted by a team of dedicated to making the very best quality blended oils.

“The outcome is a range of unfiltered, unadulterated oils that have nothing added to them.

“Simply pure and clean, lovingly crafted for the cleanest flavours,” says Mays.

“The Virtuo brand is well established, with The Olive Place well recognised for producing quality products.

“Some overseas visitors who are active in olive oil production in Europe, said it was the second best producer they had seen anywhere in the world.

“However, present product range which includes specialist varietal vinegars, could be expanded to take in other food-enhancing products, the scope is enormous.”