A Wairarapa olive oil company has proven it has the good oil, scooping the top prize in the New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards.

Kate and Mark Bunny, owners of Loopline Olives, won the Best in Show prize on Saturday with their picholine variety olive oil.

The awards, which are run by Olives New Zealand, the national organisation for olive oil growers, recognise excellence in certified extra virgin olive oil.

The couple, who previously ran sheep and beef farms, took over the 4ha of groves in 2009.


The property has about 960 trees, with five varieties of olives. Mrs Bunny said she was surprised to receive the Best in Show prize as it was the first time they had entered the competition.

"We are so excited, we are actually just blown away - thrilled, delighted, honoured."

"To have these awards is a complete honour, it's amazing."

One of the reasons for their success was the grove's Opaki location and a good growing season, with plenty of sunshine and not much wind, she said.

"In the past year we had a wonderful crop ... and the Opaki plains are warm and retain the heat - we are in a great location."

Loopline Olives also received a silver medal for its picual variety oil.

The pair were not the only Wairarapa winners, with growers from the region taking 30 medals at the event.

Masterton-based The Olive Press won best processor and Tauherenikau's Juno Olives received best label.


River Grove, Olive2Oil and Kilrae Olives also received Best in Class prizes.

Olives New Zealand executive officer Gayle Sheridan said the Wairarapa region has the largest number of groves in the country.

"I think that this year was obviously a good year for Wairarapa . . . another thing to be fair is you have actually got a good press [The Olive Press] in the Wairarapa."

Overall, Wairarapa olive oil growers won 40 per cent of the awards at the competition.