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Left Field Olive Grove Visit

A Piece of Paradise in Martinborough

Today we visited another of Martinborough's picturesque Olive Groves, the beautiful "Left Field" Grove owned by Colin & Di Hadley. Greeted by sheep quietly grazing the roadside, we were led into a stunning rambling driveway lined with mature olive trees... sentries to this perfect scenic destination.

Left field grove lies on a hillside along Martinborough's Hinakura road, nestled amongst vineyards, a beef & sheep farm & neighbouring olive groves... we discovered a small piece of Paradise in Martinborough.

Colonial Villa in a picturesque setting

Colin & Di Hadley purchased the land as a bare paddock in 1996 when they visited Martinborough & fell in love with the region. The olive trees were planted in 2000 with a number of varieties to see "what worked" in the local climate. These were the early days of olive growing in this region where nobody was sure how the trees would fare. Wairarapa now represents the largest number of growers in Olives New Zealand as the climate here has proved to be perfect for growing olives. You will find many award winning oils in Martinborough......some of the best in the world.

In 2001 Colin & Di transported a run down old villa from Dannevirke (a shearers quarters in it's previous life!) which they lovingly restored into a spectacular homestead. Positioned on the rise of their property, the homestead sits over a vista of olive trees, open paddock & rambling cottage gardens all framed by the beautiful Ponatahi hills as a scenic backdrop. It's postcard perfect, fresh air, beautiful vistas & clean country living.

The Homestead's appealing verandah

Truffle trees at Left Field!

In true entrepreneurial spirit Colin & Di have ventured into diversification of the land by planting truffle inoculated trees!

This is a long term venture which the Hadley's have taken quite seriously, extensively studying the science behind growing truffles & even traveling to the "world centre of truffles" a walled medieval city in France named Richerenches to learn the art of establishing a "Truffière"
Hugo the black labrador (pictured above) is also in training, as the truffles take 7 years to grow, when the time comes Hugo gets to sniff them out as the elusive truffles grow among the tree roots & it's difficult to know whether they have grown successfully until they appear!

This is a fascinating subject, the Hadleys describe themselves as "aspiring truffle growers". "We are members of the Brotherhood of the Knights of the Black Diamond. (Chevaliers, Confrérie du Diamont noir)"

The MV team are super excited to see the fruition of Martinborough grown truffles...watch this space!

* The "truffle trees" are actually Oak & Pine trees whose roots have been specially innoculated with the truffle fungus which aids the tree in absorbing nutrients providing a perfect truffle growing environment!

Beautiful courtyard looking over the property

To sit in the sun with views like this & enjoy the stunning winter weather is no chore, we only wish we could stay longer, spend more time contemplating the world in this idyllic piece of our beautiful region

What better way to spend a sunny winters Sunday in Martinborough!

Left Field Olive Oil

Martinborough is known for producing top quality award winning oils, we are certainly spoilt for choice when it comes to beautiful locally made extra virgin olive oil!

Left Field oils are no exception, we tasted the Tuscan & Barneo blends, finding it difficult to choose which was our favourite!

Barneo - citrus tones, lemon aftertaste
Tuscan - more of a spice, grass & peppery flavour

Both exceptional, we're learning a lot about good quality oils these days. Olive oil can be used in place of butter in any recipe & it's health benefits are widely recognised as part of a healthy Mediterranean style diet.

Stunning Vista

Stay tuned for more on our Olive Grove visits!

Thank you to the Hadley's for the property tour, olive oil tasting, chatting about life & the fascinating insight into truffle growing.

We feel privileged to have visited yet another local producer of quality olive oils, we are steadily becoming more educated on the "good oil" & building up our own pantry supply of Martinborough oils.

Stay tuned for more as we continue our tour of local olive groves & bring you behind the scenes insights into the people & places that make up this unique region we call Martinborough Village.

For more on Left Field Olive Oil, visit their website here:
www.leftfieldolives.co.nz

Trish Higginson & Karina Hailwood
Creative Directors
Martinborough Village
"Let us show you the magic of our town"

Copyright MV 2015
enquiries to karina@martinborough-village.co.nz