These hills are famous for the export quality apples and Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir wines being produced on the clay soils under clear, sunny skies over long summers.
Nelson’s cool autumn temperatures and reasonably regular rainfall produce conditions and ideal terroir that is superb for producing award winning intense fruity olive oils that emulate the better oils from Tuscany in Italy. See our award page to see the consistently high level of quality that Frog's End Estate is maintaining.
Six hectares are planted with six varieties of olives at around 270 trees to the hectare. Frantoio, Leccino and Pendolino from Tuscany, Picual and Manzanillo from Spain and Koroneiki from Greece, approximately 1500 beautiful olive trees in total. Another four hectares are landscaped with lawns, specimen trees and ponds.
Set in the heart of the grove at the end of a long meandering drive are two residences. One takes advantage of the peace, privacy and estuary views to provide a luxury Lodge called “The Olive and The Goose”. The other home also has prime views over the grove and ponds to the Estuary. These two homes compliment each other as they do their idyllic location, on the peninsular amongst the olive trees.
Left: A seagull’s view of Frog’s End Estate looking North over the Waimea Estuary to Mapua, Rabbit Island and the blue sea of Tasman Bay beyond.
The olives are planted on a 6m x 6m grid, just enough room for them to retain their natural shape with judicious pruning. In recent years a summer pruning has been required, to keep the trees down to a manageable size and to allow enough light and air into the tree to stimulate fruiting and good health.
Left: Peter Coubrough and fellow olive growers Andrew Fenemor and Gavin Bawtree are pleased with their days work harvesting “Frantoio” at Frog's End.
The trees are given very little assistance from artificial fertilizers and weed spraying is usually reduced to once a year in the spring. The soil is not overly fertile, ideal for olives and an inter row ley of grass and clover keeps the nitrogen and organic levels in the soil in balance.
The soil is further conditioned with shredded prunings and grass mulch from regular mowings throughout the year.
Right: Peter and Rae Coubrough were inspired by 100 year old olive trees in California. Frog's End trees are now 17 years old (lower right)