Our growers are resilient, earthy artisans with a deep respect and appreciation for the land, their communities and each other. The growers’ precious reward is realised when only the very best fruit is carefully hand- picked and delicately packaged for export.
Our growers are resilient, earthy artisans with a deep respect and appreciation for the land, their communities and each other.
They are hardworking, resourceful and passionate, with generations of knowledge and experience managing and nurturing their trees to produce the finest fruit.
Factors such as crop load, nutrition, irrigation and the light a tree receives are precisely managed. Routine tasks such as pruning, trimming, fertilising and planting follow the seasons.
The growers’ precious reward is realised when only the very best fruit is carefully hand- picked and delicately packaged for export.
From orchard to plate, every careful action culminates in that special moment of anticipation when the customer experiences the exceptionally intense colour, quality and flavours of Central Otago Premium fruit.
Matthew Blanch - Sarita Orchard
Matthew was born in Clyde in Central Otago and started working on orchards in his school holidays in the 1980s. He studied horticulture in the 1990s, went on to work on many more orchards and is now the orchard manager at Sarita Orchard, Cromwell. At Sarita Orchard he grows 15 varieties of cherries concentrating on producing the best quality possible.
“The Cromwell basin is the ideal location for growing cherries with its light soils, cold winters and hot, dry summers”.
Stephen Darling - Darlings' Fruit
New Zealand grows the best fruit in the world. Darlings’ Fruit grow both pip and summer fruit, exporting mostly apples and apricots. In Central’s unique environment produces apples with higher fruit pressure levels. They are crunchier and denser. Our frost-fighting season has an upside – it yields amazing eating quality.
“It’s easy enough to deliver our premium fruit to the orchard gate, but to deliver it to the other side of world well, that’s a different story. “
Sid Birtles - Remarkable Orchards
Remarkable Orchards sit on a sun-drenched terrace 50 metres above the Clutha River, New Zealand’s largest flowing river. It is an ideal aspect with “boney” soil that grows fantastic stone fruit – apricots, cherries, nectarines and peaches along with apples.
“With a diversity of fruit, it makes for a busy orchard and a busy seasonal calendar. As one task finishes, we shift our attention to the next.”
Tim Jones - 45 South
45 South exclusively grow cherries and export 80% of the crop. The cherry is picked and packed within the day and is in the market less than 24 hours later. When you open the lid on a box, the first thing you notice is the sheen of the large, mahogany coloured fruit and their thick green stems. And that’s before you even experience the flavour and crunch that ultimately make Central Otago’s cherries so desirable.
“Growing cherries is both a science and an art. It takes a whole lot of hard work. Eleven months of the year goes into growing a piece of fruit. Then we have one month of madness, while we harvest.”
Gary Bennetts - Teviot Orchard Company
Gary is a fifth generation fruit grower in the Roxburgh Valley where he owns the Teviot Orchard Company, a business originally established by his grandfather in 1916. His orchard extends from the Clutha River banks to the Teviot foothills, where he produces and exports the most southerly-grown cherries in New Zealand and possibly the world. This southern climate of extremes adds flavour and texture to the fruit.
“My ancestors came looking for gold and settled on this land, facing the challenges of establishing orchards and transporting fruit to market some 160 kilometres away.
We now face similar challenges, marketing fruit from our pristine valley to the world; as the world has now become our back door.”
Simon Webb - Webb's Fruit Orchard
It is over 100 years since Simon’s grandfather planted the first fruit trees on the Webb’s Fruit Orchard in Cromwell.
The orchard is 25 hectares in size and grows nectarines, apricots, apples and peaches. It has a magic wee microclimate, with rich fertile soil and the shelter from the nearby hill. It can get pretty hot in summer.
“Keeping the family tradition, I always knew I’d be a fruit grower.”