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Gold medal double for orchard’s juice, limes

A Gisborne orchard is in the running for supreme honours after winning two gold medals in the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards.

Over 300 products were entered by 126 producers from all over New Zealand and 69 gold, 91 silver and 63 bronze medals were awarded.

Gisborne's Hill Road Orchard, owned by Cath and Matt at Hill Road Orchard picked up two gold medals.

“This year we entered two products — one in the Drink category and one in the Earth category,” the couple said.

Hill Orchard entered its “100 percent pure, fresh Hill Road Orange Juice that we have been producing from our orchard in Ormond for over 10 years now, and is well known in cafes, restaurants, and other outlets around Gisborne.

“It's also a permanent fixture at the Gisborne Farmers' Market every Saturday morning.

“We made some fresh juice on the Wednesday and couriered it up to Auckland in time for judging on Saturday April 17.

“It went down well.

“We also entered a new product (in the Earth category), our Hill Road Finger Limes,” the couple said.

“These little fruit are making waves in culinary circles, with chefs wanting to use and experiment with them.

“Finger limes are an Australian native citrus, originating in Queensland but now grown all over Australia.

“We are in our third year of production at Hill Road Orchard, and working with some other local growers, we aim to have a consistent year round supply going forward.”

“The fruit are small and cylindrical, and rather than segments, as with traditional citrus, they have small beads of juice that pop in your mouth. The texture and flavour are very unique. They're often called citrus caviar.

“Hill Road supplies restaurants in Wellington, Queenstown, Auckland and Christchurch, as well as having them available at the farmers' market when we have enough.

The couple said the judges also scored them well for their sustainability, brand story and marketing.

All gold medal winners are in contention for the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards supreme champion, category champion and special awards to be announced on Tuesday 22 June 2021.

“We are heading to Auckland for that evening.”

FROM THE JUICEr TO THE JUDGES: Hill Rd Orchard owners Cath and Matt Carter with their gold medal-winning orange juice and finger limes. Fresh juice was couriered to Auckland in time for judging. Picture by Liam Clayton

  1. Benny Seetaram, USA says:

    Excellent.

    Is anyone producing large quantities of the Finger Lime oil or Juice concentrate?
    I would be interested, for use in flavor development, for the food and beverage industry.
    I’m Benny Seetaram
    VP sales
    Flavor Materials Int’l
    10 Engelhard ave
    Avenel, New Jersey 07001
    732 718 0808