The heavy rain and strong winds during the 1916 Springtime flowering took a real toll on Azzuro's olive groves. While we had really good inflorescence (the budding of the fruit prior to flowering), the last thins we needed was the combination of those weather conditions when the flowers were opening.
This is the time when the flower buds will turn into olives as long as the pollination occurs. Olives are pollinated by wind, and our coastal groves get plenty of that on Waiheke. They are not pollinated by bees, which we have always been thankful for, particularly when bees are struggling to survive these days. But that's another story.
An inspection of our groves while we carried out foliar spraying just prior to the harvest season, indicated that we were going to get a poor fruit set in Azzuro's groves. And yet in most of the groves where we have management contracts there was good fruit set. They were in different aspects that gave them protection and so hadn't been hammered like our trees. So we decided to pick those groves first to at least get enough olive oil to satisfy the demand that we knew would be there.
By the time we came to pick Azzuro's trees it was obvious that the yield was going to be way down. Normally they would yield 7 to 8 tonnes but alas the yield ended up at zero. This has meant that we could only produce Tuscan Blend and Azzuro Blend for the 2017 vintage. There wasn't enough Koroneiki or Picual to produce those varietals. Also we had to use all the Leccino and Pendolino in our Tuscan and Azzuro Blends so no Early Harvest 2017.