Business Type: Organic Honey
Phone: 03 319 6860
Key Contact Name: Nick Parkinson
Key Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kaikoura continues to grow its presence in the niche food market and with the latest venture steeped in family history; it should prove a hit with tourists too.
Mountainhoney is based south of Kaikoura at the Hislop family's Peketa property and has been producing top quality honey for more than 50 years and certified organic honey since 2002.
Now it has become the only certified organic meadery in the country and owner Nick Parkinson said he was excited with the first season's results from two 220 litre casks of honey mead.
The family knows their stuff, having been honey connoisseurs for many years, and they are keen to produce the best tasting mead possible.
Mead is one of the oldest beverages in the world and in many cultures predates grape wine. Queen Elizabeth I had her own royal recipe and mead maker! There are three simple ingredients; honey, water and yeast. But the secret to great mead is in the honey itself and the skill of the mead maker to nurture the sweet liquid through to perfection.
The quality of honey is the key - Parkinson says borage honey is better suited to mead than manuka which can be too strong in flavour. There is the temptation for NZ mead makers to rely on bush honeys and manuka because of the perceived benefits of antibacterial properties. This does not translate well into mead. The best traditional meads tend to be light, flavoursome honey’s such as clover and borage - but it is the family's history in organics which really completes the story.
In the mid-1950s, Archie Hislop bought a six-hectare property at Peketa, where he set up a community, producing organic vegetables and soon branching out into beekeeping and flour milling, which was to be the beginning of the organic Hislops Stone-ground Flour. Archie was a real pioneer in the early organics scene long before it became fashionable. This attitude was carried on by his brother Ivan Hislop who, at 89 years old is still working bees. Ivan’s wife Ella has a famed vegetable garden all grown on organic principles.