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Wynyard Estate Saffron Boosts Production Of World’s Most Expensive Spice Using New Method

new method increased saffron corm production 39% above standard methods

Wynyard Estate Saffron, the premium grade one Saffron producer based in Central Otago, announced it has developed a new process to increase production of the World’s most expensive spice by 39% above standard methods.  Premium grade Saffron starts with the corm, the underground structure of Saffron. Big corms and more of them means more flowers, which in turn produced more Saffron, the red stigma of the flower. Taking five years to develop, the driver for the development was to place the business in a position to significantly increase their saffron production naturally without importing corms grown in overseas markets.


“We’ve worked hard to understand and identify what makes our Saffron tick, both botanically and environmentally”, Dr. Graham Strong, co-owner of Wynyard Estate Saffron said. “We’re now producing corms that are up to 69 grams in weight. To put that in perspective, in other parts of the world, corms weighing 20 grams or more are considered large.”


A Saffron corm usually produces about 2-6 daughter corms on average each season, but under Wynyard Estate Saffron’s new technique corms produce 6-11 daughter corms on average. Resulting in significantly higher yields for the same input.


Citing commercial confidentiality regarding the specific details of the new production technique, Dr. Strong said, “It’s significant when you consider that Saffron of our quality fetches $25,000 - $30,000 per kilo. Dr. Strong went further to say that, “Not all Saffron is created equal, saffron is the most adulterated spice in the world. Like a premium wine, only those who really take the time to understand it can coax it to its full potential and produce premium grade Saffron.”


The US Food Fraud Database showed that there are over 109 different ways that Saffron has been reported as being adulterated. When buying Saffron, purchasers should look for the quality standard ISO 3632 grading on the packaging. This standard outlines the colour, flavor and aroma characteristics of Saffron and defines Saffron Grades I, II and III respectively.


About Wynyard Estate Saffron

Wynyard Estate Saffron produces premium grade 1 Saffron under the strict ISO 3632 requirements for saffron quality. Dr Graham Strong holds a Ph.D from the University of Otago and undertook Postdoctoral research at the University of California Davis, the no:1 ranked  Agricultural University in the world. A corm is the underground plant stem of Crocus sativas (saffron).


Media Contact

If you would like more information -


Dr. Graham Strong

Phone: 027 349 9863

Wynyard Estate Saffron

29 Frames Lane;

RD 2 Roxburgh 9572

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