The cream of the South African extra virgin olive oil crop was unveiled at the Absa Top 5 Olive Oil Awards today (Wednesday, 14th October) at Café Bon Bon in Franschhoek. Andante, De Boerin, Kransfontein and Mulderbosch were recognised as the winning producers, edging out an impressive line-up of leading olive oil names for the coveted Top 5 positions.
The Absa Top 5 accolades were awarded to: Andante Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Medium) and Andante Intenso Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Intense) by Porterville Olives, De Boerin Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Medium), Kransfontein Coratina Olive Oil (Intense) and Mulderbosch Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Intense).
The runners-up are: De Rustica Mountain Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Medium), Mont Rouge Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Medium), Rio Largo Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Delicate), Tokara Mission Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Delicate) and Tokara Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Intense).
SA Olive and Absa instituted the Top 5 competition in 2013 as an extension to the annual SA Olive Awards. The 20 top performers are eligible to make the Top 5 cut – no mean feat when considering that the balance of fruitiness, bitterness and spiciness must all be in harmony. Ten finalists are selected from this pool and narrowed down to the Top 5. The Absa Top 5 olive oils were selected from the ranks of the SA Olive Awards 2015 top achievers by a revered panel of olive oil savants.
The competition provides a platform for the South African olive oil industry to showcase its very finest. South African oils are regularly recognised on a global stage for their quality and distinctiveness, and competitions like the Absa Top 5 play a crucial role in educating local consumers about the industry and its diverse spectrum of superior, world-class products. Willie Zastron, Provincial Head of Business Banking in the Western Cape states:
I would like to congratulate all the participants and winners in this year’s Absa Top 5 Olive Awards. We wish all the finalists great success on their olive oil making-journey and hope they continue to prosper. Absa is proud to support the olive oil industry and to be associated with this prestigious competition, which provides producers an incentive to consistently manufacture quality olive oils. We believe that recognising industry players through competitions such as these, can go a long way to promote competitiveness. More importantly, this industry is labour-intensive, which means it creates much-needed jobs in an industry that is also growing in stature internationally.
The Top 5 tasting panel led by Mauro Amelio, an accredited panel leader and international olive oil expert from the National Association of Olive Oil Tasters (ONAOO) in Italy, also includes South African industry experts Gerrie Duvenage, Kelly White, Leonard Arangies, Louise Rabie, Reni Hildenbrand, Robert Claasens and Benedetta Lami. These local judges have all completed an official judging course and passed the international threshold test.