SA Olive and Absa instituted the Top 5 competition in 2013 as an extension to the annual SA Olive Awards. The Absa Top 5 olive oils were selected from the ranks of this year’s SA Olive Awards top achievers by a revered panel of olive oil experts.
The competition thus provides a platform for the South African olive oil industry to showcase its very finest. South African oils are regularly recognised around the world for their quality and distinctiveness, and competitions like the Absa Top 5 play a pivotal role in educating local consumers about the industry and its diverse spectrum of products. According to Willie Zastron, Absa Provincial Head for Business Banking in the Western Cape, the Absa Top 5 aims to shine the spotlight on the superlative quality of these oils, thus increasing awareness and helping consumers to appreciate SA olive oil for the national treasure it has become.
PROFILE OF FINALISTS OF THE ABSA TOP 5 COMPETITION 2014
Groote Vallei Olive Estate
Situated in the tranquil Tulbagh Valley is the beautiful Groote Vallei Farm. It is surrounded by majestic mountain scenery and The Boontjies River runs through it.
John and Fi Acland invite you to visit any time for a tour of the olive press as well as a taste of their award winning olive oil.
Oil: Groote Vallei Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The combination of the wind, sun and earth and of the friendly Western Cape climate gives our olive oil a distinctive character. After being harvested by hand at the proper stage of ripeness and maturity, our olives are crushed and the extra virgin oil is extracted on the farm within 24 hours of picking. The process of “cold extraction” maintains the fresh olive’s delicate cut-grass and peppery flavour and aroma.
Rio Largo Olive Estate
RIO LARGO OLIVE ESTATE, an award winning estate, is situated in the Scherpenheuwel valley between Worcester and Robertson on the southern banks of the Breede River. Owned by Nick and Brenda Wilkinson, it comprises olive orchards, vines, an olive specific nursery and a state of the art OLIOMIO olive processing and bottling plant. The terroir, with water on demand from the Breede River and Brandvlei Irrigation System, is perfect for olive growing with high sunshine hours, cold winters and minimal disease. Summer daytime temperatures can be high but the afternoon south easterly breezes from Cape Agulhas, the “wind doctor” in local parlance, brings relief and cool nights. Add superior Italian cultivars, state of the art processing facilities, ideal storage facilities and owner driven passion to continually strive for better and you have a winning recipe. Attention to detail is not negotiable and the competitive spirit to compete with the best of the best lives with us daily.
Oil: Rio Largo Gold Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fruity with almonds and herbs, a hint of artichokes, lightly bitter and a lingering spiciness.
Oil: Rio Largo Premium Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Grassy nose, great fruit on the palate with a very nice tactile perception, good bitter and lasting pepperiness – reminiscent of something gorgeous – creamed spinach and rocket leaves.
Willow Creek Olive Estate
The terroir of the Nuy Valley between Worcester and Robertson in the Western Cape, is perfectly suited for the cultivation of olives. Beneath Rabie mountain Willow Creek’s trees thrive in lime rich soil while a climate of extremes improve the flavour profiles of the olives. Everyone partaking in the yearly cycle of tending the groves and extracting the oil takes pride in the end product: extra virgin olive oil which captures the goodness of the Nuy Valley.
Oil: Willow Creek Estate Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Willow Creek’s Estate Blend is an extra virgin with verdant aromas of freshly cut grass and herbs. On the palate the complexity deepens with the flavour of artichokes while the balanced bitterness and pungency give body to the oil. Being of medium intensity, it is a versatile all-rounder olive oil which will either complement the subtle flavours of salads and vegetables or enhance the taste of pasta dishes, soup, chicken and red meat.
Morgenster Wine & Olive Estate in Somerset West, 35 minutes from Cape Town, is at the gateway to the Western Cape wine-growing region. It is a thriving olive and wine farm dating back to 1711, producing internationally acclaimed Bordeaux-style wines and extra virgin olive oil of astounding quality
The Morning Star within a scallop shell as depicted on the front gable of Morgenster’s beautiful manor house, the private home of owner Giulio Bertrand, is the Estate’s signature and features on the labels of its fine wines and olive products.
Oil: Morgenster Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The extra virgin oil in this bottle is the result of carefully selecting and blending the best Italian cultivars, analysed and tested for optimum quality. Blending enhances flavour, aroma, colour and consistency. The possible sediment at the bottom of the bottle is proof of the genuineness of this product. A special top guarantee that the bottle cannot be refilled with an inferior product.