Gabriëlskloof Estate, a wine and olive jewel of the Overberg, has released its newest vintage 2015 Estate Extra Virgin Oil – a true expression of its idyllic Cape South Coast terroir crafted from a meticulous selection of hand-harvested groves on this family-owned farm.
Gabriëlskloof’s award-winning ‘liquid gold’ exudes purity and multiple layers of intense flavour, the result of blending oils from five different varieties grown, extracted, blended and bottled on the estate on the outskirts of Bot River.
“Thriving on sunny slopes, our selection of Coratina, Frantoio, Leccino and two hybrid varieties FS17 and CV177 benefit from a favourable, cool Mediterranean climate and bestow upon small, flavour-intense fruit. Our 2015 release exemplifies the perfect balance of intense fruit, pungency, and bitterness,” explains Barry Anderson, Gabriëlskloof General Manager.
In 2001 Barry passed on his passion about the potential for the land to Gabriëlskloof proprietor, Bernhard Heyns, and after carefully matching cultivars with the terroir, the first olive trees were planted in 2002. Today the estate has 19 hectares planted with olives.
Barry believes that the combination of Italian trees and expertise, an exceptional South African terroir and a rigid approach to quality at every stage of production has enabled Gabriëlskloof to achieve its consistent level of excellence over the past six years.
The oil has clinched an enviable Gold medal at the annual SA Olive Awards for the past four years and in 2013 Gabriëlskloof’s one and only Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil was hailed one of the ABSA Top 5 olive oils in the country by the South African Olive Oil Association. This highly contested competition is an extension of the annual SA Olive Awards and last year Gabriëlskloof featured amongst the Top 10 nominees.
More recently the estate won the 2014 Marco Zinchella Award in the Medium Olive Oil Category in this prestigious South African competition, which is sponsored by the olive press manufacturer, Oliomio.
The olives are picked by hand into small crates, sorted and washed before going into a malaxer with a short malaxing time. It is then transferred to a decanter which separates the olive oil from the pomace. Barry and his team then settle the oil for 24 hours, filter it once and store it at 18°C in stainless steel tanks for one month, before it is blended. The end result is a mélange of the best combination of oils from that specific vintage.
The 2015 Gabriëlskloof Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a fresh, well-balanced and intense style oil. The nose is defined and elegant, rich in nuances of fresh cut grass, green olives, artichoke and green tomatoes. Its taste is intense with a pleasant bitter aftertaste and a lasting peppery sensation.
“Choosing your favourite cold-pressed olive oil can be similar to selecting a wine. The flavour of olive oils varies along with intensity. A particular oil may be more suited for a particular dish. Fortunately we are spoiled for choice with so many excellent quality oils coming out of the Western Cape,” shares Barry.
A drizzle of 2015 Gabriëlskloof Estate Virgin Olive Oil will enhance an endless array of appetizers, salads and entrées. Brush this elegant oil over fresh figs wrapped in prosciutto or use it as a base for salad dressings. It also works it magic with baked porcini mushrooms, asparagus soup and roast poultry or lamb dishes.
Gabriëlskloof Estate Virgin Olive Oil is available for purchase directly from the estate’s tasting room and deli (which also features other Gabriëlskloof olive products) and at boutique food stores. The 500ml bottle is now also available at Checkers, nationwide.
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