South Africa’s finest extra virgin olive oils for 2015 were announced at the SA Olive Awards last night (3 September) at Ashanti Estate. SA Olive chairman Nick Wilkinson revealed the top achievers during a gala dinner which also commemorated a decade of this authoritative competition.
A total of 19 premium extra virgin olive oils received gold medals in three categories – 3 for Delicate, 10 for Medium and 6 for Intense style oils.
The trio of gold medal winners in the Delicate category are: De Rustica Delicate Press, Rio Largo Delicato and Tokara Mission Delicate EVOO.
Top honours in the Medium category went to Babylonstoren EVOO, De Boerin EVOO, De Rustica Mountain Press, De Rustica Frantoio Press, Kransfontein Frantoio Olive Oil, Lettaskraal EVOO, Marbrin Olive Growers Mild, Mont Rouge Olives, Porterville Olives Andante Mezzo and Wildekrans EVOO Field Blend Selection.
The Intense category yielded 6 gold medallists: Kransfontein Coratina Olive Oil, Mulderbosch EVOO, Pick ‘n Pay Finest SA EVOO, Porterville Olives Andante Intenso, Tokara Premium EVOO and Willow Creek Directors Reserve.
De Rustica garnered the most gold medals (3), followed by Kransfontein, Porterville and Tokara (2 each). Babylonstoren, De Boerin, Lettaskraal, Marbrin, Mont Rouge, Mulderbosch, Pick ‘n Pay, Rio Largo, Wildekrans and Willow Creek received 1 gold medal each.
The competition attracted 91 entries this year which vied for Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. In addition to the 19 gold medals, 60 Silver and 10 Bronze medals were awarded.
A team of professional tasters meticulously scrutinized the medal contenders one-by-one according to quality, complexity and balance in terms of aroma and taste during a four-day blind tasting.
The esteemed judge’s panel comprised: International Olive Oil Council (IOC) accredited panel leader Mauro Amelio from the National Association for Olive Oil Tasters (ONAOO) in Italy plus local olive oil experts Gerrie Duvenage, Kelly White, Leonard Arangies, Louise Rabie, Reni Hildenbrand, Robert Claasens, Benedetta Lami and Anne-Marie Ferreira.
ABSA Olive Achiever of the Year
The annual Absa Olive Achiever of the Year trophy was awarded to Vittoria Jooste and Leonard Arangies this year in recognition for their significant contribution to the development of the industry.
The SA Olive Awards are generously sponsored by Absa, Oliomio TEM and Pieralisi.
Full results are available here.
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