Tasting of olive oil, like wine, is a sensory experience that all foodies should try at least once. The aromas of freshly cut grass and the bitterness (similar to the taste of walnuts) can be detected on the tongue, are only a few of the many different tasting notes one could detect from an olive oil. There are 16 sensory classes and 72 different terms used to describe the complex range of aromas and tastes found in Extra Virgin olive oil.
In the Western Cape we are very lucky to have a good amount of estates and farms that produce their own olive oil and offer guests the opportunity to taste their oils in a stunning setting.
We have picked our top five estates, where you can enjoy an olive oil tasting experience set in the most beautiful surroundings and breathtaking views.
Morgenster Wine & Olive Estate is situated in Somerset West, 35 minutes from Cape Town. It is a thriving olive and wine farm dating back to 1711, producing internationally acclaimed Bordeaux-style wines and extra virgin olive oil of award winning standards.
Visitors to the Estate’s stylish Revel Fox designed tasting room, which is set against the Schaapenberg and overlooks a reed lined dam and the Helderberg, can enjoy a wine and olive tasting experience. Guests are treated to a tasting of five olive oils, balsamic vinegar, olive pastes and olives while relaxing in a most tranquil setting.
For more information on tasting visit Morgenster’s website.
For those of you that have visited this estate, you will understand why it’s on our top 5 list. This estate is famous for its enormous and amazing food garden which not only serves as a scenic route to walk or bike around, but also supplies the equally impressive restaurant called Babel.
Babylonstoren estate has an array of activities, from their garden tours to relaxing at their spa, there’s something for everyone but it is their olive oil tasting that we would suggest you don’t miss. They offer single variety olive oil tastings as an option when doing a wine tasting. This is a very interesting thing to do and helps one understand the flavours of the different varieties of olives used in oils.
Visit Babylonstoren’s website for more information.
At the top of Helshoogte pass, with spectacular views of Cape Town and Franschoek, lies Tokara Estate. At the Olive Shed, guests can taste, five olive oils, including their award winning Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Leccino, Frantoio, Mission and Multi Varietal, each displaying a unique character with regard to fruitiness, intensity and flavour. The olive oil tasting can also be done alongside their wine tastings, both of which are free, while looking out over the mountains and the estate itself. In winter their wine tasting room is the coziest place in the Cape. Warm up next to their enormous fireplace with your olive oil tasting.
For more information on tasting visit Tokara’s webpage.
Vergenoegd wine estate has recently become an exciting and unique destination on the Stellenbosch wine route. Apart from the usual wine tasting offering, the estate is giving visitors the opportunity to try their hand at blending. The blending workshops are not just for wine blending, but also for tea blending, coffee blending and of course our personal favourite, an olive oil blending.
Participants can opt to purchase a personalised bottle of their favourite blend. It is blended, bottled and labelled with a personalised label while you wait.
For more information on the blending experience click here.
For the avid olive oil enthusiast, the olive tasting room at Oakhurst in Tulbagh is an experience not to be missed. This beautiful tasting centre, launched in November 2015, offers visitors a unique olive oil tasting experience, with a very informative talk and explanation on how the olive oil is grown and produced.
“A tasting centre this beautiful and substantial will be of benefit to all in Tulbagh as it hopefully draws people to the area. The centre will also be used for events and cooking demonstrations.”
For more information visit the Oakhurst website.
Let us know in the comments section below if you have any other favourite olive oil tasting destinations.