We were invited to attend this year’s Absa Top 5 Olive Oil Awards, held at Tokara Wine Estate in Stellenbosch on Tuesday 27th September.
On arrival we were treated to champagne and an exceptional spread of charcuterie and cheeses at Tokara’s delicatessen. A table with the ten nominated olive oils and tasting glasses was set out for guests to help themselves to sample the oils. This was a great way to familiarise ourselves with each of the olive oils and we were able to compare the different flavours of the blends.
For those of us who are not olive producers or familiar with the blending process, it might have been nice to have tasting notes for each of the oils from the producers.
The top ten contenders were: Andante EVOO, Gabriëlskloof EVOO, Greenleaf EVOO, Kransfontein Coratina EVOO, Marbrin Olive Growers Directors Reserve EVOO, Marbrin Olive Growers Intense EVOO, Marbrin Olive Growers Medium EVOO, River Press EVOO, Spar Authentic EVOO and Willow Creek Directors’ Reserve EVOO.
Unfortunately we had to skip the stroll through Tokara’s olive groves to the restaurant due to rain, on a good day this would be a treat with breathtaking views.
We moved into Tokara’s main restaurant for the speeches and announcement of the Absa Top 5 winners. During the three course lunch, which cleverly incorporated olive oil into each dish, representatives of the SA Olive Association, judges, and Absa Provincial Managing Executive, Doug Walker, spoke about what this particular award means for the South African olive industry.
The coveted Absa Top 5 accolades were awarded to: Gabriëlskloof EVOO, Greenleaf EVOO, Kransfontein Coratina EVOO, Marbrin Olive Growers Intense EVOO and Willow Creek Directors’ Reserve EVOO.
Overall the event was enjoyable and insightful. An excellent location to match the prestige of this award. We look forward to next year’s Absa Top 5 Awards.
In its fourth year, the Absa Top 5 Award has become a highly coveted accolade. It is an extension of the annual SA Olive Awards. The top performers, selected from the ranks of the highest-scoring SA Olive Awards medal winners, are eligible to make the Top 5 cut. Only ten finalists are selected from this pool by a team of respected tasters and narrowed down to the Top 5.
The competition allows for South African olive oil producers to showcase their very finest products and encourages the success of our local olive oil industry. 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 superior, world-class products.