The eighth SA Olive Awards has received 100 entries, the most locally produced olive oils to compete in this prestigious competition; representing a 58% increase on last year.
Reni Hildenbrand, a member of the SA Olive tasting panel, judging one of the entries for the 2013 SA Olive Awards.
"This undoubtedly points towards the fact that the industry is consistently expanding in terms of not only number of producers but also of quality, and that olive producers increasingly place a high premium on the results of this competition," says Nick Wilkinson, SA Olive's chairperson. Olive oils are entered and judged in categories for Intense, Medium and Delicate oils.
These medal hopefuls are being tasted and evaluated by a panel of qualified olive oil judges, including Gerrie Duvenage (acting as convenor), Reni Hildenbrand, Louise Rabie, Robert Claasens, Leonard Arangies, Benedetta Lami and Anna-Marie Ferreira. The judges have all completed the official judging course and passed the international threshold test enabling them to detect defects and differentiate between good and excellent oils from among such a large number of entries.
According to Duvenage, convenor of the tasting panel, the standard of entries is high. "We were impressed with the quality of the 28 oils tasted so far. No entries were disqualified and only a small minority scored bronze, while the majority earned gold and silver. Tasting over the next three days will be tough."
The entries are blind tasted and judged according to the quality, complexity and balance in terms of aroma and taste. The standard of local olive oils are generally high and they compare well with the best in the world - a medal received in this competition thus gives consumers the assurance that they can expect to taste the best of the best.
This year's elect olive oils will be announced in 21 August together with the Olive Achiever of the Year. Pieralisi, Alfa Laval and Oliomio TEM sponsor this year's competition.
For more information, go to www.saolive.co.za