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SA's 2017 Absa Top 10 olive oils crowned

The Absa Top 10 Olive Oil competition saw a panel of olive oil experts evaluate close to 90 South African olive oils from the 2017 harvest, via a strict and controlled tasting, culminating in the recognition of 10 exceptional extra virgin olive oils. The Absa Top 10 olive oils were selected from the 19 SA Olive gold seal award winners deemed worthy of the highest accolade in the country.

From left to right. Back: Johann van der Watt (Absa), Dial Steyn (Kransfontein Estate), Danie Goosen (Wildekrans Wine Estate), Joop Steenkamp (De Rustica Estate), Pieter Vorster (Mount Ceder Olives), Chef Benny Masekwameng (MC)<br><br>Front: Julian De Freitas (Serrado), Clive Heymans (Marbrin Farm), Nick Wilkinson (Rio Largo Estate), Jan Hendrik Basson (Porterville Olives), Nico Loubser (Morgenster Estate), Chris van Niekerk (Mardouw Olive Estate)
From left to right. Back: Johann van der Watt (Absa), Dial Steyn (Kransfontein Estate), Danie Goosen (Wildekrans Wine Estate), Joop Steenkamp (De Rustica Estate), Pieter Vorster (Mount Ceder Olives), Chef Benny Masekwameng (MC)

Front: Julian De Freitas (Serrado), Clive Heymans (Marbrin Farm), Nick Wilkinson (Rio Largo Estate), Jan Hendrik Basson (Porterville Olives), Nico Loubser (Morgenster Estate), Chris van Niekerk (Mardouw Olive Estate)

The top ten olive oils for 2017 according to the categories of flavour intensity are:


Delicate:


Mount Ceder - EVOO
Rio Largo - Gold EVOO

Medium:


Serrado - EVOO
Wildekrans - Keerweer EVOO

Intense:


Morgenster - EVOO
Porterville Olives - Andante Intenso
De Rustica Estate - Estate Collection Coratina
Mardouw - Premium XXV Intense
Marbrin Olive Growers - Directors Reserve
Kransfontein - Coratina EVOO

The 2017 Absa Top 10
The 2017 Absa Top 10

Distinguishing superb olive oil from good olive oil


This year’s panel of judges included Reni Hildenbrand, Benedetta Lami and Linda Costa – local olive oil experts who regularly serve on international judging panels – and SA Olive tasting members, Birgitta Hofmeyr and Hazel Henman. Sue Langstaff, an international olive oil expert and sensory scientist from California was the panel leader. “What distinguishes a superb from a good olive oil? It's perfect levels of balance, complexity, harmony and freshness. And these ten olive oils do not disappoint,” explains Langstaff.

“Absa is extremely proud to be associated with this locally-produced product through its sponsorship of the annual Top 10 Olive Oil Awards,” says John Tshabalala, managing executive Absa Western Cape. “Our decision to increase the number of awards from 5 to 10 reflects our confidence in the exceptional quality of South African olive oil.”



The consumption of olive oil in South Africa has grown from two million litres in 2000 to seven million litres in 2015. “ Together with SA Olive, Absa wishes to continue to grow awareness and popularity of South African olive oils in order to develop the local olive oil industry even further,” adds Tshabalala.

According to SA Olive chairperson, Nick Wilkinson, South African olive oil producers produce world-class olive oils that continuously receive acclaim in competitions across the world. “The SA Olive Awards which culminate in the announcement of the prestigious Absa Top 10 give local consumers a taste of the best of the best. SA Olive provides assurance that these competitions maintain international standards and thus gives consumers the confidence that buying SAO approved olive oils is the wise choice.”

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