2021 SA Olive Awards – The Year to Celebrate Local

Words: Crush

2021 has been the year to celebrate local — local business, local farmers and local produce. The 2021 SA Olive Awards, that took place on September 9th, did just that by heroing local olive producers and farmers for their exceptional Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Too often are we distracted by imported products, oftentimes mass produced and cheaper, at the expense of high-quality, local produce. South African olive oil is some of the best in the world and the 2021 SA Olive Awards acknowledges local producers’ commitment and strive for excellence that characterises the local olive oil industry.

After 2020’s Zoom awards, all were very happy to gather, in person, at Webersburg Wine Estate to commend and celebrate the 113 entries for Extra Virgin Olive Oil from 46 farmers and producers.

Competition Criteria & Judging

All 113 EVOOs were rigorously and professionally assessed and judged during an extensive five-day blind tasting by professional taster and Panel Leader, Aldo Mazzini from Italy, and five local tasters and judges – Reni Hildenbrand, Jackie Loubser, Benedetta Lami, Marlene Loubser and Michelle Kruger.

Each olive oil entry was conscientiously explored and assessed for the complexities of aroma and flavour and the balance of fruity, bitter and pungent attributes, in the search for the very best of South African Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO).

“I can say that during the competition we found a good percentage of very high quality oils with complexity, harmony and character. These are oils that I like to compare to the great paintings of the Impressionists: EVOOs with great colours able to arouse emotions and colour the dishes of any table in the world,” commented Panel Leader, Aldo Mazzini.

The awards were divided into three categories — delicate, medium and intense — with each category garnering gold, silver and bronze awards.

2021 SA Olive Award Winners

Delicate

Gold Medal Winners
Kleinbergskloof Estate Blend, Olive Boutique Frantoio, Willow Creek Nuy Valley EVOO

Silver Medal Winners
Cederberg Olives Frantoi, De Rustica Collection: Arbequina, De Rustica Estate Delicate, Kleinbergskloof Frantoio, Lapithos Pure, Lions Creek Arbequina EVOO, Mont Rouge Owners Reserve, Mount Ceder EVOO, Rio Largo Gold, Willow Creek Mission EVOO

Bronze Medal Winners
Boschendal Olive Oil, Het Bos Olives, Mardouw XXV Delicate, Oakhurst Delicate, Vigne d’Or Blend

Medium

Gold Medal Winners
De Rustica Collection: Frantoio, De Rustica Estate Medium, Galenia Estate – Estate Blend, Kadimah Olive Estate Artois Olive Oil SANTÉ, Kamerkloof Studtis Estate Kamerkloof, Lapithos Family Reserve, Lions Creek Karoo Blend EVOO, Mardouw Premium Medium, Morgenster EVOO, Morgenster WW EVOO, Namaqua Olives & Olive Oil EVOO (blue tube), Oudewerfskloof Favioso, PG Fruit Pai Parakore EVOO, Porterville Andante Intenso, Rio Largo Black Label, Serrado EVOO, Tokara Estate EVOO, Tokara Premium EVOO, Wildekrans Endless EVOO, Wildekrans Field Blend EVOO, Zoetigheyd Frantoio

Silver Medal Winners
Babylonstoren EVOO Coratina, De Hut EVOO Frantoio, Duikersdrift Frantoio, Duikersdrift Frantoio/Coratina Blend, Galenia Estate – Directors Blend, Galenia Estate – Premium Directors, Kadimah Olive Estate Artois Olive Oil LUD, Kleinbergskloof Family Reserve, Kleinood De Boerin, Kredouw Olive Estate Favolosa, Lions Creek Favolosa EVOO, Lions Creek Picual EVOO, Mont Rouge Assegaay Reserve, Mont Rouge Karoo Reserve, Morgenster Don Carlo, Namaqua Olives & Olive Oil EVOO, Nomu Brands EVOO, Oakhurst Special Reserve, Olyfberg Blend, Oudewerfskloof Olifantsbos, Oudewerfskloof Ouwerfskloof, PG Fruit EVOO, Porterville Andante Mezzo, Prince Albert Karoo Blend, Tokara Frantoio EVOO, Tokara Mission EVOO, Tokara Multi-varietal EVOO, Vigne d’Or Coratina, Wildekrans Keer Weer EVOO, Willow Creek Estate Blend EVOO, Willow Creek Faithful to Nature EVOO

Bronze Medal Winners
Anysbos Olywe, Chaloner Mountain Oil EVOO, Het Vlock Casteel Vlok Blend, Kredouw Olive Estate Frantoio, Lions Creek Don Carlo EVOO, Namaqua Olives & Olive Oil EVOO Frantoio Limited Release, Olive Boutique Frantoio-Coratina, Olyfberg Leccino, Petra Olives Olive Oil, Riverbend EVOO Mission, The Greenleaf Olive Company Food Lovers, The Greenleaf Olive Company Spar Authentic, Zoetigheyd Farm Fresh

Intense

Gold Medal Winners
De Rustica Collection: Coratina , De Rustica Estate Intense, Mardouw XXV Intense, Porterville Andante Forte, Rio Largo Premium, Willow Creek Directors Reserve EVOO

Silver Medal Winners
De Hut EVOO Coratina, Mont Rouge 33° South, Olive Boutique Coratina-Leccino, The Greenleaf Olive Company Forage & Feast, Willow Creek Coratina EVOO, Willow Creek Frantoio EVOO

Bronze Medal Winners
Marbrin Directors Reserve Intense EVOO, Oakhurst Intense, The Greenleaf Olive Company St Sebastian, Vigne d’Or Grande Reserve

SA Olive’s CTC Seal of Approval

SA Olive Manager, Vittoria Jooste, said that SA Olive’s Commitment to Compliance (CTC) scheme enables producers to benchmark their newly-harvested EVOOs within a quality framework that is modelled on international standards. Hence for consumers, the CTC seal is an assurance of the quality of local EVOO. When shopping for local olive oils, always look for the CTC seal as it ensures a high quality product.

How to Hero EVOO

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is an incredibly versatile fat to use in cooking all dishes, from starters to dessert. We’ve put together this delicious recipe of an Olive Oil & Herb Crusted Loaf with Chunky Olive & Feta Dip to show you how to really make olive oil the highlight of a dish.

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