The 2017 ABSA TOP 10 Olive Oils Medium Category Winners & The Perfect Recipe

Words: Crush

The 2017 ABSA Top 10 awards were announced in September 2017 with 10 worthy winners taking the top honours. The awards are divided into 3 categories – delicate, medium and intense and oils are awarded accordingly.  This year’s top ABSA Top 10 oils included 2 delicate oils, 2 medium oils and 6 intense oils and each one is made by a top local producer. Congratulations to the winners of the ABSA TOP 10 Olive Oils Medium Category – Wildekrans and Serrado.

ABSA-top-10-Olive Oils

Medium intensity olive oils are less robust than their intense category counterparts but not as mild as delicate oils. They are a great choice for a palate that prefers some pepperiness but not too much pungency. They are very versatile oils and will appeal to most. See our recipe below for our recipe.

The ABSA TOP 10 Olive Oils Medium Category Winners


Dating back to 1864, the farm was formerly known as ‘Keerweer’ or ‘Keerweder’. The history of the farm before this date appears to have been part of the farm Rooiheuval, which was part of an original grant dating back to the early 18th century. Today Wildekrans fills a prominent space in this wonderful, fertile landscape discovered hundreds of years ago by the early settlers of the Cape, who were seeking agricultural produce for its inhabitants and passing ships.

Early farming included sheep, cattle, grain and onions. The first fruit and grape vineyards were planted over a hundred years ago and the original wine cellar dates back to the 1920s and 1930s, with original M. Kannemeyer built-in concrete vats.

In 1982, the first of the present vineyards were planted and the new wine cellar was built. From 1997, new vineyards comprising over 40 hectares were planted, including 30 hectares of plums and pears, as well as 14 hectares of olives. The new owners have, with great pride and joy, restored every building on the farm, some having been in ruins and dating back over 150 years.

ABSA TOP 10 Olive Oils Medium Category Winning Oil: Wildekrans Keerweer EVOO
Cultivars: FS17 (Favolosa)
Litres Produced: 1400 l
Tasting Notes: Rich nutty flavour and floral, spicy, grassy aromas
Best Paired With: Great in stews, over soups and well-seasoned big dishes with bold flavours
Where To Buy: At the tasting room or order via email.

Danie Goosen and Braam Gericke have been under the guidance of Hans Evenhuis of Hemelrand for the past 2 years.  The 2017 harvest has been difficult due to the dry weather conditions resulting in low volumes with a more intensely flavoured oil being produced.

ABSA TOP 10 Olive Oils Medium Category | Wilderkrans EVOO
ABSA TOP 10 Olive Oils Medium Category Wilderkrans Estate

Wilderkrans Olive Oil Producer

The first trees were planted in 2011. The main focus of the estate is still wine production, but the importance of the olives is increasing. The olive oil press was purchased in 2017 enabling the estate to produce its own olive oil.  Wildekrans Keerweer EVOO is produced on the Wildekrans Wine Estate in extremely small quantities. The very same terroir that is responsible for the wines has an equal influence on the olives, with the unique conditions such as the cooling sea breeze creating distinct flavours.


The olive groves at Serrado were planted in 2007 by Oscar de Freitas and started to produce olive oil in 2012, with Serrado being awarded the following awards: SA Olive 2013 Gold Award, SA Olive 2016 Bronze Award, SA Olive 2017 Gold Award.

ABSA TOP 10 Olive Oils Medium Category Winning Oil: Serrado Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Cultivars: Frantoio, Leccino, Coratina, Mission, Manzanillo
Litres produced: 2619 l
Tasting notes: Medium to soft, well balanced Extra Virgin Olive Oil with hints of fruit of green and ripe olives, olive leaf, almond, walnut
Best paired with: Poached eggs and a fresh green salad
Where to buy: Selected Spars and delicatessens in the Free State or Direct

On the 13th September, 2013, a fire in the district destroyed the 45-hectare olive grove resulting in the loss of about 40% of the trees. Due to this tragedy there was no production in 2014 year and very little in 2015. Since 2016, the trees have gone from strength to strength resulting in the highest yield thus far in 2017.

ABSA TOP 10 Olive Oils Medium Category Serrado EVOO
ABSA TOP 10 Olive Oils Medium Category | Generic Olive Image

Serrado’s Olive Oil Producer

Julian de Freitas, the son of Oscar de Freitas, who shares his father’s passion for olive oil has been involved with the production of the olive oil since Serrado started pressing EVOO in 2012. The 2017 harvest surpassed all expectation, as the tonnage was far greater than expected given the severe drought. “We look forward to next season after a successful 2017 harvest which yielded our record litres produced and the second gold award for our EVOO”.


Try this recipe for Mini Olive Oil, Cumin and Sesame Bread Rolls made using a medium intensity extra virgin olive oil.Absa Top 10 Olive Oil Awards Medium Oils

See the winners of the ABSA Top 10 EVOO in the delicate and intense categories and the recipes we created using them.

Learn more about tasting olive oil here. Also, learn the important differences between extra virgin olive oil and other olive oil varieties.

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