Festive Gifting: Top 10 Olive Oils for 2019
Olive oil is the staple in the homes of foodies and so makes for a thoughtful festive gift. Even better is these are all locally produced and we love gifting local. To inspire you, we’ve listed the ABSA Top 10 Olive Oil winners for 2019 plus accompanying pressie ideas – this is our olive oil gift list for 2019.
Festive Gifting: The ABSA Top 10 Olive Oils for 2019
Anysbos Extra Virgin Olive Oil
In 2007 Johan and Sue Heyns bought two pieces of land that would become Anysbos. The remains of a stone cottage became their home and the old mule shed, offices and a tasting room.
They’ve since built dams and roads and planted olive trees, 22 000 them from which they make their award-winning oil. They also have a small Toggenburg goat stud and hand-make cheeses which are sold to shops and restaurants in the Overberg area. Cheese, wine and olive oil – what a combo!
Cultivar: Frantoio and FS-17
Tasting notes: Frantoio – a typical nutty aroma, rich wonderful mouthfeel with lots of bitter almonds, good white pepper, and persistent. FS-17 – great aroma, fresh
greens, vegetal, sugar snap peas, lots of flavours on palate – green good butter and chilli pepper. Artichoke, good mouthfeel. Almost thistle.
Best paired with: best with salads or roasted vegetables. Great with steaks and we love dipping bread in it.
Where to buy: Overberg farmstalls such as Houwhoek and Peregrine, as well as numerous Spars and outlets in Hermanus and around the Overberg. Also at selected Spars in the Western Cape.
ACCOMPANYING GIFT SUGGESTION: Succulent Print Platter
This pretty platter will make a lovely addition to any table. Serve your favourite roasted root veggies or a beautiful beef carpaccio drizzled with Anysbos EVOO. Price: R199
Available from Woolworths
Cape Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The Cape Olive Oil olive orchards are situated at Dreyersdal Farm in Bergvliet and The OU Pastorie in Darling. Olives from these orchards of Nocellara, Mission, Frantoio, Leccino, Coratina and Koroneiki varieties have been hand-picked and cold-pressed to create this extra virgin olive oil blend.
Cultivars used for this oil: Nocellara, Mission, Frantoio, Leccino, Coratina & Koroneiki.
Tasting notes: Fruit of green and ripe olives, olive leaf, almond and walnut.
Best paired with: Excellent for salad dressings, pasta and sauces and also for braising and casseroles of chicken, fish and meat.
ACCOMPANYING GIFT SUGGESTION: Le Creuset Salt Keeper in Marseille
Seasoning and good quality olive oils are two ingredients that can make all the difference to a dish. We love this stylish Le Creuset Salt Keeper as a handy kitchen tool, right alongside a bottle of Cape EVOO. Drizzle, season and cook to perfection! Price: R419
Available from Yuppichef.
Babylonstoren is one of the oldest Cape Dutch farms. It has a fruit and vegetable garden of beauty and diversity, unique accommodation, fine food and wine, and a sense of wellbeing.
Klaas Stoffberg started producing EVOO at Babylonstoren in 2015. As a qualified winemaker, he focuses a lot on taste and plays around with different factors to build complexity. The main focus is to produce the best oil with minimum intervention.
Cultivars used for this oil: Coratina
Tasting notes: Reminiscent of dried hay on the nose followed by beautiful bitter and pepper notes on the taste.
Best paired with: Salads, freshly baked bread and meats.
Where to buy: This oil is currently sold out, but other varieties available from Babylonstoren farm or from their online shop.
ACCOMPANYING GIFT SUGGESTION: Quince and Star Anise Preserve
This aromatic Quince and Star Anise Preserve is ideal to gift with Babylonstoren’s Coratina Olive Oil. Your giftee can serve both with local cheeses and fresh farm bread for a winning festive table cheeseboard. Price: R95
Available from Babylonstoren.
De Rustica Estate Collection: Coratina
Since their first commercial harvest in 2012 De Rustica have consistently produced award-winning and acclaimed EVOO’s. This is a result of their passion, commitment and core values combined with continuously keeping up to date with the latest developments.
The 2019 harvest may have been a difficult growing season with a critical shortage of water, the drought causing a reduced production volume and olive size. However, the quality of the extra virgin olive oil remained at a high standard and afforded gold awards both locally and abroad. The oils pressed were bold in flavour and aroma yet smooth on the palate.
Tasting notes: The oil is strong, persistent and has a spicy character with hints of fresh grass, artichoke and green tomato.
Best paired with: Grilled Beef.
Where to buy: Selected Spar outlets Selected Woolworths stores. Selected P ‘n P outlets in the WC. Check online for more detail.
ACCOMPANYING GIFT SUGGESTION: Marcato Atlas 150 Manual Pasta Machine
The aspiring foodie will be thrilled with this gift combo. Create amazing homemade pasta dishes drizzled generously with De Rustica EVOO. Price: R 1849
Available from Yuppichef.
Lapithos Pure EVOO
Lapithos Olive Growers lies in the beautiful Breede River Valley in the Scherpenheuwel District near Worcester, South Africa. It is co-owned by lifelong friends Alexis Kearney and Mark Kapnoudhis. Mark and Alexis bought the land in 1998, at which time it was an Ostrich farm with no drinkable water supply or electricity, and barely any access by road.
The family has since grown the farm to have all the necessary infrastructure to support the production of top-quality extra virgin olive oil, while maintaining the special feeling of remoteness up in the mountains.
Tasting notes: Produced from pure Mission olives this delicate oil has subtle notes of freshly cut grass, rich walnut and red apple.
Best paired with: The oil works wonders on Greek salads and fresh vegetables, where it adds a freshness and grassiness, without adding as much bitterness as more intense oils would do. Similarly, the oil brings a natural depth to lean or creamy pasta and goes well with ingredients like butter, garlic, chilli, and mushroom.
Where to buy: In-store at Warrick Wine Estate, or Damascus Road Coffee Company or online.
ACCOMPANYING GIFT SUGGESTION: Jamie Oliver Pestle and Mortar
This gift pairing is ideal for the friend or family member that loves to cook from scratch. Use to make the most amazing homemade pestos, grind spice mixes and more. Price: R450
Available from Takealot.
Mardouw Oil of the Olive
Established in 2002 by owners Andre and Marijke Verder, Mardouw Olive Estate is well known for its Mediterranean climate and fertile soils of the Langeberg Mountain range. 50 000 trees are planted on the Estate from which 45 000 are planted as Super High-Density groves.
What a year our producers have had to face! Unfavourable weather conditions during the flowering period led to small crops all around the Western Cape region. Mardouw adjusted the harvesting time of their olives in order to have different styles of oil, to be blended together to create their award-winning oil.
Cultivars: Frantoio, Mission
Tasting notes: Well-balanced medium EVOO, with positive attributes of ripe and green olives, olive leaf, artichoke, ripe walnut and almond.
Best paired with: Best with seafood dishes and fresh salads.
Where to buy: Pick ‘n Pay stores or online.
ACCOMPANYING GIFT SUGGESTION: Opinel Cheese Set (Knife and Fork)
We love this sleek cheese fork and knife set. Ideal for a board of local cheesse served with crusty bread and Mardouw Olive Oil. Even better, pack this combo in your picnic basket this summer. Cheese, bread, olive oil and a pretty sunset, what more could you want? Price: R720
Available from Awesome Tools.
Oakhurst EVOO Medium
Oakhurst Olives was established on Lemoendrif Farm in the beautiful Tulbagh Valley in 2005. The name Oakhurst was inspired by the ancient oak trees growing alongside the mountain streams. The first orchards were planted in 2007 and are all are super high-density plantings. All olive trees were propagated and grown in Oakhurst’s own nursery on the farm.
Oakhurst Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made of a blend of different varieties including Leccino, Frantoio, Coratina, Koroneiki, Arbequina, Picual, Maurino and others. The olives are handpicked and cold extracted on the same day during season from March through to June. The oil is produced on its first pressing, thereby ensuring a deliciously fresh and peppery Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Cultivar: Coratina, Picual and Frantoio.
Tasting notes: Fruit of green and ripe olives, grass, olive leave, artichoke, bitter almond.
Best paired with: Best paired with foods such as vegetables, fresh pasta, white meat such as grilled chicken, fish dishes, or sautéed and slow-roasted meat dishes such as
Where to buy: Exclusive at Oakhurst Olives Tasting Room and online.
ACCOMPANYING GIFT SUGGESTION: Graphite Cake Stand
This stunning cake stand is so versatile; gift this as a combo with Oakhurst EVOO and use it to display beautiful olive oil cakes or a torte. It also doubles as a stunning elevated stand for cheeses or cold meats. Price: R599
Available from Woolworths
Vigne d’ Or Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Vigne d’ Or in Franschhoek was bought by its current owner in 2015 and has undergone a significant horticultural renovation under new ownership. Previously, the farm had gone to seed but now produces Sauvignon Blanc, MCC and Olive Oil (five cultivars). Although production is relatively new, output already speaks to the intent of the farm’s owner of quality over quantity, as can be tasted in this already-award-winning product.
This was an abnormally dry season where the ripening was hurried, which forced Vigne d’ Or to harvest the olives as soon as possible to have them at optimum ripeness at the press. This ensured a high-quality oil.
Cultivars: Coratina & FS17
Tasting notes: On the nose, you will find fruit of green and ripe olives, as well as tomato. On the palate, you will taste walnuts, almond nuts and artichoke.
Best paired with: Ideal for drizzling over salads, pasta and vegetables. Drizzle over bruschetta or combine olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a bread dip.
Where to buy: Because quantity outweighs quality at Vigne d’ Or, our olive oil stock remains limited. This past season has garnered approximately 1000 bottles, which can be purchased directly from the farm via email.
ACCOMPANYING GIFT SUGGESTION: Artisanal Oak Slicing & Serving Board
Olive Oil and fresh bread go hand in hand. This nifty 2-in-1 gift enables you to cut perfectly straight and evenly sized slices of baguette and serve in style. We love. Price: R329
Available from Woolworths
Wildekrans Keerweer EVOO
The Wildekraans farm was formerly known as ‘Keerweer’ or ‘Keerweder’, the title originally having been granted in 1864. In 1982, the first of the present vineyards were planted and the new wine cellar was built. The first olive trees were planted in 2011.
In 2017 Wildekrans purchased their own olive oil press and started producing their own oil. Wildekrans Keerweer EVOO is produced on the Wildekrans Wine Estate in extremely small quantities. The olives share the same terroir that is responsible for Wildekrans wines and this has an equal influence on the flavour of the olives. Along with this and unique conditions such as the cooling sea breeze, they are able to create their award-winning oil.
Cultivar: FS17 (Favolosa)
Tasting Notes: Fruit of green and ripe olives, artichoke, olive leaf, grass, green banana, herbaceous.
Best paired with: Great in stews, over soups, and well-seasoned big dishes with bold flavours!
Where to buy: At the Wildekrans tasting room or via email.
ACCOMPANYING GIFT SUGGESTION: Shallow Stoneware Bowls
We love these simple and stylish bowls as a gift idea with Wildekrans EVOO. Perfect for serving a variety of festive snacks, from olives to creamy dips and everything in between. They will also work well as dipping bowls for your olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Price: R329
Available from Superbalist
The Andante Intenso Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made on the family-run and owned Wêreldsgeluk Olive Estate. The estate is situated near Porterville in the foothills of the Winterhoek mountain range, about 130 km North-East of Cape Town. This gorgeous intense extra virgin olive oil has a balanced bitterness with a long tingling green-chilli finish.
Cultivar: Nocellara del Belice
Tasting Notes: Fresh green herbaceous aromas and flavours of artichokes, green tomato and fresh walnuts. Complex, balanced, persistent and harmonious.
Best paired with: A superb finishing olive oil atop grilled meats and green vegetables, game, rocket salad, tomato-based pasta dishes, pulses and stews.
Where to buy: Online or at The Olive Branch Deli, CPT; Giovanni’s, CPT; Woolworths stores.
ACCOMPANYING GIFT SUGGESTION: Weylandts Stone Crockery Bowl
Gift Andante EVOO with this stylish bowl from Weylandts. Made in Portugal, this beautiful ceramic bowl is great for serving a summery salad. Price: R495
Enjoyed this list of Top 10 Olive Oils for 2019? See more information on why you should be buying extra virgin olive oil.
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