A Selection of our Favourite Local Olive Oils 2019
We’re exceptionally fortunate in South Africa to have so many dedicated and passionate producers of local olive oils. Across the board, South African olive oils have scooped numerous international awards, putting them in the same league as countries that have been producing it for centuries.
With sustainable agricultural practices and cold extraction processes, these producers are able to produce top-quality olive oils that are rich in antioxidants and biophenols.
Our unique Mediterranean-like climate and terroir create perfect conditions for growing healthy olives that produce the very best olive oils. We’ve put together a list of some of our favourite 100% local olive oils.
Local Olive Oils that we Love
Rio Largo Extra Virgin Olive Oil
RIO LARGO is an award-winning olive estate situated on the banks of the Breede River. Nick Wilkinson is the owner/producer at this private estate – a family-owned business with a legacy of creating one of the finest olive oils produced in South Africa, since 2010.
Nick’s philosophy is to measure all you do, pay attention to detail and give back more than you take out from nature; leaving more for generations to come. RIO LARGO is an artisanal brand – true liquid gold, produced with pride. This is local flavour with international appeal and is exported to over 9 countries across the globe. Try it, you’ll love it.
Origin: Scherpenheuwel Valley, Worcester, Western Cape.
Tasting Notes: Clean, fresh aroma – fresh green vegetal notes – like fresh green beans, mixed salad leaves, to gather with a lovely nuttiness on the palate. Good mouthfeel, with very balanced polyphenols – the pepper lingers enticingly!
Price: On application.
Recipe Inspiration: Prepare this Toasted Panzanella Salad with Burrata dressed with a Thyme Vinaigrette using RIO LARGO’S Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Babylonstoren Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Dating back to 1692, Babylonstoren is a historic Cape Dutch farm beloved and best known for its magnificent garden that is laid out over 3,5-hectares. Every aspect of Babylonstoren, including the contemporary Farm Hotel & Spa, the Farm Shop, restaurants, Scented Room and Bakery, are led by the ever-changing tapestry and botanical diversity of the garden.
Babylonstoren is also a working farm with almost 10 000 olive trees and produces the finest extra virgin cold-extracted olive oil.
Two of the components in their blend – Don Carlo and Coratina – were awarded Gold in this year’s SA Olive Awards
Visitors can visit the state-of-the-art olive oil plant between March and June to experience – hear, see, smell, taste and feel – the making of Babylonstoren’s oil. You can buy their oil on the farm or from their online store.
Origin: On the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain between the areas of Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Paarl.
Style: Cold extracted, medium style from hand-harvested olives.
Blend: Frantoio, Mission, Don Carlo, Leccino and Coratina.
Tasting Notes: A hint of florals and fresh herbs followed by a mouthfeel of nuts on the palate.
Price: R125 (500 ml)
Recipe Inspiration: Start your day with this delicious Brunch Quinoa Bowl full of fresh veggies and plenty of flavour.
Greenleaf Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Greenleaf is a family-owned-and-run olive estate is situated near the beautiful town of Malgas, Swellendam in the Western Cape, along the tranquil banks of the Breede River. The area is blessed with a temperate Mediterranean climate, proving exceptional growing conditions for olives. You’ll find 330-hectares of olive trees growing at the Greenleaf farm, comprising of nine different cultivars.
From grove to the table, Greenleaf’s olives are carefully grown and nurtured on the farm.
Olives are cold-pressed within a few hours of picking to ensure an extra virgin olive oil of the highest quality.
Origin: Malgas, Swellendam.
Tasting Notes: Greenleaf Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a well-balanced, medium oil with good fruit. It has notes of green grass, ripe almond with a floral aroma. Suitable as a versatile all-rounder olive oil in the kitchen.
Price: R79 (500 ml).
Recipe Inspiration: Try out this delicious recipe for Honey and Chilli Roasted Carrots. The perfect accompaniment to a Sunday Roast.
Willow Creek Directors’ Reserve
Willow Creek Olive Estate is nestled in the picturesque Nuy Valley, an area considered one of the Cape Winelands best-kept secrets between Worcester and Robertson. Purveyors of quality, Willow Creek values the local and international accolades they have achieved over the past 17 years as a testament to their commitment to excellence and an acknowledgement of the endless hard work and passion that drives them.
Willow Creek Directors’ Reserve Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Meticulously blended for the olive oil aficionado and everyday chef to bake, cook, dip, drizzle, drench, grill, glaze, fry, roast and enjoy with every meal and every occasion
Origin: Nuy Valley, Worcester
Style: Medium to Intense.
Tasting Notes: Willow Creek Directors’ Reserve Extra Virgin Olive Oil offers a bold yet balanced flavour profile with green aromas of artichoke, green olive and tomato vine accentuated by notes of salad herbs and walnut followed by an elegant bitterness on the palate and tingling pungency at the back of the throat.
Price: R129.99 (500 ml)
Recipe Inspiration: : Drizzle Willow Creek Directors Reserve over this decadent Creamy Red Pepper and Brie Soup. Also, check out these recipes for delicious dinner party dishes, made with the Willow Creek range.
Baleia Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fanie Joubert obtained the farm Dassieklip in 2001 after recognising the immense potential locked up in the terroir, with its close proximity to the ocean and limestone-rich soils. In 2005, upon completing his studies, son, Jan-Hendrik Joubert returned to the family farm and together the two started exploring the potential of producing ultra-premium wine and olive oil.
A thorough study of the soil, climate, and availability of fresh clean water conﬁrmed what they knew in their hearts – an exceptional terroir.
The ﬁrst olive groves were planted in 2008 with the single-minded focus of creating an Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Oil – a fusion of Frantoio, Corintina, FS17, and Leccino.
Origin: Riversdale, Cape South Coast.
Tasting notes: Distinctive aromas of green tomatoes and artichokes with lemon freshness. A buttery and smooth ending with black pepper hints.
Price: R115 (375 ml)
Recipe Inspiration: Prepare this Pork Belly Porchetta with Roasted Pears, Fennel and Onion.
Adhara Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fraaigelegen Farm is nestled under the majestic Witzenberg Mountains in Tulbagh in the Western Cape. The small 20-hectare farm is an agri-tourism destination, growing vines and olives and is home to the award-winning Adhara Extra Virgin Olive Oil and is the producer of the red wine grapes, supplied to Paserene Estate in Franschhoek.
Owners Venishree and Juergen quit their corporate roles abroad and moved to SA in 2016. They have nurtured the olive groves (consisting of Favolosa, Leccino, Frantoio and Mission) with utmost care and passion, resulting in their first medium, well-balanced nutty EVOO.
Quality over quantity is the motto, where the olives are carefully hand-harvested, resulting in a delicious and precious “liquid gold”.
Tasting Notes: A well-balanced, nutty Extra Virgin Olive Oil with the fruit of green and ripe olives, olive leaf, grass, walnut and pine needles.
Price: R120 (500 ml).
Recipe: Have a go at this super easy No-Knead Pizza with Proscuitto and Wild Rocket.
Olyfberg Olive Oil
Olyfberg, home of award-winning Extra Virgin Olive Oil, is situated on the banks of the Breede River on the outskirts of Robertson where hectares of olive groves sweep the countryside. Handpicked olives are cold-pressed in their production facility on the farm to preserve the delicate flavours and characteristics. The first olive trees were planted in 1995 and currently, the farm boasts 75 hectares of Frantoio, Leccino, Koratina, Manzanilla and Kalamata olives.
The Karaan and Retief families jointly acquired the farm in 2016, with a shared vision to produce the highest quality olives and olive oil, while uplifting their workforce and being true to nature. Olyfberg is proud to be a Level 2 BEE company.
Origin: Eilandia Farm, Robertson.
Tasting Notes: A blend of Mission, Frantoia (strong green overtones, peppery) and Leccino (soft, subtle, herbaceous, distinct taste of freshly cut grass) cultivars.
Price: R99,50 (500 ml).
Recipe Inspiration: Take a look at this delicious Pea And Pesto Pecorino Pasta Salad dressed with an olive oil vinaigrette.
Oudewerfskloof Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The Brummer family have nurtured their olive groves near the Goukou River for the past 10 years to produce a well balanced, cold extracted oil full of flavours typical to the terroir of the area. This boutique farm also produces handpicked table olives of the Mission variety, tapenades, and olive pestos which can be purchased from their farm and online store. This olive oil can be used for cooking and can be enjoyed with fresh salads and vegetable dishes.
Sustainable farming practices are used to ensure that there is a low impact on the environment.
Oudewerfskloof also supports the Commitment to Compliance scheme from SA OLIVE which guarantees good quality, local olive oil, free of defects.
Origin: Stillbaai, Western Cape
Blend: Picual, Corotina, and Arbequina.
Tasting Notes: Balanced flavour profile with tastes of the fruit of green and ripe olives, aromas of grass, mint and finished off with hints of tomato leaf.
Price: R80 (500 ml), R120 (1L)
Recipe: Liberally use Oudewerfskloof’s Olive Oil with this Marinated Zucchini Salad.
Waterleliefontein Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Waterleliefontein is the boutique producer of a premium, award-winning, South African extra virgin olive oil. All the olives used to make the Waterleliefontein extra virgin oil are grown on the farm situated in the most beautiful and unexplored valley of the Overberg, the Van Der Stel Pass between Bot River and Villiersdorp.
Jo and Tessa Neser became the custodians of the farm in December 2012. They named the farm Waterleliefontein after discovering a dam filled with indigenous blue water lilies. The making of premium quality extra virgin olive oil is the main focus at Waterleliefontein. There are about 4000 olive trees on the farm, 2000 of which were planted in the late ’90s and 2000 of which were transplanted as mature trees by Jo, from two nearby farms.
The combination of fynbos, a field of French lavender and majestic blue gums on the farm are perfect for beekeeping. The hard-working bees in the two apiaries at Waterleliefontein produce a small crop of delicious honey. Syrah and Grenache Noir vineyards were planted in 2017 and there is much excitement about the production of a superb Southern Rhône blend in the not too distant future.
Origin: Van der Stel pass, Bot River.
Style: Delicate to medium.
Tasting notes: It has a delicate nose, but is lively on the palate with a lovely peppery finish. It has notes of the fruit of green olives, freshly cut grass, olive leaf, almond, and tomato.
Price: 6 x 500ml box set (R600), 4 x 1 litre box set (R680), Trade price on request.
Recipe Inspiration: Prepare this tasty Olive Oil Pear & Cardamom Torte with Waterleleifontein Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
When buying local olive oils, look out for bottles bearing the SA Olive seal, the official representative body of the South African olive industry. It’s always important to support local enterprises and we love that the SA Olive seal guarantees that when you choose an extra virgin olive oil, you can expect to experience all the enjoyment and benefits of a fresh oil extracted from newly harvested olives.
The seal is a guarantee of product authenticity, confirming that the producers of these local olive oils commit to quality standards, including chemical and taste requirements. Samples of olive oil are regularly submitted to accredited laboratories for chemical analyses and to the SA Olive Organoleptic Tasting Panel for tasting to confirm the absence of defects, in line with internationally accepted methods.
Read about why you should be buying extra virgin olive oil versus other olive oils.
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