The Absa Top 10 Olive Oils for 2019 Announced

Words: Crush

Absa has supported the South African olive industry since 2013 by recognising and awarding the best locally produced extra virgin olive oils (EVOOs). In an industry where many top quality EVOOs are produced, being an Absa Top 10 winner speaks of excellence and a dedication to the craft.

The Absa Top 10 Olive Oils for 2019

Congratulating the finalists and winners, John Tshabalala, Absa’s Head of Relationship Banking Western Cape, says Absa is very proud to partner with the SA Olive Association, a relationship now in its seventh year of celebrating excellence in the industry.

“On behalf of Absa, I would like to congratulate the 2019 Absa Top 10 Olive Oil competition winners. We wish them continued success and growth in local and international olive oil markets,” he adds.

A total of 93 oils, the same count as in 2018, entered into the 2019 SA Olive Awards and received gold, silver, and bronze medals. The gold winners went on to compete for the coveted Absa Top 10 trophies.

Blind tasted by an international panel of experts

The competing oils were individually blind tasted by an international panel of experts in a controlled environment over a period of four days. For panel leader, Müge Nebioğlu, it was her first introduction to such a vast array of South African EVOOs.

Müge commented that ‘the judging was an incredible experience and the oils were excellent. SA producers are very knowledgeable and their use of modern technology produces very good oils’.

Olive oil experts and second-time judges in the competition, José Mingo from Chile and Pablo Canamasas from Argentina, completed the international contingency. Reni Hildebrand and Benedetta Lami – both regular faces on international judging panels – and SA Olive tasting panel members, Louise Rabie, Theresa Louw, and Mare Groenewald represented South Africa.

Absa Top 10 Olive Oils for 2019

Absa Top 10 Olive Oils

Delicate: Lapithos (Lapithos Olive Growers – Pure).

Medium: Babylonstoren (Babylonstoren Coratina), Oakhurst (Oakhurst Medium), Vigne d’Or (Vinge d’Or EVOO), Mardouw (Mardouw Oil of the Olive), Avenue Park (Cape EVOO), Anysbos (Anysbos EVOO), Wildekrans (Wildekrans Keerweer EVOO), and Porterville (Andante Intenso).

Intense: De Rustica (Estate Collection Coratina).

A Word from the Chairman

The chairman of SA Olive, Nick Wilkinson, confirmed the challenges the industry faced this year and added that even against the backdrop of these challenges, we still made world-class oils deserving of the international accolades they receive.

He went on to say that no one appreciates how bad, bad olive oil tastes until one tastes a good olive oil – make it your mission to get this message through to as many people as you can. Reach out to your fellow South Africans and educate them as to how quality olive oil can assist with general health.

Not sure why you should be buying extra virgin olive oil? Find out the difference between regular olive oil, extra virgin and other varieties.

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