A total of 36 extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) of the 2016 harvest were lauded as South Africa’s finest during the annual SA Olive Awards gala dinner held last night (Thursday, 01 September). These premium products walked off with Gold medals in three categories – 6 for Delicate, 20 for Medium and 10 for Intense. The competition, now in its 11th year, attracted a record 110 entries. In addition to the 36 Gold medals, 53 Silver and 11 Bronze medals were awarded.
The gold medallists in the Delicate category are: De Rustica Estate Delicate EVOO, Greenleaf EVOO, Mont Rouge Owner’s Reserve EVOO, River Press EVOO, Spar Authentic EVOO and Tokara Frantoio EVOO.
In the category for Medium EVOO’s top honours went to: Adamskloof EVOO, Andante EVOO, Cederberg Olives Frantoio EVOO, Chaloner Mountain Oil EVOO, De Rustica Estate Medium EVOO, Gabriëlskloof EVOO, Galenia Estate Director’s Blend EVOO, Galenia Estate Estate Blend EVOO, Kleinbergskloof Estate Blend EVOO, Kloovenburg EVOO, Kredouw Frantoio EVOO, Lettas Kraal Green Olive Blend EVOO, Lettas Kraal EVOO, Marbrin Olive Growers Medium EVOO, Mont Rouge Karoo Reserve EVOO, Rio Largo EVOO, Rio Largo Gold EVOO, Waterleliefontein EVOO, Wildekrans Field Blend Selection EVOO and Wildekrans Endless EVOO.
The top-performers in the Intense category are: Andante Forte EVOO, Andante Intenso EVOO, Anysbos EVOO, De Rustica Estate Intense EVOO, Kransfontein Coratina EVOO, Marbrin Olive Growers Intense EVOO, Marbrin Olive Growers Directors Reserve EVOO, Prince Albert Olives Karoo Blend Intense EVOO, Rio Largo Premium Blend EVOO and Willow Creek Director’s Reserve EVOO.
A team of professional tasters meticulously scrutinized the medal contenders one-by-one according to quality, complexity and balance in terms of aroma and taste during a four-day blind tasting.
The esteemed judging panel comprised internationally accredited olive oil tasting panel leader and consultant, Dr Antonio G Lauro from Italy, and members of the SA Olive tasting panel: Leonard Arangies, Robert Claasens, Gerrie Duvenage, Reni Hildenbrand, Birgitta Hofmeyr, Benedetta Lami, Louise Rabie and Kelly White.
Full results are available on the SA Olive website www.saolive.co.za