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South Africa’s best olive oils for 2014

Several of South Africa’s leading olive oil producers were recently honoured with gold medals at the annual SA Olive Awards (28 August). A challenging harvest saw fewer entrants this year.

A total of 17 exceptional extra virgin oils received gold medals in three categories – three for Delicate, eight for Medium and six for Intense style oils.
Gold in Delicate category: Cederberg Olives, Muiskraal and Porterville Olives.

Gold in Medium category: Tokara and Willow Creek (two each), Gabriëlskloof, Groote Vallei, Rio Largo Olive Estate and Voordenberg.
Gold in Intense category: L’Ormarins, Marbrin Farm, Morgenster Estate, Mulderbosch Vineyards, Rio Largo Olive Estate and The Ou Pastorie.
An additional 35 silver medals and 14 bronze medals were awarded.
The competition, now in its ninth year, attracted 76 locally – produced extra virgin olive oils, which is substantially fewer than the 100 entries received in 2013. According to SA Olive Chairman Nick Wilkinson, this can be attributed to a difficult harvest during which producers have shown commendable resilience.

“The challenging harvest conditions placed severe pressure on production. Notwithstanding, the quality of entries received was excellent and thus all the more credit to the award recipients,” said Wilkinson.
The medal contenders were evaluated by a panel of olive oil experts according to quality, complexity and balance in terms of aroma and taste .
This year’s judging line – up comprised international olive oil expert Mauro Amelio from the National Association for Olive Oil Tasters (ONAOO) in Italy. An accredited panel leader, Amelio has run a number of panel and threshold courses around the world and is affiliated with ONAOO as a tutor, taster and scientific advisor.
The tasting panel was composed of local olive oil experts Gerrie Duvenage, Reni Hildenbrand, Louise Rabie, Rober t Claasens, Leonard Arangies and Benedetta Lami.

The SA Olive Awards are generously sponsored by Absa, Alfa Laval, Oliomio TEM and Pieralisi.

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