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SA Olive 2010 Olive Awards

Three South African virgin olive oils were awarded double gold medal in SA Olive’s 2010 Olive Awards, while another 19 oils won gold medals. The results were announced at a gala dinner held on the Ashanti Wine Estate, outside Paarl, in September.

Richard Atkinson (Waterfall River), Kleinood (De Boerin) and Rio Largo (Rio Largo Medium) were announced as the unequalled achievers in SA Olive’s 2010 Olive Awards.

The first two oils turned up trumps with a double gold medal each in the category for Intense oils. Rio Largo scored its double gold medal in the Medium category. All three these oils were awarded gold medals at the 2009 competition.

Four producers viz. Morgenster, Diepsak Farm, The Greenleaf Olive Company en El Olivar continued their triumph of 2009 by once again taking home a gold medal each. Another 15 producers pocketed gold medals. 

Six oils were crowned with silver medals while only one bronze medal was awarded in the competition.

“These results confirm the outstanding quality of local olive oils and ought to be a clear indication to the consumer why a third of the world’s top virgin olive oils are South African products. South Africa’s olive oil industry may be relatively young but we’ve had ample time to study the industries of other countries to avoid the pitfalls and ensure that the right cultivars are planted on the right soils.“ according to Chairman of SA Olive, Andries Rabie.

This is the first time in the history of this five-year-old competition that double gold medals are presented.  Producers will be able to boast with this award by means of a specially designed decal that may be displayed on the bottle.

A panel of local experts judged the 40 plus oils that were entered and the traditional method of tasting was adapted this year. Whereas in the past different classes for commercial and boutique oils existed, this year oils battled it out in the categories Intense, Medium and Delicate.

Bonpak, a local packaging company, signed up as new sponsor of the competition. Managing Director, Ray Bondi, traveled to the Cape specially to attend the function and emphasized that Bonpak’s commitment is based on their belief that quality products deserve quality packaging.

In this year’s Olive Achiever of the Year, sponsored by ABSA the past five years, two candidates were acknowledged, Linda Costa and Pikkie Lourens.

Linda Costa received a special award which included honorary membership of SA Olive. Up to the present this award was made only to founder members that have made a significant contribution to any aspect relating to the olive industry. She was honoured for her lifelong unselfish dedication, her unstinting stance on quality and devotion in promoting the SA olive industry.

Pikkie Lourens who has laboured since 1995 with incessant passion and perseverance to establish a brand and bestowed with the L’Extravergine Award for best oil in the world, was announced Olive Achiever of the Year.

Willow Creek shines again

International medallist, Willow Creek Olive Estate, has once again received high acclaim for their Directors’ Reserve Extra Virgin Olive Oil – this time on local soil. The 2010 Willow Creek Directors’ Reserve was awarded a gold medal in the intense category at the recent SA Olive Awards where more than 40 oils vied for the favourable attention of the judges. 

“This truly is our flagship product – a special olive oil which is carefully blended to satisfy the flavour preference of the Willow Creek directors and we are delighted that it also met with the approval of the judges,” says Willow Creek MD, Andries Rabie. “The Directors’ Reserve is an ultra-premium quality olive oil that reflects our passion and personal commitment.” 

The estate’s impressive repertoire of international awards bears testimony to their quality philosophy. Most recent international victories for the Willow Creek Directors’ Reserve include the 1st prize in the Intense Category at the prestigious L’Orciolo d’Oro Olive Oil Competition in Gradara, Italy, as well as a gold medal in the Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition in the US.

For more information, visit www.willowcreek.co.za

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