Giulio Betrand

SA’s Best Olive Oils of 2012 announced

Out of a total of 63 olive oils entered by 39 producers, 19 of the country’s leading olive oil producers were honoured with gold medals at the 2012 SA Olive award ceremony.

Gold medal winners in the intense category include Marbrin, Bakenshoogte, Gabrielskloof, Kleinood, Lettas Kraal and Waterfall River.

The category for medium olive oils produced the most gold medals: Rio Largo (2), Buck’s Ridge Olive Estate, Indigo Ridge, Kleinveld Flora, L’Olivier, McGreggor Olives – Olivi, Prins Albert Olives and Vesuvio Estates.

Four gold medals were awarded to Marbrin, Olyvenbosch, Muiskraal and Tokara in the delicate category.

Each gold medal winner received a glass trophy sponsored by Absa. An additional 30 silver medals and 8 bronze medals were awarded.

”The South African consumer is increasingly aware of the high quality of locally produced olive oils and keeps a close eye on the results of this competition,” says Andries Rabie, SA Olive chairperson. “SA Olive is a voluntary association that aims to represent the interests of the local olive industry, but also to protect the consumer against olive oils of poor quality and fraudulent imports.”

According to Leonard Arangies, SA Olive manager and one of the judges, entries were blind judged over a period of three days. The judging panel furthermore consisted of Gerrie Duvenage as convenor, Reni Hildenbrand, Benedetta Lami, Robert Claasens, Louise Rabie and Kelly Kotze.

Life time achiever honoured

Giulio Betrand (left), owner of the historic Morgenster Estate in Somerset West, was honoured with a Life Time Achiever trophy, sponsored by Absa, for his invaluable contribution to the local olive industry.

Italian-born Bertrand bought Morgenster in 1992 with his retirement in mind, but the beauty of the surroundings reminded him of his Tuscan homeland and today Bertrand produces top quality olive oil and wine. He is responsible for importing 90% of all cultivars that producers today farm with and run a top of the range olive nursery.

“Bertrand was one of the olive producers who initiated the investigation during the fraudulent imports saga,” says Leonard Arangies. “He also enacts his passion for high quality olive oil and strict industry standards by training professional olive oil tasters who, in turn, educate the public about these standards. He does much to train local producers in the identification of deviations in quality, for example insect influence, metallic character and rancidity.”

Bertrand was also responsible for inviting Dr Luciano Scarselli, esteemed Italian olive oil panel leader and teacher of olive oil quality, to South Africa for olive oil tasting courses. Consequently, over the past eleven years some 50 tasters received official tasting panel status and the official SA Olive tasting panel were constituted to taste for the SA Olive CTC seal of quality.

SA Olive thanks their sponsors: Olio Mio for the Delicate category, Alva Laval for the Medium class and Pieralisi for the class for Intense olive oils, as well as Absa for their continued support.

For more information on the competition and its results, contact SA Olive at tel (021) 870 2900, email [email protected] or visit