Absa Lauds Top 10 Olive Oils

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A panel of olive oil experts evaluated close to 90 South African olive oils from the 2017 harvest via a strict and controlled tasting. The Absa Top 10 olive oils were selected from the 19 SA Olive gold seal award winners deemed worthy of the highest accolade in the country. 

The top ten olive oils for 2017 according to the categories of flavour intensity are:

Delicate (2): Mount Ceder - EVOO and Rio Largo - Gold EVOO
Medium (2): Serrado - EVOO and Wildekrans - Keerweer EVOO
Intense (6): Morgenster - EVOO, Porterville Olives - Andante Intenso, De Rustica Estate - Estate Collection Coratina, Mardouw - Premium XXV Intense, Marbrin Olive Growers - Directors Reserve and Kransfontein - Coratina EVOO

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This year’s panel of judges included Reni Hildenbrand, Benedetta Lami and Linda Costa – local olive oil experts who regularly serve on international judging panels – and SA Olive tasting members, Birgitta Hofmeyr and Hazel Henman. Sue Langstaff, an international olive oil expert and sensory scientist from California was the panel leader. “What distinguishes a superb from a good olive oil? Its perfect levels of balance, complexity, harmony and freshness. And these ten olive oils do not disappoint,” explains Langstaff.

“Absa is extremely proud to be associated with this locally-produced product through its sponsorship of the annual Top 10 Olive Oil Awards,” says John Tshabalala, Managing Executive Absa Western Cape. “Our decision to increase the number of awards from 5 to 10 reflects our confidence in the exceptional quality of South African olive oil.” 

“Absa is led by the principle of conducting business in a way that promotes positive outcomes for society and prosperity within the communities within which it operates.  Our support spreads wider than the individual olive producer,” he explains. “The exposure gained from the competition benefits the wider industry, generating prosperity right down to the workers and their communities.” 

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“The consumption of olive oil in South Africa has grown from 2 million litres in 2000 to 7 million litres in 2015. “ Together with SA Olive, Absa wishes to continue to grow awareness and popularity of South African olive oils in order to develop the local olive oil industry even further,” adds Tshabalala. “We’d like to thank the SA Olive Association who has worked tirelessly and committedly to the further development of the local olive oil industry.”

According to SA Olive chairperson, Nick Wilkinson, South African olive oil producers produce world-class olive oils that continuously receive acclaim in competitions across the world.  “The SA Olive Awards which culminate in the announcement of the prestigious Absa Top 10 give local consumers a taste of the best of the best. SA Olive provides assurance that these competitions maintain international standards and thus gives consumers the confidence that buying SAO approved olive oils is the wise choice.”

For more information visit www.saolive.co.za or contact Karien Bezuidenhout at 021 870 2900 or karien@hortgro.co.za.