Following the announcement of the 2016 #AbsaTop5 Extra Virgin Olive Oils in South Africa, we are presenting this series of interviews with each producer.
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Absa Top 5 2016 Winner (5 of 5): Willow Creek Directors’ Reserve Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Shows flavours of – Floral notes, pine seed, green olives, tomato flavours and green veg, verdant, grass, artichokes, nuts, promise on nose, herbal bouquet, olive leaves, pine needles, green tomato leave, grassy.
Cultivars: Favolosa & Coratina
Litres Produced: 25 000 litres
About Willow Creek Olive Estate
When Andries Rabie realised that the terroir of the Nuy Valley is perfectly suited for the cultivation of olives, planting of 265ha commenced in 1999. The lime rich soils, Mediterranean climate, access to irrigation water and the correct tending of the groves delivers flavourful fruit for the production of the estate’s olive oil. The latest technology is utilised to extract extra virgin olive oil of the best quality possible. Their state of the art Pieralisi Leopard 8 decanter has a capacity of 6,5 tonnes/hour – making Willow Creek the largest South African plant equipped with this leading technology. An Oxbo harvester is utilised to ensure that the olives are harvested at their optimum ripeness stage. At 6 tonnes an hour it supplies the capacity of the Pieralisi decanter like a hand in a glove affording a minimum time span of less than an hour from harvesting to extraction. Commitment to continuous improvement is a main ingredient in Willow Creek’s recipe.
Oil Maker & 2016 Harvest
Francois Cilliers has been making olive oil with Andries Rabie at Willow Creek since their first harvest in 2002. The past three seasons he has further gained from the experience of Ugo Ametta – a family friend of the Rabies’ who is a 5th generation olive oil producer in Torremagiore, Apulia, Italy. After the oil has been extracted, Louise Rabie tastes her way through the various cultivars and tanks in order to select the premium and blend an extra virgin olive oil with the desired flavour profile, complexity and harmony to present Willow Creek’s flagship Directors’ Reserve.
Tasting Notes: Verdant aromas of artichokes, green olives and tomato vines are accentuated by notes of wild rocket, salad herbs and walnuts. The flavours follow through on the palate with a satisfying bitterness and tingling pungency to present a harmonious, full rounded flavour profile.
Pairing: Excellent for finishing carpaccio, enhancing pasta with porcini, swirled into hearty soups, complementing red meat, or plainly enjoyed with crusty bread and balsamic vinegar or dukkah.
Where to Buy: Woolworths, Pick n Pay, Checkers, Spar, Food Lover’s Market, Montagu Dried Fruit & Nuts