SA Olive Awards – SA’s Top Extra Virgin Olive Oils – 2019

Eighty-one locally produced extra virgin olive oils (EVOOs) received medals at the SA Olive awards ceremony held last night at Ex Nihilo. Popular local television and radio personality, Liezel van der Weshuizen, added her special charm to the event as MC. Of the 93 oils entered, 25 received gold medals, 35 silver, and 21 bronzes. This makes a total of 87% of the oils entered worthy of medals.

From the back (left to right): Mike-Alec Kearney (Lapithos Olive Growers), Lizelle Joubert (Oakhurst Olives), Danie Goosen (Wildekrans), Quintus le Roux (Anysbos Olywe), Klaas Stoffberg (Babylonstoren), Louis Karsten (Babylonstoren), Gerhard du Toit (PG Fruit), Waldo Kellerman (Vigne d’Or), Gert van Dyk (Tokara), Stephan Steenkamp (Avenue Park (Pty) Ltd)
Front: Nicole Koen (Darling Olives), Chris van Niekerk (Mardouw), Andre Verder (Mardouw), Daniel Munzvenga (Zoetigheyd Farms), Willie Duminy (Porterville Olives), Joop Steenkamp (De Rustica Estate), Federica Bertrand (Morgenster)

The total of 93 oils, the same count as in 2018, entered into the 2019 SA Olive awards is proof of South African olive oil producers’ tenacity to make things work no matter the circumstances. A knack for innovating and a modern approach to making olive oil have once again pulled the SA olive oil industry through a season of challenging climatic conditions. The knock-on effect of the drought and the varying temperatures during the fruit set period did not dampen the industry’s spirit, or lower the overall quality of the 2019 awards’ entries.

The chairman of SA Olive, Nick Wilkinson, confirmed the challenges the industry faced this year and added that ‘even against the backdrop of these challenges, we still made world-class oils deserving of the international accolades they receive’.

As they say, the proof is in the pudding, and both the local and international tasting judges praised the quality of the EVOOs entered into the competition. Second-time judge in the competition, José Mingo from Chile, remarked on the unique fresh cut grass and wild herb qualities of the South African EVOOs. He went on to say that ‘South African producers can comfortably market their oils internationally with these distinctive flavour profiles as an element of differentiation in the market’. For panel leader, Müge Nebioğlu, it was her first introduction to such a vast array of South African EVOOs. Müge commented that ‘the judging was an incredible experience and the oils were excellent. SA producers are very knowledgeable and their use of modern technology produces very good oils’. The judges also commented on the effect of the continued drought on the quality of SA’s EVOOs and the fact that it has by and large not had a negative impact yet.

And the 2019 top honours go to…..

The gold medallists in the delicate EVOO category are Darling Olives, Lapithos Olive Growers, and Oakhurst Olives.

Gold in the medium EVOO category goes to Anysbos Olywe, Avenue Park (Pty) Ltd, Babylonstoren, De Rustica Estate, Mardouw Investments, Morgenster, Oakhurst Olives, PG Fruit, Porterville Olives, Tokara, Vigne d’Or, Wildekrans, and Zoetigheyd Farms.

The intense EVOO category gold winners are De Rustica Estate, Mardouw Investments, and Olive Boutique.

Multiple gold winners are Babylonstoren, De Rustica Estate, Mardouw Investments, Morgenster, Oakhurst Olives, and Porterville Olives.

See below for the full lists of gold, silver and bronze winners.

 Leading up to the SA Olive Awards

Once again the SA Olive awards tasting panel was a mix of local and international judges. We had two new faces on the panel, Theresa Louw and Mare Groenewald. Louise Rabie returned after a two year absence and was joined by international judges, Müge Nebioğlu (Turkey) José Mingo (Chile), and Pablo Canamasas (Argentina). Completing the South African contingency were stalwarts of the olive oil community, Reni Hildenbrand and Benedetta Lami.

Oils were individually blind tasted and rated over a period of four days. Blue hued glasses, shaped to create the best sensory experience, were used in an environment that was temperature controlled, as well as devoid as possible of any interfering environmental factors.

All participating oils were locally produced by SA Olive members.

The top accolade in the SA Olive mentorship programme, the Mentorship Award, went to Piet Visser from Olyfberg. Piet’s direct supervisor at Olyfberg, André Lourens, commented that ‘Piet grew up in front of us and it’s been incredible to watch him develop from a shy boy into the confident man he is now’. A special mention was also made during the Mentorship awards of Martha Klaas, a teamleader from Waverley Hills. The SA Olive mentorship programme is in its twelfth year of developing and nurturing young talent in the olive industry.

The crown jewel of the SA Olive awards’ season, the ABSA Top 10 Awards, takes place on 27 September.

As always, we cannot do all this without our sponsors. Thank you to Mori-Tem Oliomio and Pieralisi for helping us make the SA Olive awards a world-class event.


And the winners in the Delicate category are …

GoldDarling OlivesDarling Olives EVOODelicate
GoldLapithos Olive GrowersLapithos Olive Growers – PureDelicate
GoldOakhurst OlivesOakhurst DelicateDelicate
SilverCederberg OlivesCederberg Olives – FrantoioDelicate
SilverDiepsak FarmGreen & Gold PremiumDelicate
SilverMarbrin FarmMarbrin Olive Growers DelicateDelicate
SilverOlive BoutiqueOlive Boutique FrantoioDelicate
SilverPorterville Olives Adante DelicateDelicate
SilverRio LargoRio Largo Gold EVOODelicate
SilverRockhaven FarmRockhaven EVOODelicate
SilverTokaraTokara MissionDelicate
And the winners are in the Intense category are …

GoldDe Rustica EstateEstate IntenseIntense
GoldDe Rustica EstateEstate Collection: CoratinaIntense
GoldMardouw Investments ZA (Pty) (Ltd)XXV IntenseIntense
GoldOlive BoutiqueOlive Boutique CoratinaIntense
SilverKadimah Olive EstateArtois Intense 2019Intense
SilverMarbrin FarmMarbrin Olive Growers IntenseIntense
SilverMarbrin FarmMarbrin Olive Growers Directors Reserve IntenseIntense
SilverRio LargoRio Largo PremiumIntense
SilverTokaraTokara Estate PremiumIntense
BronzeGabriëlskloofGabriëlskloof Reserve BlendIntense
BronzeGabriëlskloofGabriëlskloof Estate BlendIntense
And the winners are in the Medium category are …

GoldAnysbos OlyweAnysbos EVOOMedium
GoldAvenue Park (Pty) LtdCape EVOOMedium
GoldBabylonstorenBabylonstoren Don CarloMedium
GoldBabylonstorenBabylonstoren CoratinaMedium
GoldDe Rustica EstateEstate MediumMedium
GoldDe Rustica EstateEstate Collection: FrantoioMedium
GoldMardouw Investments ZA (Pty) (Ltd)Mardouw Oil of the OliveMedium
GoldMorgensterMorgenster EVOOMedium
GoldMorgensterMorgenster Don CarloMedium
GoldOakhurst OlivesOakhurst MediumMedium
GoldPG FruitPG Fruit EVOOMedium
GoldPorterville Olives Andante IntensoMedium
GoldPorterville OlivesAndante ForteMedium
GoldPorterville OlivesAndante MezzoMedium
GoldTokaraTokara Multi VarietalMedium
GoldVigne d’Or Vigne d’Or EVOOMedium
GoldWildekrans Wildekrans Keerweer EVOOMedium
GoldZoetigheyd Farms Daniel’s DelishMedium
SilverBabylonstorenBabylonstoren FrantoioMedium
SilverBabylonstorenBabylonstoren VersnitMedium
SilverDe HutDe Hut EVOOMedium
SilverDiepsak FarmGreen & GoldMedium
SilverGalenia EstateGalenia Estate – FrantoioMedium
SilverKredouw Olive Estate FavalosaMedium
SilverLapithos Olive GrowersLapithos Olive Growers – Family BlendMedium
SilverMorgensterWoolworths EVOOMedium
SilverNamaqua OlivesNamaqua FrantoioMedium
SilverOakhurst OlivesOakhurst Premium Reserve MediumMedium
SilverOakhurst OlivesOakhurst IntenseMedium
SilverOakhurst OlivesOakhurst Premium ReserveMedium
Silver OudewerfskloofOudewerfskloof EVOOMedium
SilverRio LargoRio Largo EVOOMedium
SilverSerrado Olive Estate (Pty) LtdSerrado EVOOMedium
SilverThree Sisters t/a MontpellierFrantoio FS 17 BlendMedium
SilverTokaraTokara PremiumMedium
SilverTokaraTokara FrantoioMedium
SilverWildekrans Wildekrans Endless EVOOMedium
SilverZoetigheyd FarmsFarm FreshMedium
BronzeDarling OlivesDarling Olives FynbossieMedium
BronzeF. Costa & SonWoolworths Medium IntensityMedium
BronzeGalenia EstateGalenia Estate – Director’s BlendMedium
BronzeGalenia EstateGalenia Estate – Estate BlendMedium
BronzeKadimah Olive EstateArtois Medium 2019Medium
BronzeKleinbergskloofKleinbergskloof Estate BlendMedium
BronzeKransfontein EstateDirectors Reserve – Kransfontein EstateMedium
BronzeKransfontein EstateFrantoio – Kransfontein EstateMedium
BronzeLapithos Olive GrowersLapithos Olive Growers – HarmonyMedium
BronzeMarbrin FarmMarbrin Olive Growers MediumMedium
BronzeOlive BoutiqueOlive Boutique Frantoio / LeccinoMedium
BronzeOlyfberg VrugteOlyfberg EVOO Blend 2Medium
BronzeOlyfberg VrugteOlyfberg EVOO Blend 1Medium
BronzePrince Albert OlivesKaroo Blend EVOOMedium
BronzeTerra RossaTerra Rossa – Napier EVOOMedium
BronzeThe Greenleaf Olive CompanySaint Sebastian Bay EVOOMedium
BronzeThe Greenleaf Olive CompanyGreenleaf EVOOMedium
BronzeWaterleliefonteinWaterleliefontein EVOOMedium
BronzeWildekransWildekrans Field Blend EVOOMedium
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