Absa Top 10 Winner: Kleinbergskloof

Following the announcement of the 2020 #SAOliveAwards & #AbsaTop10 Olive Oils Awards in South Africa, we are presenting a series of interviews with each Gold winning producer.


Absa Top 10 Winner: Kleinbergskloof Frantoio
SA Olive Gold
Winners: Kleinbergskloof Estate Blend, Family Reserve & Frantoio

Name of the oil: Frantoio
Style: Delicate

Cultivars used for this oil: Frantoio
Litres produced: 1000 lt

Tasting notes: This oil stood out when all olive varieties were tasted before blending. Its freshness and fruity character with tastes of almond from the ripe and green fruit created a perfect single variety oil that had to be bottled. A very smooth oil with a subtle hint of texture that gives it great personality. This oil was made from the first frantoio olives handpicked towards the end of a very warm and dry summer.

Best paired with which food: We recommend using this with mild salad greens, vegetable recipes, delicate dishes, grilled or roasted fish, mild cheeses and any other cooked dishes.

Name of the oil: Estate Blend
Style: Medium

Cultivars used for this oil: Favolosa, Coratina, Frantoio, Mission and Leccino
Litres produced: 1500 lt

Tasting notes: This is a well-balanced oil with a complex character. A strong aroma of walnut and artichoke can be found where the fruit of ripe and green olives were used to create a fresh and tasteful oil. The olives were handpicked towards the end of a very warm and dry summer.

Best paired with which food: We recommend using this oil for white meats and carbohydrates like chicken and fresh pasta, bread dipping, mozzarella cheese, salads and sweeter foods.

Name of the oil: Family Reserve
Style: Delicate

Cultivars used for this oil: Frantoio, Mission and Leccino
Litres produced: 1000 lt

Tasting notes: This is a complex oil that possesses an exemplary well-balanced character where fruity freshness and a significant almond taste creates a strong aroma. It is a smooth oil, but the subtle hint of texture gives it great personality. This oil was made from the first olives handpicked towards the end of a warm and dry summer.

Best paired with which food: We recommend using this with mild salad greens, vegetable recipes, delicate dishes, grilled or roasted fish, mild cheeses and any other cooked dishes.

Producer history: Kleinbergskloof Olive Estate is situated in the coastal village in Stilbaai, Western Cape, on the banks of the Goukou River. It was the advice of the late Dr Tol Pienaar, a previous director of the Kruger National Park, to plant olive trees. He was of the opinion that the characteristic limey soils of the area compared favorably with the most fertile soils in France, and that olives produced here would have a very distinctive taste. What happened next was very special! To establish how close to the mark the quality of our oils were – we entered the SA Olive Competition and ended up winning a gold award with our Estate Blend 2013. That was when we realized exactly how right Dr Pienaar was in his prediction. This also motivated us to plant even more orchards, to the extent that the hills behind the house started resembling the Italian countryside, with one orchard next to the other. Today, Kleinbergskloof consists of 10ha of olive trees with a total of +- 4000 trees. Although the yield in this region is somewhat lower than that of the Westen Cape, where the norm is around 10t/ha, the unique quality of our oil more than makes up for this. The cultivars we grow on the farm and use for our Estate Blend is Mission, Coratina, Leccino and Frantoio. We started producing olive oil 8 years ago. If you want to be a boutique producer, you have to ensure that you are in control of every aspect of the production process. You have to be able to harvest at the optimal time and press oil at exactly the right time. We remain a boutique producer – producing around 5000l of olive oil per year. However, this quantity will always be the best we can achieve by harvesting our olives green and by blending various cultivars carefully and thoughtfully. Our olive trees are our passion. We harvest the olives by hand. The picking, washing and sorting is done by workers from our area. We produce our own compost on the farm and combine traditional farming methods with modern technology. We produce extra virgin cold extracted olive oil – pressing is done on our farm.

Short introduction to the oil maker & his/her comment on the 2020 harvest: Our proprietor and oil maker, Hennie Volschenk –  is doing what he loves and loves what he is doing. A retired chartered accountant, Hennie has always had a passion for farming. He finally fulfilled his dreams when he founded Kleinbergskloof in 2001 and started refining his olive and olive oil skills. Small details and quality are very important to him, characteristics you can taste in the award-winning oil that he produces.

Where to buy: Find our online shop and stockists on our website.

Email: info@kleinbergskloof.co.za
Website: www.kleinbergskloof.co.za

For more SA Olive Awards winners click here.
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