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.
SA Olive Gold Winner: Tokara
Name of the oil: Tokara Frantoio EVOO 2020
Style: Medium Fruity
Cultivars used for this oil: Frantoio
Litres produced: 10,000 lt
Producer history: TOKARA Wine and Olive Estate is situated in a magnificent setting near the historic town of Stellenbosch, the heart of the Western Cape wine region. Framed by vineyards and olive groves, TOKARA is a popular destination for wine, food and art enthusiasts.
Throughout the classical wine-producing regions of the world, there is a natural association between the olive grove and the vineyard. At TOKARA, this celebrated relationship continues. Producing pure premium extra virgin olive oil was a natural evolution for TOKARA and the Ferreira family, given their passion for cooking and good food.
TOKARA’S olive oil journey began in 2000 when Anne-Marie Ferreira decided to produce single variety oils that would set them apart from the handful of South African olive oil producers at the time. She travelled to Italy with Jan Pretorius, the production manager at the time, who helped her start the family olive oil venture, to learn all they could. After travelling the length and breadth of Italy, they finally decided to focus on Tuscan varieties, Frantoio, Leccino and Coratina. Soon after their return, the TOKARA olive groves began to take shape.
Two decades later, TOKARA still focuses primarily on these Tuscan varieties. Each variety has its own distinctive character and flavour profile to augment the taste of diverse culinary dishes.
Short introduction to the oil maker & his/her comment on the 2020 harvest: Gert van Dyk joined the Tokara team in 2014, after a 10-year career at Vesuvio Estates. For him, TOKARA olive oil is all about capturing the goodness of the fresh olive in the bottle, a task he pursues with vigour and passion. “A good oil is made on the tree, and at TOKARA I’m lucky enough to be hands-on from the olive groves right through to the final pressing stage,” says van Dyk who makes sure that the olives are pressed within 24 hours of being harvested to safeguard their diverse flavour profiles. The oil in the bottle should be as close as possible to the oil in the olive on the tree,” is his mantra.
Tasting notes: The 2020 TOKARA Frantoio has a herbaceous fresh fruit aroma with notes of artichoke, tomato vine, olive leaf and pine seeds. The first taste bursts with fresh green olive fruit and ends off with a rich lingering almond note.
Best paired with which food: Delicious to use with red meat dishes like a hearty Ossobuco. Its complexity will also help to enhance the flavour of salads and in this case a fresh Caprese Salad.
Where to buy: From Tokara, Checkers, Woolworths and selected SPAR stores and Deli Outlets.
Facebook: Tokara Wine & Olive Farm