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: PG Fruit EVOO – Pai Parakore
SA Olive Gold Winner: PG Fruit EVOO – Pai Parakore
Name of the oil: Pai Parakore
Cultivars used for this oil: Frantoio 20%, Mission 80%
Litres produced: 12 000 lt
Tasting notes: A fruity extra virgin olive oil made from ripe and green olives. Fruity nose with green notes of herb, tomato and walnut.
Best paired with which food: Best used raw in mediterranean style salads, pizza or roasted vegetables. Paired with peppery greens and parmesan cheese.
Producer history: PG fruit was established in 2010 on the Du Toit family farm near Villiersdorp. Prior to that, our harvest was sold to big-name brands. However, in 2013 an overproduction of olives in the local market left us without a buyer for our bumper crop. Instead of falling into despair, we ventured into new avenues of olive production. Ciska boldly started to create alternative production methods for fermented olives and Gerhard contracted out the extraction of remaining olives to olive oil. The decision was made to exclusively market our products directly to the customer at farmers markets to be able not only to have a personal connection with our buyers but to understand how to service our customers the best. Struggling sales against big brands carried on for only a few years but invaluable information was gathered. The support of local customers soon lifted our fledgeling company to an annual “sold out” production in only 3 years. Within 5 years we have procured our very own top of the line olive extraction plant and increased production by 4 fold.
Short introduction to the oil maker & his/her comment on the 2020 harvest: Ciska and Gerhard du Toit are not only the owners of the farm but the team of PG Fruit that produce our gold-winning olive oil. Working in tandem, where the one tips the olives into the press, the other carefully tune the hammer mill. Ciska boasts a degree in Agricultural Sciences from the University of Stellenbosch while Gerhard has multiple degrees in Agricultural Science from Stellenbosch and also a PhD from Australia.
The 2020 harvest was not without its challenges. Of most significant was extremely dry summer that followed a dry winter for the 4th year running. However, a very good yield has been achieved this year with a heavy Frantoio crop. Heavier cropping has led to more green than black fruit and ultimately producing an oil that’s fruity on the nose and delicate taste.
Where to buy: PG Fruit EVOO is available to buy directly from our farm stall at the Hermanus Country Market or in Greyton opposite the tourist centre every Saturday morning. We do online sales via our website and support our fantastic GoodFoodSA club network throughout Cape Town. We try not to be in retail stores, however there is a handful of deli’s that do carry us in Cape Town. For our adventurous customers though, we are always available on the farm for a visit. However, please contact us beforehand to make an appointment, as we run around.