The results of the 2009 SA Olive Awards were announced Wednesday 16 September by SA Olive, the governing body of this industry and Consol, the competition sponsor.
The four top achievers in the Commercial class, with four gold medals apiece, are: Kloovenburg Cold Extracted Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Kloovenburg Olives), Morgenster Cold Extracted Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Morgenster), Olyfberg Extra Virgin Olive Oil Cold Pressed (Olyfberg) and Rio Largo Extra Virgin Olive Oil Cold Extracted (Rio Largo Farming).
Half a dozen olive oils earned gold awards in the Boutique class. The achievers in this category are: Green & Gold Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Diepsak Farm); The Lady Olive – Olive Oil (The Lady Olive); Saint Sebastian Bay Extra Virgin Olive Oil (The Greenleaf Olive Co); Muiskraal Extra Virgin Olive Oil Cold Pressed (Muiskraal); Olyven Houdt Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Olyven Houdt Farm) and Waterfall River Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil Cold Extracted (Waterfall River) who each won one gold award.
Entries were tasted blind and judged by the official SA Olive tasting panel according to set criteria in terms of style – delicate, medium and intense. The panel, led by industry stalwart Gerrie Duvenage, consisted of four producers and three non-producers.
Gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded on a consensus basis to oils that score a pre-determined number of points. “This model has been used with great success by the wine industry and has proven as appropriate to us,” says SA Olive chairperson, Andries Rabie.
According to Rabie this year’s adjudication process will set groundbreaking standards in the olive industry. Only experts from the industry with acknowledged tasting qualifications and who actively serve on tasting panels, qualify to take part in the judging of this authoritative competition.
Annalene du Toit of Kloovenburg Estate has been named the 2009 ABSA Olive Achiever of the Year for her impressive passion for and contribution to the growth of the industry.
The ABSA Olive Achiever trophy is awarded each year to a candidate of any segment of the industry, including olive oil producers, nurseries, table olive producers or processors, or any related product or activity, who has contributed significantly to the development and growth of the local olive industry.