19 local olive oils received gold awards in the recent SA Olive Awards (read more here). Their high scores automatically qualified them as contenders for the Top Ten award. The 19 gold medal winners are tasted blind for a second time and scored to reveal the top 10 South African olive oils from the 2017 harvest.
Olive oil is essentially a fruit juice, so it’s important to know the year of harvest as you want to buy olive oil that is as fresh as possible. Always look for the SA Olive Commitment to Compliance (CTC) seal when buying local olive oil as it will reveal the year of harvest as well as provide a guarantee that the oil has been tested and is indeed extra virgin.
2017 marks the 5th anniversary of this competition. It was originally the top 5 SA olive oils, judged from the top 10 scoring oils of the SA Olive Awards. But this year the competition has expanded to the top 10 oils, judged from all gold medal winners from the SA Olive Awards.
Expanding the award from 5 olive oils to 10 is a good move as the scores are so close at this level it seems only fair to acknowledge more oils for their excellent quality. With 10 oils it also becomes easier to find them as consumers often complained that it was difficult to get their hands on any of the top 5 in previous years.
This year’s panel of judges included Reni Hildenbrand, Benedetta Lami and Linda Costa – local olive oil experts who regularly serve on international judging panels – and SA Olive tasting members, Birgitta Hofmeyr and Hazel Henman. Sue Langstaff, an international olive oil expert and sensory scientist from California was the panel leader.
“What distinguishes a superb from a good olive oil? Its perfect levels of balance, complexity, harmony and freshness. And these 10 olive oils do not disappoint,” explains Langstaff.
The Top 10 South African olive oils from the 2017 harvest are:
• Mount Ceder – EVOO
• Rio Largo – Gold EVOO
• Serrado – EVOO
• Wildekrans – Keerweer EVOO
• Morgenster – EVOO
• Porterville Olives – Andante Intenso
• De Rustica Estate – Estate Collection Coratina
• Mardouw – Premium XXV Intense
• Marbrin Olive Growers – Directors Reserve
• Kransfontein – Coratina EVOO
Keep an eye out for these superb South African olive oils at your local store or deli.
Read more about the South African olive industry HERE.
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