The 2021 Absa Top 10 Olive Oil Awards were celebrated hosted recently at the picturesque Drosberg, on the slopes of the Klein Drakenstein mountains. With the majestic Paarl rock as a backdrop and Table Mountain looming in the distance, and with former Olympian sprinter and olive oil ambassador Geraldine Pillay-Viret as MC, the venue could not have been better suited to this celebration of truly South African wonders.
The partnership behind the Absa Top 10 Olive Oil Awards dates back to 2013, when SA Olive and Absa joined forces to launch the Absa Top 5 Olive Oil Awards as an extension to the annual SA Olive Awards. Since 2017, this prestigious recognition of the pursuit of excellence by South African olive oil producers has become known as the Absa Top 10 Olive Oil Awards.
The partnership between Absa and SA Olive demonstrates Absa’s commitment to supporting South African agriculture and promoting the development of South African Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO).
It is a requirement of the Absa Top 10 Olive Oil Awards that the winning EVOOs be made by ten different producers. This reaffirms Absa’s intent to support the development of the South African olive oil industry by maximising exposure and opportunities for local EVOO producers.
In the 2021 edition of the SA Olive Awards which was held in August-September, 113 South African EVOOs wererigorously assessed by a Judging Panel through a strictly controlled blind tasting. The highest-scoring oils out of the 30 gold medal winners became contenders for the Absa Top 10 Olive Oil Awards. These olive oils were judged and the winners selected by a panel of revered tasters and local experts, led by olive oil authority and Panel Leader Dr Aldo Mazzini who had flown in from Italy to preside over the judging.
The Absa Top 10 Olive Oil accolades were awarded to:
Willow Creek: Willow Creek Directors Reserve EVOO
Lions Creek: Lions Creek Karoo Blend EVOO
De Rustica Olive Estate: De Rustica Estate Collection Frantoio
Olive Boutique: Olive Boutique Frantoio
Mardouw: XXV Intense
Porterville Olives: Andante Intenso
Serrado: Serrado EVOO
Lapithos: LapithosFamily Reserve
Rio Largo Estate: Rio Largo Premium
Kleinbergskloof Olive Estate: Kleinbergskloof Olive Estate Blend