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‘Olive’ Stellenbosch more than you know


20 July 2017 [group_audience]
South Africa is not well known for producing olives or olive oil, and it is true that our olive industry is relatively young compared to other countries around the world. But you may be surprised to know that we have over 100 olive producers in South Africa and our olive oil is widely considered to be among the best in the world. Dax Villanueva from Relax With Dax tell us more. 
Local vs Imported
Unfortunately many South Africans still think that olive oil imported from Spain, Italy or Greece is superior to our local oils, but that is not the case. To enjoy the maximum taste and health benefits from olive oil it must be fresh. We can buy local olive oils off our supermarket shelves within weeks of the oil being pressed. Olive oil degrades over time and should be consumed within 18 months of harvest.
Quality Control
The South African Olive Association tests all olive oil produced locally and verifies that it meets the quality standards that have been set and is from the harvest stated. Look for the SA Olive Association sticker when purchasing your next bottle of olive oil.
Olives are produced predominantly in the Western Cape and many wine farms produce olives as well. Stellenbosch has a number of olive farms and foodies who are interested in olives and olive oil would enjoy visiting some of these farms to taste their products. 
There are many reasons to visit Tokara, they produce amazing wine, their restaurant is superb and the views are breath-taking. But in addition to all that, Tokara has a wide range of olive oils which can be tasted in the wine tasting area.
Olives are like wine in the sense that different types of olives have different characteristics. Tokara is 
one of the producers that makes single variety oils as well as a blend. Tasting the varieties individually is a great way to learn the characteristics of the different olives, which together can form a perfectly balanced olive oil blend.
Hidden Valley is probably most famous for being the location of Overture, the multi-award winning restaurant by Bertus Basson. While Overture is a dining experience not to be missed, Hidden Valley has much more to offer. Apart from a range of quality wines, Hidden Valley produces table olives and olive oil.
A blend of  Leccino, Mission, Frantoio and Coratina olives, this olive oil has a medium intensity, making appealing to a broad range of palates. The table olives are Nocarella (green) and Kalamata (black) varieties. While Kalamata olives are well known, not many people are familiar with Nocarella olives which have a crisp, firm and chewy texture with a creamy, nutty taste.
Other Stellenbosch olive producers include Chaloner, Kleinood, Portion 36 and Warwick.
To find out more about olives, olive oil and the SA olive industry, visit www.olive-central.co.za

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