Montagu recently put another feather in its cap when Olijvenhof Olive Estate received a silver medal for its extra virgin olive oil at the annual awards ceremony held at Kroonenberg in Wellington.
They have done us proud as Olijvenhof Olive Estate is one of the recommended destinations on the Montagu tourist route. We spoke to the owners Peter and Lillias Bode to get some background.
"We are overjoyed," said Lillias. "It has been a two year struggle, since we bought the farm, to turn it around; so getting a silver in a prestigious national awards is really something - a confirmation that we are getting there. Next year gold!
We're holding thumbs and throwing ourselves into those orchards. We played Mozart to the trees last season, perhaps we will give them some Beethoven now as well," she laughs, "That's a family joke. My husband thinks Beethoven is a cure-all for everything. Our children had an earful of it in the cot!"
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is categorized into three styles, Delicate, Medium and Intense. Oils from different cultivars are blended together and it is in this blending process that the oil producer determines whether their oil is to be either Delicate Medium or Intense.
Olijvenhof oil won in the category "intense "style. Intense olive oil is a strong robust oil with a peppery after taste. "The more intense the more you feel that bite at the back of your throat. This tells you many things about the oil, namely that it is rich in health giving polyphenols,"says Peter.
That's what makes these awards so valuable to the producer, and ultimately to the consumer. You cannot enter your oil into the competition without a full laboratory test, which indicates the exact acidity of your oil. No oil may be over 0.8% acidity to enter. Ours was a wondrous 0.3%.
There are many olive oil farmers in South Africa producing some of the best olive oil in the world. There were 76 entries and 66 awards given. Confirming that we have a very high quality standard in South Africa - and ethic: what the labeling promises is what you get. Unlike many imported olive oils.
Buy one of the top names and you are guaranteed to be investing (or protecting -) your health in an excellent quality oil. Olijvenhof is proud to be standing up there amongst names like Willow Creek and Morgenster, who have generously, over the past two years given us an encouraging nudge ever forward.
For more information about Olijvenhof, or to contact Lillias and Peter, you can visit their website: www.olijvenhof.co.za