TOKARA, the highly acclaimed, family owned wine and olive oil farm on the outskirts of Stellenbosch, has netted a slew of medals across its range of cold pressed extra virgin olive oils at the 2019 SA Olive Awards.
Top performer this year, is the 2019 TOKARA Multi Varietal Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a gold medallist in the ‘Medium’ category. A blend of Frantoio, Leccino and Mission varieties from TOKARA olive groves on the foothills of the Simonsberg, the Multi Varietal has elegant aromas of fresh green olive fruit, wild rocket and butter lettuce that follow through on the palate, finishing off with walnut and spicy notes.
Every year the SA Olive Awards reward excellence by acknowledging the best of the vintage as judged by a panel of international and local experts. Despite a season challenged by the knock-on effect of the drought, the judges were unanimous that South Africa continues to produce world-class olive oil deserving of international accolades.
While the 2019 crop was down on last year as a result of the past three dryer years, TOKARA olive oil master and operations manager Gert van Dyk is upbeat about the quality of the 2019 vintage oils: “The Frantoio olives did really well this year with good crops and lots of herbaceous and salad leaf aromas, with the Mission and Leccino showing similar flavour profiles although the crop size was somewhat smaller.”
Constant monitoring of the olive groves helps to ensure that the quality of olives is of the highest standard required for producing TOKARA’s premium extra virgin oil.
“We still believe in traditional practices, to respect all the stages of the oil, from the fruit on the tree to the table and this year was no different. We were able to craft oils that capture the true olive taste with that beautiful golden-green colour, bursting with natural goodness,” adds van Dyk.
The herbaceous character of the award winning TOKARA Multi Varietal oil accentuates the flavour of meat dishes and works well in dips and salads.
“Free range, well-matured steak would be excellent basted with our oil,” says Anne-Marie Ferreira, who started the family olive oil venture at TOKARA in 2000.
For van Dyk, letting the oil shine on its own is the ultimate experience: “To have a true feast, all you need is fresh ciabatta drizzled with TOKARA Multi Varietal olive oil, thin slices of mature cheddar and freshly ground salt.”
TOKARA makes two single variety olive oils and two blends as well as an unfiltered extra virgin olive oil on tap. Visit the TOKARA Delicatessen for tastings and purchases. For more structured, guided olive oil tastings visit the TOKARA Tasting Lounge. Bookings are advisable. Call Tel: 021-8085900.