This award winning estate, is situated in the Scherpenheuwel valley between Worcester and Robertson on the southern banks of the Breede River.

Owned by Nick and Brenda Wilkinson,  it comprises olive orchards, vines, an olive specific nursery and a state of the art OLIOMIO olive processing and bottling plant. The terroir, with water on demand from the Breede River and Brandvlei Irrigation System, is perfect for olive growing with high sunshine hours, cold winters and minimal disease. Summer daytime temperatures can be high but the afternoon south easterly breezes from Cape Agulhas, the “wind doctor” in local parlance, brings relief and cool nights. Add superior Italian cultivars, state of the art processing facilities, ideal storage facilities and owner driven passion to continually strive for better and you have a winning recipe.

Attention to detail is not negotiable and the competitive spirit to compete with the best of the best lives with us daily

We are very excited this week as we prepare to fly RIO LARGO to Rome to be represented at the prestigious event at the Westin Hotel; FLOS OLEI 2016.
RIO LARGO will stand proud amongst the many oils from around the world that are represented in this guide.
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Have you entered the RIO LARGO/PESTO PRINCESS Competition yet!! #pimpmysummer SUCH a fabulous prize!
AND best of all.... will be able sharing a bit of RIO LARGO LOVE&JOY
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Eggplant & Tomato Caponata - Absolutely gorgeous as a warm side or cold antipasto. Rio Largo Olive Estate For #recipe go to >>>

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Win an entire Summer Feast!

We've joined Pesto Princess as co-sponsors of the coolest competition ever called #pimpmysummer! You can win an entire Summer Feast which includes a portable, ceramic pizza oven from Earthfire Pizza complete with pizza paddle and a pack of crispy pizza bases to get you started.

And this is where WE come in.

You can win a litre of our award-winning extra virgin olive oil, featuring festive artwork by Frans Groenewald. Steenberg Estate have included three bottles of their premium white wines and the winner will be drinking those from crystal glasses from Crystal Direct. Of course no summer feast would be complete without pesto sauces and spice pastes from Pesto Princess, and we hear they've tucked in a bag of wholesome Eureka Mills flour, some Parma ham and real buffalo mozzarella.


Click on the link to enter

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Nick and Brenda Wilkinson bought the farm in June 2010 from Carlos Raposo who owned and developed the brand since 2003.

Raposo is the Portuguese word for FOX

RIO LARGO is the Portuguese word for BROAD RIVER (Breede River)
The Breede River is the Broad river running to the North of the Rio Largo Estate
and so we have a fox over the Breede River

Look out for the fox - he can pop up anywhere!

The people

Nick and Brenda spent twenty years in Central Africa where Nick established a reputation for “fixing” failed large scale farming enterprises on behalf of blue chip international investors. In Nick’s words  “If you cannot measure it, you cannot control it – stick to the rules, no short cuts and pay attention to detail ” formed the backbone of a successful career which is set to continue at RIO LARGO.  Brenda, the never say no, marketing specialist created Leisure Seekers Guide to Hotels and Lodges in Zambia whilst running her own school, bringing up two girls and building the expertise of local craftsman to produce wicker and wrought iron furniture. Brenda is now enjoying the marketing challenge of RIO LARGO in the bliss of suburbia after her ex-pat experiences in Africa.

Nick has been chairman of the SA Olive Association since 2013.

Rio Largo Olive Oil is produced with passion. Nick and Brenda have experienced the health benefits of Rio Largo Olive Oil and wish to share this with others

A note from Nick .... Daydreams of an oil maker

Life is very different now! Thoughts of monthly Board meetings, budgets, financial reports and strategic plans a distant memory – brings a wry smile to my face. The corporate life of a trained chartered accountant is dead and buried. I’m an oil maker yes- I now make olive oil.

It’s processing time, my disciplined three months, early start and sometimes a late finish but it does instil a sense of self discipline after the freedom of farm life throughout the rest of the year.

Mine’s not an office in the city with a daily commute and a pitched battle with taxis and the competitive edge of time restricted office jockeys.

Chasing the clock is now irrelevant – patience my man – that is what the Italian mentor taught me in creating premium extra virgin olive oil. The fruit will determine time and you will have time to think, no not think, more like day dream. Reinvent the world, indulge in a creative spirit and produce an end product that will enhance the art of slow food and perhaps reverse some of the ills of the city life.

High cholesterol and hypertension are no longer the topic of dinner party conversation, a good dollop of my extra virgin olive oil daily and its inclusion in most mealtimes has put paid to those concerns which even has my GP thinking. Yes this stuff, if good quality, really does help and the bureaucratic European Union even acknowledge such findings.

Up with the sunrise, a brisk walk to the shed, check out the olives to determine the press settings and fire it all up. A logical sequence olives to the washer, then the crusher pushing paste into the malaxers and slowly kneaded until the oil starts glisten. From here its pumped through the centrifuge to separate the oil from the pomace and water and finally lightly filtered and stored away in stainless steel tanks with a nitrogen blanket to keep it fresh until packed and sent to you the customer.

Nothing added and nothing taken away, patience a virtue and time dictated by a process as old as time itself – equipment is more modern today but principles haven’t changed and those original Olympians and even Julius Caesar consumed the same liquid gold.

The pace of life has changed, the surrounding countryside is now my view, the birds my music and the sunshine my light.
Do I miss the race of time, the daily grind, chasing the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?
No- I’m alive not dead, I create something worthwhile with my own hands and it’s good, really good. What is more it promotes health and well being for all who choose to consume my creation. RIO LARGO extra virgin olive oil has changed my life!

Legend has it that the olive tree was a gift from the goddess Athena to humanity.
For centuries, a gift of olive oil was a welcome treasure.
Food- lovers have never entirely forgotten the delightful golden fluid, but in recent years, a new awareness of the benefits of olive oil has been born

The farm

Rio Largo Olive Oil, an award winning estate, is situated in the Scherpenheuwel valley between Worcester and Robertson on the southern banks of the Breede River.
RIO LARGO OLIVE ESTATE uses various cultivars; Frantoio, Leccino, FS-17 and Coratina. All cultivars originate from Italy and are known to compliment each other in making up a well balanced extra virgin Olive Oil. The cultivars ripen at different times during the harvest which determines that olives are handpicked at optimal ripeness rather than being faced with all fruit ripening simultaneously and then having to harvest some unripe and some over ripe. Frantoio is the dominant cultivar with good oil yields and a fruity flavour whilst Coratina is pungent, strong and peppery and Leccino is very smooth and mild. Such cultivars have become the preferred blend for Italian oils and were specifically developed for high quality oil.
RIO LARGO OLIVE ESTATE adopts biological farming methods for sustainable agriculture by “putting more back then you take out” together with overall concern for protecting the environment for future generations. Mineral deficiencies are a common feature in modern day agriculture and RIO LARGO addresses this problem by taking regular soil and leaf samples to determine replacement through annual biological fertility programmes.
The estate nursery provides superior rootstock for own replanting and expansion requirements as well as sales to the like minded public.

The Process


Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the highest quality olive oil. It is characterized by perfect flavour, odour, a maximum acidity (oleic acid) of 1g/100g - 1% with maximum peroxide value equivalent 02/kg of 20. In South Africa, Extra Virgin Olive Oil  is judged by a panel of experts for taste, mouth feel, and aroma. This oil contains the most health benefits when fresh which reduces with oxidation and exposure to heat and light.
Frantoio, Leccino and Coratina trees are planted in groups of three to four rows of each cultivar, in order to facilitate cross pollination which leads to more abundant fruiting. Harvest takes place from March to June. The harvested fruit is a combination of green to ripe olives, in a calculated effort to enhance complex fruity flavours.


The olives grown on the RIO LARGO ESTATE are hand picked, thus providing much needed employment for the people in the valley. The hand picking method guarantees that the fruit remains intact with little or no bruising and to avoid fermentation. The fruit is crushed fresh on the same day of picking. The oil is cold- extracted in a state of the art Italian Oliomio Extraction Plant which is linked into a management control system in Italy. Once processed the oil is immediately stored in stainless steel tanks by cultivar and topped with a layer of nitrogen to prevent oxidation.
The oil is filtered to remove moisture and any natural fine sediment settles by gravity in the tanks. The storage room is kept at a constant temperature of 16°C.
The entire process results in a completely natural product without additives or preservatives. Only bottled on order off the farm for absolute freshness throughout the year. All conditions are thus created for the production of the finest extra-virgin olive oil.

The olives grown on the Rio Largo Estate are hand picked, thus providing much needed employment for the people in the valley. The hand picking method guarantees that the fruit remains intact with little or no bruising and avoids fermentation.

Tube Art

Frans Groenewald studied at the University of Stellenbosch where he obtained his BA.FA (graphic design) and BA.FA (photography) with distinction. His artwork is witty and irreverent and often referred to as 'decotainments'. The prints, available in 200 shops across South Africa (branded as Flambe) and also in Holland and Australia (branded as Vespaghetti), are characterised by unusual word play, fresh colour usage and unique characters, such as Basil the chef and his free range chicken, Benedict. Titles form an integral part of his designs and recipe book illustrations. "I am inspired by relationships and live life with a hopeful expectancy, which is reflected in my artwork both in style and content." Unlike his images, Frans is actually quite a normal person, but a clueless cook. He's married to Grace and they have two sons, Joshua and Thomas. They live in Somerset West, South Africa.

Health benefits


Blood contains important compounds called lipoproteins, which carry fats and cholesterol around the body. The high mono- unsaturated-fat content of olive oil helps to lower the levels of LDLs and other fats (triglycerides) in the blood, without reducing the HDL levels. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT LDLs and HDLs.


The anti-oxidizing properties of olives can be transferred to human cells so that they deteriorate more slowly. Antioxidants are also said to increase longevity and slow down skin ageing.


Olive oil is thought to help calcium absorption and thus act against osteoporosis. More importantly, it is said to insure against memory loss, cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease in the elderly. This may be related to the brain’s need for mono-unsaturated acids to maintain its cell structure and membranes. A recent study in the USA found that olive oil contains, oleocanthal, a natural chemical that acts in a similar way to a painkiller. (Excerpts from the book “Olive Oil” by Charles Quest-Ritson published by Dorling Kindersley Limited)


Olive oil is ideal for frying. In proper temperature conditions, without over-heating, it undergoes no substantial structural change and keeps its nutritional value better than other oils, not only because of the antioxidants but also due to its high levels of oleic acid. Its high smoking point (210ºC) is substantially higher than the ideal temperature for frying food (180ºC). Those fats with lower critical points, such as corn and butter, break down at this temperature and form toxic products. Another advantage of using olive oil for frying is that it forms a crust on the surface of the food that impedes the penetration of oil and improves its flavour. Food fried in olive oil has a lower fat content than food fried in other oils, making olive oil more suitable for weight control. Olive Oil goes further than other oils, and not only can it be re-used more often than others, it also increases in volume when reheated, so less is required for cooking and frying. The digestibility of heated olive oil does not change even when re-used for frying several times. Olive oil should not be mixed with other fats or vegetable oils and should not be used more than four or five times. The oil used for frying should always be hot; if it is cold the food will soak up the oil. There should always be plenty of oil in the pan when deep frying. If only a small amount is used, not only will it burn more easily but the food being fried will be undercooked on top and overcooked on the bottom  Source: International Olive Council



When heated, olive oil is the most stable fat, which means it stands up well to high frying temperatures. Its high smoking point (210º C) is well above the ideal temperature for frying food (180º C). The digestibility of olive oil is not affected when it is heated, even when it is re-used several times for frying.

Medium (130-145º C)

High water content: vegetables, potatoes, fruit

Hot (155- 170º C)

Coated in batter,flour or breadcrumbs, forming a crust  

Very hot (175-190º C)

Small, quickly fried: small fish, croquettes  

The tube


The tube keeps the olive oil fresh till the last drop


To complement the Rio Largo Olive Oil we import the finest Balsamic Vinegar from Modena, Italy. Refills available in 1 & 5 litre containers of both Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar.

Range of products


To compliment the RIO LARGO OLIVE OIL we import the finest Balsamic Vinegar from Modena, Italy and bottle it in our exclusive gourmet-bottles (250ml). The 250 ml combos of Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar are a popular addition to any table and refillable. Together this makes an attractive duo for any restaurant or dinner table. Refills available in 1 & 5 litre containers of both Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar.



For centuries a gift of olive oil was a welcome treasure


Hampers with a variety of products made up on request. Personalised labels are our speciality- the perfect Corporate Gift!
Contact us for more corporate gifting ideas




+27 82 688 0578


+27 82 340 6726



La Marina Distributors:
+ 27 11 997 0500 or visit
Redmond Sales & Merchandising:
Jill Fourie +27 74 203 1450
The Honey Bear:
Kim Morgado +27 (0)11 783 1993
Cater Corner (Pretoria):
Diane Verhaeghe +27 83 9791796



Wild Peacock Distributors:
+27 21 801 3663/4/5 or visit
Wazu Distributors:
+27 21 511 1321 



Janet Tocknell +27 76 350 2827




Thrupps Illovo Centre, JHB:
Cnr Oxford & Rudd Rd, Illovo +27 11 268-0298


Giovanni's Deliworld, CPT:
103 Main Road, Green Point +27 21 434-6893


Karoo Kitchen Deli & Butchery
15 Swapo, Durban North +27 (31) 564 0172





Available online from

Selected SPAR outlets


Selected Checkers outlets


Tasting is believing. You can read about great olive oils, and their vast superiority over bad oils, all you want. You can hear folks talk about the subject, you can watch videos on it. But until you try first-rate olive oil for yourself - actually put the good stuff in your mouth, and compare that experience to the bad stuff you've eaten in the past - you won't really get it. You won't fully believe there's a problem, or, in your heart of hearts, that all the fuss over bad oil is entirely justified.



Rio Largo Olive Oil has been winning awards consistently since 2010

Whilst awards are not everything, they do allow the consumer a yardstick, whereby the oils and the producer can be measured. We prefer you to know your product and know your producer! With that knowledge at your fingertips, you our consumer, can make informed decisions- for your health’s sake.
Top 5 Olive Oils Of South Africa
Two Oils- Premium And Gold- In The Top 5 Olive Oils Of South Africa
Double Gold
Double Gold and Gold
Double Gold and Silver
Triple Gold
Double Gold and Silver


First Prize Intense
Consumer's Choice
First Prize Intense and Consumer’s Choice
First Prize Intense and Consumer’s Choice
Best Health Product
Gran Mention
Double Silver
Top Olive Oils Of The World
Top Olive Oils Of The World
Top Olive Oils Of The World

SAVE the rhino

What amazing work is happening behind the scenes whilst we continue our life in the city! Rhinos are being poached at an alarming rate but professional teams are saving Rhinos that might otherwise have died in the bush, from wounds suffered at the fate of the poachers. This amazing iniative takes time, money and the dedication of a whole team of folk who work tirelessly behind the scenes.

Rio Largo Olive Oil teamed up with two organizations that have the same vision and created a special label to spread the word as to what is being done.

Whilst we will be taking to RIO LARGO to new homes, the proceeds of which aid this cause which is so close to our hearts. Remember out of site does not mean out of mind- RIO LARGO SAVING THE SURVIVORS

Let’s pay it forward in keeping these beautiful animals alive.

Contact Us


  • 082 340 6726


  • 082 688 0578


Travel in Worcester direction on N1.
As you exit the Du Toits Kloof Pass turn right on R101 to Rawsonville.
After 6km turn right towards Rawsonville.
At stop after the police station, turn right into Van Riebeeck Street and drive through Rawsonville and cross over Smalblaar River.
Continue for about 11km turn sharp left at Nekkies Resort over the Breede River to Worcester.
After approx 2.5km turn right on R43 to Villiersdorp.
This road takes you past Aan De Doorns Co - Op on right hand side.
Approx 1km on from Co-Op turn left  at the sign "Eilandia, Scherpenheuwel".
Continue on this road for 8km and cross over the Breede River.( short gravel road here)
Turn left at T-junction to Scherpenheuwel.
Continue straight on this road for 8km to the orange wall and RIO LARGO OLIVE ESTATE.



If Breede River is flooded
Please call the farm to check conditions of the river
Follow instructions till you get to the Aan De Doorns Co-Op.
Continue on the R43 in the direction Villiersdorp pass over the Breede River
You will pass the Cilmor Cellar on your right and approx 4 km turn Left to Doornrivier.
After 500m turn left to Scherpenheuwel (gravel road)
Continue straight on this road for 14km to the orange wall and RIO LARGO OLIVE ESTATE


From Voortrekker road in Robertson take road to McGregor (the turn off is opposite the Robertson Info center and next to La Verne Wine Boutique)
Continue over the bridge (Breede River) take right fork to Le Chasseur Agterkliphoogte.
Turn right to Worcester 15km from the Breede River bridge.
Travel for 5.3km turn left to WorcesterAmathunzi (Gravel road)
Continue on gravel road for 15.5km (you will pass Amathunzi) and come to a T-Junction.
Turn right travel for 2 kms till the orange wall and RIO LARGO OLIVE ESTATE(On tar and end bit gravel)


Leaving Villiersdorp on the R43 in direction Worcester travel for approx 31km until you see a sign "Doornrivier/Scherpenheuwel". 
Turn right into this road and after 500m turn left onto a gravel road to Scherpenheuwel.
Continue straight on this road for 14km to Oryx House (you will pass the Robertson turn off)