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


Rio Largo Fox


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

After 20 years in Central Africa where in international corporate agricultural businesses, Nick Wilkinson a CA (SA) took on the challenge of a new adventure buying the RIO LARGO OLIVE ESTATE. Nick has developed a reputation for turning businesses that included tea, coffee, maize, wheat, cattle, soya, macadamia nuts, and cotton around and, having owned cattle and sheep estates in the Eastern Cape of South Africa of his own, was up for a new challenge – producing olive oil!

Nick had been interested in olives and olive farming since 1997 and had studied this crop intensely before buying the estate in June 2010. The harvest was upon him when Nick drove into the estate that first year, and after a day spent blending the different olive cultivars of Frantoio, Coratina and Leccino to a taste he enjoyed, he sent a sample to the SA OLIVE ASSOCIATION as they were about to have their annual competition.

It was not only a surprise to Nick but I think to the industry as a whole that the award bestowed on this oil had never been issued before, that of DOUBLE GOLD, noting an oil of SUPERIOR quality!

It was the start of a journey which entrusted the purchase of an OLIOMIO Processing Plant designed for our needs by Giorgio Mori in Italy, and to take the processing of this liquid gold to a new level.


Whilst awards are not everything, they do allow both the consumer and producer the knowledge that the oil produced is one that can be relied on for quality and taste. Nick is personally responsible for the ensuring that every aspect of the farm is under his watchful eye and is passionate about every litre he produces, only bottling this special product on order, thus ensuring the quality from tree to table.

Nick is also very particular about which competitions are entered each year but has consistently won top awards both locally and internationally for RIO LARGO since that first DOUBLE GOLD..

RIO LARGO won GOLD in Japan for the 2016 harvest as well as BEST IN CLASS in New York. What an honour for a new world South African oil amongst 800 other oils from around the world!  What more can be asked for than recognition across the globe from East to West!

Rio Largo 

South Africa's Bespoke Award Winner Since 2010.

Try it - You’ll love it!



Raposo is the Portuguese word for FOX

RIO LARGO is the Portuguese word for WIDE RIVER (Breede River)
The Breede River is the wide river running to the North of the Rio Largo Estate

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.

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!
Nick Master Milling

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.


Nick is personally responsible for the ensuring that every aspect of the farm is under his watchful eye and is passionate about the olive oils he produces on the estate; storing the olive oils under optimal conditions and only bottling this special product on order, ensuring  quality from tree to table with every litre shared.

A current, independent chemical analysis is available for each year of harvest , should it be required.

RIO LARGO is an accredited Member of the SA Olive Association and voluntarily submit all oils to the SA OLIVE ASSOCIATION for submission to their Certificate of Compliance Scheme

As an accredited member of the SA Olive Association, RIO LARGO complies with and operates to their prescribed international standards of excellence and displays the CTC seal on all products.

For the consumer, this Commitment to Compliance seal means the following

  • The producer confirms that the content is 100% South African.
  • The year of harvest will be prominently displayed, indicating the freshness of the oil.
  • The producer is committed to the standards set in the SA Olive Codes of Practice, which are based on international quality standards.
  • Honest and transparent labelling – if the label states that the content is Extra Virgin, the producer verifies that the content is in fact Extra Virgin and not Virgin, or a refined 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.

Added to Frans Groenewald's Collection we have other fabulous designs to suit all tastes. We are happy to design personalized labels to client specification.

About Olive Oil


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.

RIO LARGO TUBES have become so popular as they not only store the award winning olive oil under optimal conditions allowing no air or light in to spoil the oil, but they also add an interesting dimension to any kitchen countertop.

RIO LARGO labels are fast becoming collectors pieces- look out for the new designs and remember that we offer personalised labels too!



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


Olio Design & Co

Olio Design & Co is a small design company that offers custom designed olive oil decanters with your unique company's branding, making it an ideal gift for your clients and customers.  The award winning product that we brand is non-other than RIO LARGO OLIVE OIL.  All decanters are custom designed to each client’s specifications and corporate identity, and are a fabulous way to

Olio Design & Co began when a need arose to support 2 family members that had lost their mother, their only surviving parent. Both small children were aged 9 months and 18 months at the time. They are both special needs children and the designing artwork for Corporate Gifting and selling of RIO LARGO OLIVE OIL was a way to help support them, with the proceeds going to pay for their medical, therapeutic expenses, and their continued education With RIO LARGO’S backing and support,  Olio Design &  Co is growing from strength to strength to ensure the future of these children.  Have only the BEST for your client or customer.



+27 82 688 0578


+27 82 340 6726



+27 82 688 0578













Thrupps Illovo Centre, JHB:
Cnr Oxford & Rudd Rd, Illovo 011 268 0298

The Beautiful Life Store
38 4th Ave Parkhurst 011 327 2677


Olive Branch Deli
Shop G5-2, Lifestyle on Kloof Centre, 50 Kloof St, Gardens 073 847 5499

Life Retreat Shop
Lourensford Wine Estate, Lourensford Road, Somerset West 021 847 0089


Karoo Kitchen Deli & Butchery
15 Swapo Road, Durban North 031 564 0172

Selected SPAR outlets

Selected Checkers stores

Selected WOOLWORTHS Stores

Available online from



La Marina Distributors:
+27 11 997 0500

Redmond Sales & Merchandising:
Jill Fourie +27 74 203 1450


Wild Peacock
021 801 3663/4/5


Sagra Food and Wine Merchants
031 944 8333

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.

2013 - Top 5 Olive Oils Of South Africa
2014 - Top 5 Olive Oils Of South Africa
2015 - Top 10 Olive Oils In South Africa
2016 - Top 10 Olive Oils In South Africa
2018 - Top 10 Olive Oils In South Africa


2010 - Double Gold
2011 - Double Gold and Gold
2012 - Double Gold and Silver
2013 - Triple Gold
2014 - Double Gold and Silver
2015 - Gold and Triple Silver
2016 - Triple Gold
2017 - Gold and Double Silver
2018 - Double Gold and Double Silver




2011 - First Prize Intense
2012 - Consumer's Choice
2013 - First Prize Intense and Consumer’s Choice
2014 - First Prize Intense and Consumer’s Choice
2015 - Special Mention
2018 - First Prize Delicate


2013 - 85 Points
2014 - 88 Points
2015 - 95 Points
2016 - 95 Points
2017 - 96 Points
2018 - 96 Points


2013 - Gran Mention
2014 - Silver
2015 - Gran Mention



2015 - Gold
2017 - Gold
2018 - Silver


2014 - Gold
2015 - Silver
2016 - Gold
2017 - Gold
2018 - Gold
2019 - Silver



2012 - Silver
2013 - Gold
2014 - Double Silver
2015 - Double Bronze
2016 - Gold



2013 - Gran Mention
2014 - Silver
2015 - Bronze
2016 - Bronze and Special Mention
2017 - Silver and Special Mention
2018 - Gold and Special Mention



2013 - CONSUMER’S CHOICE Best Health Product


2015 - Best Health Product Speciality Foods Dubai

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.

The JO JO WATERTANK donated by RIO LARGO has made a huge difference during this time of drought.

The proceeds of each of these tubes sold through Yuppiechef will go towards a project that helps protect our Rhinos

Love and support for our beautiful Rhinos

Contact Info

  • +27 82 688 0578 | +27 82 340 6726
  • Scherpenheuwel, Breede River Valley, Western Cape

 33 degrees 46 minutes 56.29 seconds SOUTH        (33 46 56.29 S)

19 degrees 37 minutes 52.72 seconds EAST         (19 37 52.72 E)


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)