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

History

Rio Largo Fox

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

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 WILKINSON PRODUCER @ RIO LARGO OLIVE ESTATE
 
 
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 FACTS

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.

OLIVE OIL PRODUCTION PROCESS

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.

About Olive Oil

PREVENTING  HEART  DISEASE

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.

AS AN ANTIOXIDANT

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.

OTHER HEALTH BENEFITS

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)

FRYING WITH OLIVE OIL

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 www.internationaloliveoil.org

 

FRYING TEMPERATURES

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

branch

The tube keeps the olive oil fresh till the last drop

branch

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!

 

GIFTING RANGE

For centuries a gift of olive oil was a welcome treasure

 CORPORATE GIFTING

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

BEAUTY RANGE

The story of my ‘Balmy’ business:

balm

I live near the southern tip of Africa in Hermanus, where I work as a freelance journalist, editor and natural balm producer. Both my and my husband’s family are prone to allergies. Cortisone and antihistamines have been a mainstay of our well-being for decades.

About a year ago I woke up to what we were using on our skin – mostly mineral oil/petroleum-based, hydrocarbon products containing preservatives, such as parabens. While the jury is still out on whether exposure to such synthetic compounds is linked to cancer or endocrine-system disruption, I decided I didn’t want to risk it and would rather know what I was putting on my skin, and that of my children.

I started looking into natural, non-toxic alternatives that I could make at home. A friend gave me a basic ‘baby balm’ recipe, which she had made and sold under her Earth Nurse label, based on olive and grape seed oils and beeswax.

And my journey into making my own natural skincare products began.

A few weeks after using my Baby Bee Balmy – made from olive, grape seed and apricot kernel oils, beeswax, and lavender and calendula essential oils – my husband experienced great relief from the eczema on his face, neck and arms. My own dry skin loved the balm, which also brought my daughter’s eczema under control. If my son had any rashes or mosquito bites, the balm sorted it out in no time. I started giving it to friends and family, who praised its healing and soothing effects in relieving allergic, dry and itchy skin conditions; nappy rash; sunburn; stretch marks; chapped lips; cracked heels; bites; cuts and scrapes, and burns. Even itchy skin conditions on dogs were healed after a few applications of

Baby Bee Balmy.

I have since adapted the balm through numerous trials, and now add sweet almond and jojoba oils to the olive, grape seed and apricot kernel oils, beeswax, and dried lavender and calendula flowers.

The plant- and animal-based ingredients, which I use in my balms, have special properties for the skin and have been used by healers and herbalists for centuries:

--‐ Olive (Olea europaea) oil has moisturising properties and is quickly absorbed into the skin. It is packed with anti-oxidants to help repair cellular damage caused by the natural process of ageing. Olive oil also has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 8.

--‐ Grape (Vitis Vinifera) seed oil is a non-greasy and light skin oil. It is packed with anti-oxidants, has regenerative and restructuring properties, and is effective in wound, anti-ageing and acne treatments. It has mild astringent properties that help to tighten and tone the skin, and can reduce swelling. It is rich in essential fatty acids, especially linoleic acid, which strengthens cell membranes. Its anti-oxidant properties also prevent pores from becoming clogged.

--‐ Sweet almond (Prunus amygdalus dulcis) oil contains Vitamins A, B1, B2 and B6, and is extremely rich in Vitamin E, which makes it an excellent moisturiser for dry or inflamed skin. It is easily absorbed into the skin and has an SPF of 5.

Olive Oil Soap Story

soap

Born into the family of creative do-it-yourself women, in Mdantsane near East London, Zikhona, wife and mother of 3, now living in Cape Town, remembers that she has always had a curious and creative spirit. It was this spirit that led her to questioning the ingredients in the skincare products she and her family where using.

She remembers buying a bar of natural handmade soap at a local health store and reading the ingredients at the back. It was only made with natural oils! When she compared this with traditional store bought soaps she couldn't believe the difference, the store bought soap was full of added chemicals and fillers. She began to wonder if handmade all-natural meant she could make it herself too?

In early 2011, while working in the retail industry as a fashion buyer, she began her research into natural products, especially soaps.

What led her to this was the need to find natural products that would help her daughter’s eczema.

She wanted something that wouldn't irritate her daughter’s skin. By late that year she had made her first batch, completely natural and chemical-free, and realised how effective it was! Shortly thereafter friends and family were buying her soap. In late 2012, she furthered her research and formulation of fynbos olive oil soaps and decided to make it her career. As she was determined to using only the finest plant-based natural ingredients, she became more aware of the value and properties of indigenous herbs (fynbos) from the Cape Floral Kingdom. Harnessing the power of the plant kingdom, every single bar of O'live handmade soap is made in small batches, using a secret blend of wild-harvested fynbos herbs, locally grown olive oil, and pure essential oils. This is what makes each bar skin-loving, moisturizing and conditioning. Each of the ingredients plays a vital role in ensuring a bar that not only offers hydration and cell regenerating properties, but helps with eczema, sensitive skin and other skin conditions. Through sourcing her raw material, she has also become aware of the role African farmers play in the skincare industry.

As part of her company's mission, she aims to source her ingredients directly from farmers as far as possible, from honey and beeswax, Rooibos, Buchu, olive oil to essential oils. She values the ability to source directly, from 'her back yard', and create empowering relationships with the farmers. The company's dream is to create a high-end African skincare brand using the best botanicals Africa has to offer, supplying both the local and international markets. Zikhona is hoping to open a manufacturing plant, in the Western or Eastern Cape, which will create jobs and also offer a local buyer for the growers of essential oils. Besides creating a premium-quality product, the company is passionate about providing customer satisfaction though in-depth product knowledge. The products are currently sold directly through e-mail orders, at the Old Biscuit Mill and in various stores around Cape Town.

DIRECT FROM THE FARM

NICK WILKINSON

+27 82 688 0578

info@riolargo.co.za

BRENDA WILKINSON

+27 82 340 6726

brenda@riolargo.co.za

RETAIL

GAUTENG

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

WESTERN CAPE

Giovanni's Deliworld, CPT:
103 Main Road, Green Point +27 21 434-6893
WAZU:
M5 Freeway Park, Camp Road, Maitland +27 021 511 1321
www.wazu.co.za
Olive Branch Deli:
Shop G5-2, Lifestyle on Kloof Centre, 50 Kloof St, Gardens +27 73 847 5499
www.olivebranchdeli.com

KZN

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

Available online from

Selected SPAR outlets in Gauteng

spar

Distributors

GAUTENG

La Marina Distributors:
+ 27 11 997 0500 or visit www.lamarinafoods.co.za
Redmond Sales & Merchandising:
Jill Fourie +27 74 203 1450  jillfourie@hotmail.com
The Honey Bear:
Kim Morgado +27 (0)11 783 1993 kim@thehoneybear.co.za
Cater Corner (Pretoria):
Diane Verhaeghe +27 83 9791796
 

WESTERN CAPE

Wild Peacock Distributors:
+27 21 801 3663/4/5 or visit www.wildpeacock.co.za
 

KZN

Janet Tocknell +27 76 350 2827

 

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.

TOM MUELLER

truthinoliveoil.com

Awards

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.
3
ABSA

2013 - Top 5 Olive Oils Of South Africa
2014 - Two Oils- Premium And Gold- In The Top 5 Olive Oils Of South Africa
2015 - Top 10 Olive Oils In South Africa

6
SA OLIVE ASSOCIATION

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

5
MARCO ZICHELLA AWARDS

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

2
FAIR LADY AWARD

2013 - CONSUMER’S CHOICE Best Health Product
2015 - Best Health Product Speciality Foods Dubai

3
IL MAGNIFICO

2013 - Gran Mention
2014 - Silver
2015 - Bronze

il-magni

2
JAPAN OLIVE OIL COMPETITION

2014 - Gold
2015 - Silver

japan

 

4
LOS ANGELES AWARD

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

LA

4
FLOS OLEI

2013 - Top Olive Oils Of The World
2014 - Top Olive Oils Of The World
2015 - Top Olive Oils Of The World
2016 - 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.

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 Us

BRENDA WILKINSON

  • 082 340 6726
  • brenda@riolargo.co.za

NICK WILKINSON

  • 082 688 0578
  • info@riolargo.co.za

FROM CAPE TOWN

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.
 
 [TRAVELING TIME ABOUT 90MIN]

 

ALTERNATIVE ROUTE

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
 
 [TRAVELING TIME ABOUT 40MIN]

FROM ROBERTSON

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)
 
[TRAVELING TIME ABOUT 40MIN]

FROM VILLIERSDORP

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)
 
[TRAVELING TIME ABOUT 20 MIN]