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
RIO LARGO OLIVE ESTATEAn 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 passionto continually strive for better and you have a winning recipe. Attention to detail is not negotiableand the competitive spirit to compete with the best of the best lives with us daily
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.
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 nominated as chairman of the SA Olive Association for 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.
THE PEOPLE - NICK AND BRENDA WILKINSON
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 WILKINSONPRODUCER @ RIO LARGO OLIVE ESTATE
RIO LARGO OLIVE ESTATE, 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, 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 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.
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.
OLIVE OIL PRODUCTION PROCESS
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.
EXTRA VIRGINOLIVE OIL FACTS
We have recently packaged 2 litres of award winning oil into a foil lining within a Frans Groenewald designed i-Tube which keeps the olive oil fresh till the last drop, as the foil compresses with use allowing no air or light to spoil the oil. It really is the ideal companion in any kitchen as the usual 500ml doesn’t last long with any serious chef!
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.
Many claims are made for the health benefits of consuming olives and olive oil. Olive oil is 98 % fat. Most of these fats are “healthy” and can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Olive oil also contains the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E
PREVENTING HEART DISEASEBlood 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 ANTIOXIDANTThe 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 BENEFITSOlive 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)
HEALTH BENEFITS OF OLIVE OIL
FRYING WITH OLIVE OILSource: International Olive Councilwww.internationaloliveoil.orgFrying is one of the few characteristics common to the entire Mediterranean area, be it European, Asian or African, and to the three religions practised, Christian, Muslim and Jewish. It is one of the oldest methods in existence of cooking food. Recent investigations have shown that frying is beneficial to the organism, particularly from the physiological point of view. Because of this, it has extended to areas where formerly it was not as popular. Whether the food fried is digested easily or lies heavily on the stomach depends to a great extent on the type of oil used, the temperature of the oil and the manner in which the food was fried. Studies undertaken on healthy subjects and patients with gastroduodenal problems (gastritis, ulcer, liver and biliary complaints) have shown that there is no relationship between food fried in olive oil and these illnesses. The alteration undergone by vegetable oils when heated for frying is quicker and more fatty acids (seed oils), and the higher the initial acidity of the oil (it is more stable if it has a high content of natural antioxidants - vitamin E). This alteration also varies according to temperature and length of time heated, number of times used, manner of frying (in continuous frying it changes less), and the type of food being fried (frying fish, especially oily fish, increases the polyunsaturated acid content of the oil, facilitating its decomposition). 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, therefore, is the most suitable, the lightest and the tastiest medium for frying. It 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 generally 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. 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. TEMPERATURETYPE OF FOOD Medium (130-145º C)High water content: vegetables, potatoes, fruitHot (155- 170º C)Coated in batter,flour or breadcrumbs, forming a crust Very hot (175-190º C)Small, quickly fried: small fish, croquettes
This biodegradable tube has a Frans Groenewald artpiece on it, so it will adorn your kitchen while storing your RIO LARGO OLIVE OIL. Easy pouring, no dripping tap HYGIENICALLY stored inside the tube until opened
To complement 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.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN BUYING OLIVE OILSA Olive Association has a Commitment to Compliance Programme which is evidenced by a logo sticker on all containers where producers have met their requirements.This sticker registers the year of harvest and assures the buyer that the oil is within the definition of extra virgin olive oil and it has passed an independent expert tasting panel test and has no defects.Quite simply any user of olive oil should buy local compliant labels of the latest harvest with the comfort that such oil is world class.We at RIO LARGO OLIVE ESTATE are committed members of the SA Olive Association and are very proud to have won top awards in South Africa since 2010.
COMPARABILITYFresh is best and correct storage is all important to ensure that oil does not oxidise. RIO LARGO OLIVE OIL is only bottled on order and is stored in state of the art sealed stainless steel vats in a temperature controlled environment. It is highly unlikely that any imported oil can compete on quality and taste with local olive oil when it is exposed to tropical temperatures on trans shipment from Europe and is unlikely to reach local supermarket shelves as quickly as our local product.
RIO LARGO AWARDSABSA2013 Top 5 Olive Oils Of South Africa2014 Two Oils- Premium And Gold- In The Top 5 Olive Oils Of South AfricaSA OLIVE ASSOCIATION2010 Double Gold2011 Double Gold and Gold2012 Double Gold and Silver 2013 Triple Gold 2014 Double Gold and SilverMARCO ZICHELLA AWARDS2011 First Prize Intense2012 Consumer's Choice2013 First Prize Intense and Consumer’s Choice2014 First Prize Intense and Consumer’s ChoiceFAIR LADY CONSUMER’S CHOICE AWARD2013 Best Health Product IL MAGNIFICO2013 Gran Mention2014 SilverJAPAN OLIVE OIL COMPETITION2014 GoldLOS ANGELES AWARD2012 Silver2013 Gold2014 Double SilverFLOS OLEI 2013 Top Olive Oils Of The World2014 Top Olive Oils Of The World2015 Top Olive Oils Of The World
SA Olive is a voluntary association representing the interests of the South African olive industry. SA Olive has more than 100 full members consisting of olive growers, olive oil producers, table olive producers and olive tree nurseries. SA Olive is committed to supporting a healthy future, i.e. ensuring a healthy future for its members, healthy growth and development for the industry and a healthy lifestyle for all South Africans. The association is managed by a management committee elected from and by its members.
RIO LARGO OLIVE ESTATE has been winning awards consistently since 2007Oils are adjudged world class by a panel of international and local judges at SOUTH AFRICAN ASSOCIATION in Paarl, Western Cape in conjunction with HORTGRO in August of each year.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.
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 Worcester\Amathunzi (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]
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]