Last week my school friend Jenny Stephens and I spent two days on the Wellington Wine Walk, a guiding service offered by school friend Elaine Wegelin and her colleagues Katrin Steytler, and Carol-Ann Jeffrey.
Jenny, Elaine, and I grew up in Wellington, and sat on the same school benches at three Wellington schools. Having left Wellington after Matric 50 years ago, it was not just an eating and drinking adventure, but it was a catch-up of how our hometown has grown and developed in this time. Continue reading →
Friday 6 November 2020, Day 47 of Level 1, Day 225 of Lockdown 😷
Corona Gratitude 🙏
#Grateful for the huge amount of rain that has fallen today, in Cape Town as well as here in Wellington, excellent for the new vines that have just been planted; for the fabulous flexibility of our Wellington Wine Walk hosts for keeping us dry, in shuttling us to all our stops today, as it poured non-stop; for the entertaining and educational tastings of Buchu, Olive oil, and Wines at various stops in Wellington; for our cosy accommodation at Dunstone wine estate; for a good dinner at the Dunstone restaurant; for a warm bed; for the confirmation of the Carte Blanche interview with Carte Blanche presenter Derek Watts happening at my home next week; and for being happy and healthy. 🙏💙 Continue reading →
An unique ‘The Guide to Extra Virgin Olive Oil in South Africa‘ has been published, the first of its kind, providing an overview of olive oil production in our country, and providing details of the top quality olive oil producers.
Olives were first brought to South Africa from California by Piet Cillie in 1893. A mere 14 years later Jan Minnaar from De Hoop farm in Paarl won the prize for the best olive oil produced in the British Empire at the 1907 London Show! Reni Hildenbrand now owns the farm in Wellington on which Piet Cillie farmed, and she has written a book ‘Olives and Olive Oils in South Africa‘. Ferdinando Costa arrived from Genoa in Italy a few years later, and brought in Italian plants, grafting them on the local Olienhout rootstock. He planted large numbers of olive trees in Paarl in 1925, and pressed his first olive oil in 1935. The Costa name is synonymous with olives and olive oil, and his relative Linda runs SA Olive, a quality standards body for the industry. Italian Baron Andreis began planting olive trees in the ‘Fifties, using Carlo Castiglione to make olive oil from 1972, under the Vesuvio brand. Its Extra Virgin Olive Oil won four awards in Italy for the first time, and regularly wins international awards. Italian Guilio Bertrand bought Morgenster next door to Vergelegen just over twenty years ago, and saw the potential to produce quality wines and olive oils. He now runs an olive oil nursery, and won the SA Olive Lifetime Achievement Award last year.
The quality of olive oil quality is influenced by the terroir, cultivar, climate, and the oil maker, similar to wines. The biggest threat to good quality local Extra Virgin Olive Oils is inferior olive oils which are imported, and bought by consumers in the belief that the imported products should be of a better quality. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is extracted from the olives at a temperature below 30° C, Continue reading →