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. 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.
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.
RIO LARGO OLIVE ESTATE has been winning awards consistently since 2007. Oils 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.
RIO LARGO AWARDS:
ABSA: 2013 Top 5 Olive Oils Of South Africa and 2014 Two Oils- Premium And Gold- In The Top 5 Olive Oils Of South Africa
SA OLIVE ASSOCIATION: 2010 Double Gold2011 Double Gold and Gold2012 Double Gold and Silver 2013 Triple Gold 2014 Double Gold and Silver
MARCO ZICHELLA AWARDS: 2011 First Prize Intense2012 Consumer’s Choice2013 First Prize Intense and Consumer’s Choice2014 First Prize Intense and Consumer’s Choice
FAIR LADY CONSUMER’S CHOICE AWARD2013 Best Health Product
IL MAGNIFICO2013 Gran Mention2014 Silver
JAPAN OLIVE OIL COMPETITION2014 Gold
LOS ANGELES AWARD2012 Silver2013 Gold2014 Double Silver
FLOS OLEI 2013 Top Olive Oils Of The World 2014 Top Olive Oils Of The World 2015 Top Olive Oils Of The World
In the compassionate and caring spirit in which we have come to know the Rio Largo and Wilkinson family they are also involved in Saving the Rhino Please help them to help this worthy cause.
Rio Largo generously sponsored an olive oil and balsamic vinegar combo for each goodie bag. Brenda could be seen after a busy day marketing and selling, sitting on the floor in the room given to us to fill goodie bags tying each combo into a bag with a label for each goodie bag and helping fill the bags late at night. So so grateful for her effort and willingness to help. A lovely voucher was also given to sell at the auction for a family to enjoy a day at the farm experiencing a tree to table experience and a lovely lunch with Brenda. This voucher was purchased by the Indaba and donated to a family to enjoy the experience. We are very grateful to Brenda and Nick and Rio Largo for their ongoing support of the SA Food and Wine Blogger Indaba.