Olive Tasting at Olyvenbosch

It was a fresh and wet Cape spring day, when I visited Olyvenbosch farm, on the slopes of Agter Paarl Mountains. I drove up through the beautiful tree lined driveway leading up to the tasting room for the olive oil, and was met by the friendly farm manager, Niel Botha. A few minutes later, we were joined by the owner, Paul van Eyssen. I was immediately made to feel at home, and fascinated by Paul's obvious passion for olives. He believes in producing olives in the traditional fashion, by a slow curing process that takes several months, in order to deliver the tastiest olives to the consumer. The black Kalamata, and green Manzanilla olives are beautifully plump, but firm, and the taste exquisite!

Paul's love for olives, started only a few years ago, when he and his family decided to harvest olives from an avenue of olive trees that lead up to the property. Originally, he was a property dealer, that decided to purchase this farm in the foothills of Paarl Mountain, and started farming export grapes. The first attempt at pickling these olives, were disastrous, as Paul later realized that these olives were only suitable for olive oil! With the next years harvest, the family had the olives pressed, and shared the oil with family and friends. They were very impressed with the quality of their extra virgin olive oil, and their new passion was born!

The farm was planted with three olive cultivars, that produce the best oil, which is Frantoio, Leccino and Coranthina. Today Paul has 19 hectares planted trees. He also presses his own olives, after purchasing his own imported olive press. The three cultivars are pressed separately, and then blended to perfection.

Olyvenbosch Extra Virgin Olive Oil, is characterised by it's smooth robust texture, with fresh grassy and gentle fruity aroma, with a gentle peppery aftertaste.

The Extra Virgin olive oils produced on the farm, also receives the same loving care in production, to deliver his award winning oils to the market. He is a member of the SA Olive Industry Association, and all Olyvenbosh's olive oil is tested to ensure that it adheres to the quality standards for this organization. The farm's Extra Virgin olive oil, received a Gold and Silver award in 2012. Paul was the first producer to offer his olive oils in innovative, “On Tap” boxes, available in 1lt, 2lt, 5lt & 10lt. He had the idea to use this method, as olive oil's greatest enemy is light and oxygen, and by keeping it in a bag, inside the box, and so keeping the oil as fresh as the day it was packed.

They also produce the most wonderful tasting Balsamic Glaze, which is available in various sized packaging, and salt dried black calamata olives, which is to die for!

Olyvenbosch has joined us on the Cape Olive Route, and as such we are able to organize Tasting Tours, to visit the farm, and offer our clients a unique educational and tasting experience. We want to make locals, as well as International tourists, aware of the wonderful olive producing farms we have in the Western Cape, and offer a something different to the normal tourist activities presented.

We also aim to educate the public on the many health benefits the consumption of olive oil has. It has been used for centuries in the Mediterranean countries, and is well known for it's ability to combat high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, cancer, skin diseases and premature ageing, amongst many others. This is attributed to olive oil's high levels of Antioxidant, which serves to scavenge and detoxify harmfull free radicals in our body.

If you wish to visit the farm for a tasting, we can organize a pre-arranged tasting tours for you. Visit www.capeoliveroute.com for more information. We also have an Olive Tasting Club that you can join, in order to learn more about olive oil, and receive a selection of the best extra virgin olive oils from the region on a regular basis. Some interesting events and tours for our members are being planned. We will be hosting cooking demonstrations that will teach you how to use olive oil for cooking, dipping and enjoying!