Prince Albert Olives — South Africa

 

The olive tree (Olea europaea) was first established in South Africa by Jan van Riebeeck in 1661. Its cousin, the wild olive (Olea africana) is native to the region, but is inedible.

   After the first olive trees were planted, hundreds of years passed before olive oil production began. Commercial olive groves were not established until 1936, when Ferdinando Costa planted an orchard in Paarl. Today, there are more than 120 olive producers in South Africa—most of them concentrated in the Western Cape region. With small, spacious groves and hand-harvested olives, olive oil production in South Africa is more of a finely-crafted art than a simple manufacturing process.

 

The Badenhorst olive grove with the Swartberg Range and blue sky of the Great Karoo. 

 

In the heart of the Great Karoo region of South Africa, the Badenhorst family grows olives.

     To the south lies the rugged Swartberg Range; to the northeast lies the swift Gamka River. Cloudless, brilliantly blue skies stretch for as far as the eye can see. The Great Karoo is an arid, semi-desert region with little rainfall and extreme temperature fluctuations. Prince Albert, a small village in the Central Karoo district about 245 miles northwest of Cape Town, is known for producing succulent figs, grapes, pomegranates, and citrus fruits.

 

 
The Badenhorst family: Hein (left), Adi (middle), and Fred (right). 

 

The Badenhorst family follows international standards and uses state of the art equipment to produce fresh, high quality extra virgin olive oil with notes of green grass and artichoke.

     In 2006, the Badenhorst family realized that the intense climate in the Great Karoo might be favorable for olive production. Fred Badenhorst and his son, Hein, began planting olive trees on their farm near Prince Albert. By 2010, they had planted 75,000 trees on 145 hectares. Their land is divided among Frantoio, Coratina, Don Carlo, Favolosa, Leccino, Barnea, and Koroneiki olive varieties.  In addition to cultivating olives, Hein and his cousin, Adi, produce AA Badenhorst Family Wines, and the family’s farm is also home to free range sheep, cattle, and game.

 

The artisan touch of the Badenhorst family is what makes their oils great—come taste the difference in store.

 

The beautiful milling facility at Prince Albert Olives, equipped with cutting edge Pieralisi equipment.

 

Harvesting the olives from each tree by hand gives Prince Albert Olives an artisan touch. 

 

Freshly pressed olives yield high-quality EVOO—a concept that Prince Albert Olives embodies.
 

EVOO and tapas—a delicious pairing. 

 

In the past, Prince Albert Olives provided two of our ultra premium extra virgin olive oils—the Frantoio and the Don Carlo.

     The Frantoio, a medium intensity EVOO, is viscous and creamy with a buttery mouthfeel. This oil has balanced flavors of dried herb and tea leaf coupled a slightly grassy nose. Its low pungency and bitterness make it a perfect candidate for an everyday oil!

     The Don Carlo is our highest polyphenol oil, making it extremely robust. In the aroma, bold green flavors stand out—artichoke, green almond, and grass. The Don Carlo is delightfully bitter and pungent, with heavy notes of herb, pine, and green apple.

 

The olive orchard at Prince Albert Olives with that characteristic blue Karoo sky.