About Mardouw Olive Estate

Mission olives growing at Mardouw olive estate in Swellendam

All Mardouw’s extra virgin olive oil are pure, natural oils made from hand-picked olives and same-day cold extraction of the best cultivars. Mediterranean climate and fertile soil at the foothills of the Langeberg Mountains in the Breede River Valley in the Western Cape of South Africa provide perfect conditions for our 50,000 trees. The entire production process takes place at the privately owned Mardouw Olive Estate in Swellendam, South Africa – making all Mardouw products genuine “estate” products.

Olive oil is only Extra Virgin Olive oil is only Extra Virgin if its natural free (oleic) acidity is below 0.8% and its peroxide value below 20mEq/kg. That’s the international standard, promulgated by the International Olive Council. Mardouw’s lab results return consistently remarkably low values: 0.24% FFA and 4.0 meq/kg PV for XXV Intense, and 0.37% FFA and 6.0 meq/kg PV for the Premium EVOO.

Most extra virgin olive oils you find on the shelves of major shops, are blends of various cultivars – most often Frantoio, Leccino, FS17 and Coratina. Every cultivar produces fruit with its very own, unique character. While one cultivar will emphasise the fruitiness of the oil, another cultivar will add pepper or bitterness. Just like in wine making, blending cultivars allows an oil maker to mix and match the particular characteristics of one cultivar with the characteristics of one or more other, to mask some of the less attractive or dominating flavours and end up with a balanced, complex oil.

Olive trees at South African olive farm Mardouw

Mardouw Medium Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a blend of Frantoio, FS17 and Mission, which are harvested, processed and stored separately, only to be blended at the final stage. The combination of these cultivars creates a balanced flavour, rounded off by the black olives we add in the mix.

The flagship Mardouw XXV Intense Extra Virgin Olive Oil however, is special, in that it is a exceptionally balanced extra virgin olive oil from a single Cortina cultivar.

What Mardouw’s resident olive oil maker accomplishes here, is no mean feat. While Coratina is known to be a overly bitter and peppery cultivar, and is mostly used in a blend with other less potent cultivars, the Mardouw XXV Intense boasts a remarkably complex but well-balanced, fruity, bitter and peppery flavour – not as a result of blending, but as a result of a technically delicate fine-tuning in the oil’s production process of green Coratina olives only. The entire process, from blossom to harvest, from basket to bottle, including tweaking of equipment and filtering, is controlled with a very precise and fine end result in mind.

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