Celebrating 10 Years! The Rio Largo Olive Estate is situated in the Scherpenheuwel Valley, on the Southern banks of the Breede River in the Western Cape. (Rio Largo is Portuguese for ‘wide river’) Owned by Nick and Brenda Wilkinson, Rio Largo has been producing award-winning olive oil since the first harvest in 2010; awards achieved both locally and internationally – one of ABSA’s TOP 10 Olive Oils in South Africa as well as accolades from as far away as Japan and New York. Rio Largo even has a stamp of approval from Italy: an award treasured as a benchmark from the ‘home’ of extra virgin olive oils. Produced from olives that are grown, hand-picked, and pressed on the Rio Largo Estate in accordance with the SA Olive Association quality compliance scheme.

There is no doubt that South Africa’s burgeoning olive oil industry is gaining traction. Rio Largo’s contribution is significant and certainly deserves huge recognition as Brenda circuits the globe many times each year single-handedly placing our liquid gold on a world stage. Hats off! Taking great pride in the excellent quality produced – local is lekker!

Studies show that the fatty acids and antioxidants in olive oil can offer some powerful health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease. Blood contains important compounds called lipoproteins, which carry fats and cholesterol around the body. The high mono-unsaturated-fat content of olive oil helps to lower the levels of LDLs and other fats (triglycerides) in the blood, without reducing the HDL levels. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT LDLs and HDLs.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil has many well-evidenced health benefits as an individual food and as part of the Mediterranean diet.

“Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the main source of fat, and the ubiquitous cooking medium, in the Mediterranean Diet. The Mediterranean Diet is now well established through multiple systematic reviews and meta-analysis to reduce the overall risk of mortality, cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, overall cancer incidence, neurodegenerative diseases, and diabetes.1” Read more here…

The anti-oxidizing properties of olives can be transferred to human cells so that they deteriorate more slowly. Antioxidants are also said to increase longevity and slow down skin ageing. Read more here…–inflammatory-effects

Olive oil is thought to help calcium absorption and thus act against osteoporosis. More importantly, it is said to ensure against memory loss, cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease in the elderly. This may be related to the brain’s need for mono-unsaturated acids to maintain its cell structure and membranes. A recent study in the USA found that olive oil contains, oleocanthal, a natural chemical that acts in a similar way to a painkiller. (Excerpts from the book “Olive Oil” by Charles Quest-Ritson published by Dorling Kindersley Limited)


At the Orientation for the Distell Inter Hotel Challenge 2020 Candidates at the Beverly Hills recently, Brenda Wilkinson together with Constantijn Hahndiek share the real deal!

It’s one thing to talk about olive oil it is another when it comes to knowing and buying the right olive oil as part of your daily diet.

Brenda Wilkinson says, “Judging the intensity and appeal of the perfume and how that relates to the bitterness and pungency of the olive oil in the mouth is what to look out for. Most olive oils found on the shelf are flat and oxidized, so the pungency of a fresh olive oil normally comes as a surprise.”

Notes to the Chefs…

When heated, olive oil is the most stable fat, which means it stands up well to high frying temperatures. Its high smoking point (210ºC) is well above the ideal temperature for frying food (180ºC). The digestibility of olive oil is not affected when it is heated, even when it is re-used several times for frying.


RIO LARGO OLIVE ESTATE has 18,000 trees made up of various cultivars; Frantoio, Leccino, Coratina and FS-17, a derivative Favalosa. All cultivars originate from Italy and are known to complement each other in making delicious, well balanced olive oil.

FOLLOW ~ @RioLargoOliveEstate ~ Facebook & Instagram


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