Olive Production

Kredouw Olive Estate


HISTORY

The first olives at Kredouw were planted in 1998. More trees were planted in 1999, 2000, and 2007 and in 2012 and 2014 by the current owners. The trees consist of the top Italian oil varieties – Favalosa, Leccino and Coratina. Table Olive varieties on the farm are Mission and Kalamata (black) and Manzanilla (from Spain) and Nocellare del Belice (green).

The year the current owners bought the farm (2013) there were no olives to harvest due to the neglected state of the trees. Since 2012 the trees have been carefully nursed back into increasing production. Because we are a small farm, attention to each individual detail is possible.

 

SOIL, WATER, CLIMATE

Kredouw Olive Estate is situated in the Eastern entrance of the Prince Albert Valley in the heart of the Swartberg mountain range. We are blessed to have a unique combination of soil, water and climate to produce top olive oils. The soil is rocky loam soil which has built up in the valley over millions of years, since the mountains were formed. Our water comes from a waterfall in the mountain. The tested quality of this stream is of a more pure nature than bottled water. We have a Mediterranean microclimate of hot summers and cool winters with cooling southerly winds during the afternoons of the hot summer months. This increases the fruitiness of the olive oil and explains why most of the trees lean to the north.

 

Olive picker at Kredouw Olive Estate April 2016






FARMING PRACTICE

Due to the fact that the water is such a scarce and valuable resource, our olive trees are under dripper irrigation (rainfall annually approximately 200mm). Too little water increases bitterness in the olive oil. We irrigate according to tree and soil inspection and information from soil moisture probes. Surface management is geared towards increasing soil organic carbon content and reducing the need for fertilizer.

The trees are pruned to a vase system which has evolved from ancient times and is most common and natural for olive trees. Pruning is done by hand.

We time the harvest to produce medium to intense oils. Olives are harvested at a stage of one third green, one third half ripe and one third ripe. The harvesting is done by hand only. The harvesters are from Prince Albert and they follow a cycle of harvesting olives or onion seed as their only source of income. The olive harvest is at a time when no other harvesting is being done and using mechanical equipment would deprive them of vital income.


 

 

 

Kredouw Olive Estate - one third green, one third half ripe and one third ripe olives

 

 

Kredouw Olive Estate



PRODUCING OLIVE OIL

Pressing is done with a Pieralisi press and a Separator ensuring best possible practice. This is borne out by our oleic acid level of 0,2% (extra virgin must be less than 0,8%). All olives are pressed within 24 hours of harvesting.

 

Kredouw Olive Estate - the Pieralisi press


PRESSING AND BLENDING

Pressing and blending vary from year to year. We have been pioneering a single variety olive oil produced from our Favalosa trees. This year (2017) we are planning to bottle a Frantoia/Leccino blend as well as a pure Frantoia and a small amount of specially harvested Coratina. 

  

Kredouw Olive Estate

 

Kredouw Olive Estate

 

Kredouw Olive Estate

 

Kredouw Olive Estate