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Hamilton Russell Vineyards Estate Grown Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2019 Released

Posted on: August 13, 2019

Great Olive Oil is expensive. We are used to paying high prices for very good wine, but many tend to think of Olive Oil as a commodity, not as an expression of place through oil. A bottle of Olive Oil is generally enjoyed over a period of time, whereas a bottle of wine is generally finished at a sitting. Olive yields per hectare are usually far lower than for grapes (only 1.59 tons/hectare for our 2019). The Olive Oil yield per ton of Olives is generally under 18% (11.6% for us in 2019), whereas for wine it is generally above 60%. So as you can deduce, Olive Oil production is not good business at all in comparison to wine. But what always amazes us is that so many people miss the opportunity of enjoying truly excellent, new, fresh, vibrant, locally produced Olive Oil, while accepting the often old, tired, oxidised imported oils.   Our Olive Oil is grown in the traditional way without irrigation and at very low yields, both in terms of kilograms per tree and oil yield per kilogram.  Extreme care is taken to hand-pick the olives used for our oil at the stage of ripeness which results in a fresh, aromatic, full flavoured oil with a peppery finish.  A high percentage of sandstone-derived soils emphasize this fresh lifted fruit and cut-grass character while delivering a lighter more elegant palate structure.  The percentage of clay grown olives provides additional structure and density to the oil.   2019 was a great year for our Olive Oil. Sometimes unusual weather conditions produce very positive results and 2019 was one of those harvests. During the winter olive tree resting period, we experienced below average rainfall, with a temperature 2 °C cooler than normal. A good rest. Lower than average rainfall during flowering, with temperatures 3 °C warmer than the long-term average, resulted in particularly healthy fruit set. Despite some gale-force winds during this period, flower loss was minimal. A very slightly cooler fruit-growth period and an unexpected all-time high March rainfall, surprised us with an above average yield. Smaller fruit size resulted in an intensely flavoured and structured olive oil.



Anthony Hamilton Russell

Hemel-en-Aarde Valley
P O Box 158
Hermanus, 7200
South Africa
Ph: +27 28 312 3595
Fx: +27 28 312 1797