The olive groves and vineyards of Kloovenburg herald the entrance to the picturesque Riebeek Valley. The first olive trees were planted in 1989 to create job opportunities for the seasonal workers during the months between the grape harvest and the pruning of the vineyards. Olive trees take about three years to establish, bearing small volumes of fruit from the fourth year and reaching its full capacity at the age of seven years. Trees are planted 6 meters apart and are drip irrigated. At Kloovenburg, we have 23 ha of olive groves and follow a strict spraying programme in order to keep our trees healthy and protect against fruit-fly, which is common over winter months and is the cause of many ruined olive crops in South Africa. We also make use of an environmentally friendly programme by means of which a bug is introduced to the environment to lessen the white lice population that is harmful to olive trees. Olive cultivars planted on the farm are mainly Mission, with a few hectares of SF17, Frantoio and Leccino olive trees. Kloovenburg’s first Olive Oil was pressed in 2000. Our Extra Virgin Olive Oil is cold-pressed and has a fatty acid level of less than 1%. It is not blended or chemically treated in any way. (Olive oil is the only edible oil which needs no treatment before you can use it.) Our olives are handpicked. If they are too difficult to reach, we make use of special olive “ rakes ” and/or portable olive harvesting machines. The olives are caught in nets to prevent them from bruising. Ideally you want to process or press picked olives as soon as possible, before fermentation starts. At Kloovenburg, we use only our freshly picked olives for same day oil pressing. This explains the variation in taste and colour that sometimes occur as different cultivars are used for pressing. In addition, oil is filtered coarsely in order to keep the taste as pure and natural as possible.