Tokara Olive Shed

Situated high on the crest of the Helshoogte pass between Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, Tokara produces elegant wines, a small quantity of five-year old pot still brandy, as well as award winning olive oils. The modern boutique-style production plant was the first in South Africa to produce a single varietal olive oil range. 

Last week Thursday we visited the Tokara Olive Shed for olive oil tasting and lunch. Surrounded by breathtaking views, we enjoyed 4 Olive Oil tastings from Tokara. The Tokara range of olive oils includes Mission, Frantoio, Leccino and a multi-varietal blend as well as a handcrafted Tokara Premium olive oil. I learnt so much about how olive oil is produced, graded and why it is called extra-virgin olive oil.

Extra-virgin olive oil is the highest-quality olive oil you can buy. It is an unrefined oil and there are very specific standards the oil has to meet in order to be called “extra-virgin”. Tokara extra-virgin olive oil has a lower level of oleic acid (less than 1%) and is rich in natural vitamins and minerals. There are no chemicals in the extra-virgin olive oil and the temperature is not altered, which gives it the distinct flavour and colour.

Tokara Olive Shed

Image credit: Tokara Olive Shed

Tokara Olive Shed

Image credit: Tokara Olive Shed

Tokara Olive Shed

Tokara Olive Shed

Tokara Olive Shed

Image credit: Tokara Olive Shed

Anne-Marie Ferreira, founding member of the Olive Shed, recalls what her motivation was to plant olive trees on Tokara at a time when the South African olive oil industry was virtually nonexistent. “Our family is passionate about wine and food, and both elements play such a vital role in bringing family and friends together. It therefore made absolute sense for us to plant olives to produce quality extra virgin olive oil that would complement our quality wine range.

At Tokara, the approach to olive oil is also about changing perceptions of how it is consumed. “You can add it to anything and that’s what we wish to convey to our consumers.” says Gert, Tokara’s olive oil maker. “From drizzling it over a salad, to adding it to a minestrone soup, or even incorporating it in desserts – it’s such a natural, healthy and versatile ingredient.”

Lunch was prepared by Chef Richard Carstens. Chef Richard paired the olive oil with different dishes to compliment the taste of the olive oil and dish. I enjoyed all the dishes but if I have to choose, my favourite two would be the risotto and olive oil cake. The creamy risotto, paired with the premium olive oil was absolutely divine! I also enjoyed the decadent olive oil cake, it was delicate, smooth and rich in flavour. Chef Richard made the olive oil cake with the multi-varietal olive oil.

Tokara Frantoio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Tasting notes: Intense olive flavour with robust fruitness.

Food pairing: Vegetable soups, grilled and baked vegetables or drizzled on red meat.

Black pepper sirloin with cauliflower and gruyere puree, kale and Klein Rivier Gruyere.

Tokara Olive Shed

Wood over roasted mushroom slice with rocket pistou, radish salsa and Hugeunot cheese.

Tokara Olive Shed

Tokara  Premium Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Tasting notes: Rich and creamy, balanced by dominant fruit, tingling pepper tones and a pleasant bitterness.

Food pairing: Enjoy generously on salads, dipped in bread or on red meats and in marinades.

Beef carpaccio with black pepper grissini and balsamic vinegar.

Tokara Olive Shed

Tokara Olive Shed

Baby marrow risotto with grated parmesan and crisp, pine nuts, pea shoots and roast lemon cream.

Tokara Olive Shed

Tokara Estate Blend Extra-Virgin Olive Oil 

Tasting notes: Intense green olive and green tomato leaf flavour aromas on the nose with hints of olive fruit, tomato and rocket on the palette.

Food pairing: Enjoy generously on salads, dipped in bread or on red meats and in marinades.

Home smoked trout with rocket, puffed grains and wasabi lemon dressing.

Tokara Olive Shed

Egg custard with gorgonzola, tomato, avocado and tapenade.

Tokara Olive Shed

Tokara Multi-Varietal Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Tasting notes: The fusion of the three varietal (Frantoio, leccino and mission) olive oils has a full fruit character rounded with a herbaceous and spicy flavours.

Food pairing: General use in stir-fry or deep-fry. On meats, sautes, in pasta sauces or on salads.

Soft chocolate ganache tart with walnut, salt and caramel.

Tokara Olive Shed

Olive oil cake with vanilla ice cream, lemon zest, ginger, pine nuts and white balsamic jelly.

Tokara Olive Shed

Tokara Extra Virgin Olive Oils are available at Woolworths, Checkers and selected Spar and delicatessen outlets, as well as directly from the Tokara estate tasting facility.

Tokara is open 9am-5pm weekdays and 10am-3pm on Saturdays and Sundays. For further information visit, email or phone 021 808 5900.

Follow my food adventures on Instagram.

Love and light,


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7 Discussion to this post

  1. Melinda says:

    Wow! I’ve travelled to RSA with my South African husband many times and we’re lucky enough to have relatives living in Strand, so Stellenbosch is super accessible when we visit (unfortunately for my waist line! ). I’ve never been to Tokara though- it’ll definitely be on my list for next time. I assume they do wines as well? If so where from? Ps that food looks amazing!

  2. The Authentic Girl says:

    Hello Melinda

    Thank you for the great feedback, I also get hungry looking at the pictures too 🙂

    Yes, they also produce AMAZING wines at the farm. Tokara is the ideal place if you want to take your family out when you visiting in SA again. I hope you get to visit soon.

  3. Melinda says:

    Husband is returning 4weeks for a reunion without me or the kids- a luxurious holiday if ever there was one ? He says he might be able to fit in a lunch there (since The Test Kitchen was booked when i tried to reserve a table a few months ago???) after looking at your post. Lucky bugger!

  4. Michelle says:

    Looks beautiful and those food pics are making me hungry! ?

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