Oil Varieties

Oil cultivars are used only for pressing to make olive oil.  They have a high oil content (roughly 18%, but can be higher) and are generally smaller than table olives.  They can be harvested by mechanical equipment – either by overhead harvesters if they are planted high density, or by battery driven shakers and rakes.  This cuts down on the manual labour needed for harvesting.  Oil olives are usually picked when they are changing colour from green to black – the greener the olive, the more pungent and peppery the flavor.  First pressing is always extra virgin (EVOO) or virgin olive oil derived from cold extraction (below 30 deg C).  Flavor profiles will differ between cultivars from mild, fruity, delicate, to bitter, intense and robust tasting.  

Arbequina Olives

Arbequina

Small fruit (1-2g). Bears young. High yields. Ripens early/mid season. High oil content. Origin: Spain. Performs well in warm and cold climates. Suitable for intensive cultivation. Self-fertile. A hardy variety – resistant to cold and can tolerate a degree of salinity.

Coratina Olives

Coratina

Medium fruit (2-3.5g). Bears young. High oil content. Ripens late season. Origin: Apulia, Italy. Very cold resistant. This variety is very adaptable to different growing areas, with consistently high productivity. The oil yield is high with a very high polyphenol content when grown in winter rainfall areas.

Frantoio Olives

Frantoio

Considered a premier variety for making extra virgin olive oil. Small / medium fruit (2-3g). High yields. Ripens mid/late season. High oil content.. Origin: Tuscany, Italy. Self-fertile and is a compatible pollinator for a range of varieties.

Barnea Olives

Barnea

This is a newly bred cultivar from Israel with high, consistent productivity, early bearing and is well-suited to mechanical harvesting. It produces a good quality oil of medium yield. It has a high fruiting potential but needs good maintenance and does not respond well to drastic pruning.

Koroneiki Olives

Koroneiki

Small fruit (1-2g). Bears young. High yields. High oil content. High quality oil with a high oleic acid content and is rich in antioxidants. Ripens mid/late season. Performs well in warm climates and handles drought well, but is sensitive to cold. Suitable for intensive cultivation. This is the main oil variety grown in Greece.

Leccino Olives

Leccino

Small /medium fruit (2-2.5g). Bears young. Med /high oil content. Ripens early/mid season. Origin: Tuscany, Italy. Due to its delicate flavor, the olive oil it produces is commonly blended with Frantoio or Coratina, in order to create more flavor. Very cold resistant. Suggested cross-pollinators are Frantoio and Coratina.

Picual Olives

Picual

Medium sized fruit (3-4g). Early start to bearing. High yields. High oil content. Ripens Mid/late season. Cold Tolerant. Origin: Spain. Picual is largely self- fertile but can benefit from cross-pollination. Suggested cross-pollinators are Arbequina andBarnea.

Maurino Olives

Maurino

Typical Tuscan oil variety. Medium vigor with a pendulous habit. The fruit is between 3-5 grams in weight, purple-black when mature. Relatively early bearer and the highly regarded oil is between 14 and 20%, delicate and not overly fruity. The cultivar is self-sterile, needing a pollinator which can be Leccino or Frantoio. Can be cultivated in cold, humid zones which are subject to fog. Produces a significant amount of fertile pollen and is compatibile with a wide range of other olive cultivars.

Affiliates

Olive & Wine Specialists
SA Olive

Contact Details

Olive Branch Nursery
Off Lady Loch Road, Wellington

PO Box 532
Wellington, 7654

021 873 6503

082 459 9459

jean@olivebranchnursery.co.za