Les & Fiona Hellmann
Olives and Olive Oil
Contact me at:
Phone: 022 448 1052
Cell: 084 676 7435
Kasteel Kat evolved as a ship's master approached retirement. Fiona and I wanted out of traffic systems with their robots, parking meters and frustrations. And so we found ourselves on 1½ hectares of old vineyard in Riebeek Kasteel. Fiona loved the easy access to platteland birding and being close to the diminishing renosterveld.
The vines were cleared, a house built and 354 olive trees planted on one hectare.
It seems an age since the first trees were planted. We have learnt from our mistakes, adapted to the mistakes that couldn't be fixed and now enjoy being part of the process that turns olives into oil, or table olives. The only stage from planting to bottling that we don't personally do is the pressing of the olives - but we do our own filtering of the oil. When we pick olives for oil, we employ a team of locals to help. The table olives are picked by myself and Fiona.
The cat in Kasteel Kat was a black cat called Suki. She was adopted from a farm close by - a true Swartland cat. She loved her home comforts and her olive grove. She nearly had her tail pruned a few times too. One day she just disappeared, but she lives on in the name and in our hearts.
We have Mission, Frantoio, Leccino and Manzanilla olive trees. The Mission olives are processed for table and there are three flavours: Plain, Mixed Herbs, Chilli and Garlic.
The Manzanilla provides our green olives.
We get oil from Frantoio, Leccino and Mission olives.
We realised that one of our mistakes was not planting more Frantoio olive trees, as we don't get enough Frantoio oil to supply the demand for it.
We sell Mission oil, Frantoio oil and a blend of three oils: Mission, Frantoio and Leccino.
Fiona makes Tapenade using an old Spanish recipe.
Last Updated 25 August 2016 13:02