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Bella Mia is a small farm named after our 2 granddaughters, Isabella and Mia.
Here our olive trees thrive in the warm Karoo sun, rest and gather strength in the winter when we often have snow on the Swartberg mountains.
We make unfiltered extra virgin olive oil with care and simplicity and offer them to you with pride.
You’ll find our farm, Bella-Mia, just outside Oudtshoorn under the bright blue Karoo sky. It lies on the scenic Cango Route, the tourist route that meanders between Oudtshoorn, the Cango Caves and Swartberg pass.
Bella-Mia is our piece of heaven, guarded by the Swartberg Mountains. Here, our olive trees thrive in the warm summer sun, and gather strength in the cold winter with snow on the mountain tops.
Life has led us to this beautiful land – on which we nurture olive trees and make unfiltered extra virgin olive oil with care and simplicity. It’s our wish that Bella-Mia products will bring you pure Karoo goodness.
Goodness that lingers long after the last drop.
You may wonder why we make unfiltered, as opposed to filtered, olive oil. The answer is a matter of taste. But it’s one we believe makes all the difference.
We select and wash the olives before crushing them. After crushing, the olive paste is sent to a high-speed centrifuge where the oil is separated from fruit particles and water. The remaining minute fruit particles – similar to the pulp in orange juice – can really enhance the taste and flavour of the oil.
Filtering involves putting the olive oil through a thick filter (a layer of cotton or paper) to trap any particles of olive fruit in the oil. At Bella-Mia, we don’t filter our oil, but remove fruit particles with the help of gravity.
We pump the oil into large storage tanks, housed inside a temperature-controlled room. The oil is allowed to settle and the remaining fruit particles either absorb into the oil or sink to the bottom.
The most noticeable difference between an unfiltered and a filtered olive oil is appearance. Unfiltered oil appears cloudy, due to residual fruit particles not removed through gravity in the settlement tank. But once oil has been fully racked, the lower concentration of remaining fruit particles no longer has an adverse effect on the oil’s lifespan or quality.
Some say filtering has little effect on taste. We invite you to visit Bella-Mia to taste our unfiltered extra virgin olive oil and decide for yourself!