U.S. Producers Win Big at International Olive Oil Competition

U.S. olive oil producers had a very strong showing at the 2013 New York International Olive Oil Competition. This year’s competition included 702 entries of extra virgin olive oil from 22 countries. The highest number of overall awards went to Italy (83 awards), Spain (51 awards)and the U.S. (36 awards).

Producers from the U.S. brought in 21 Gold and 15 Silver medals. All 27 winning producers were from California. All but three of them are based in Northern California.

Some producers achieved multiple awards. Pacific Sun Olive Oil led the pack with three Gold medals. Il Fiorello Olive Oil Co., Bondolio Olive Oil, Apollo Olive Oil and Berkeley Olive Grove 1913 won two Gold medals each.

Olive Oil Times spoke with a couple of the winners.

Apollo Olive Oil is a family owned small business in Oregon House, California. The company has received more than 45 awards, including being named as one of the top ten olive oil producers in the world by the Mastri Oleari Golden Lion international competition. Apollo’s olives are organic and traditionally farmed. Apollo partner Steve McCulley attributes success of their olive oil to taking extra steps for quality, beyond the norm. He said Apollo’s mill was designed to extract the oil in a vacuum to reduce oxidation. In addition, all olives are handpicked and placed into buckets, rather than knocking them onto mats. McCulley says that this method is costly, but reduces bruising and oxidation.

Berkeley Olive Grove 1913 is also a familiar name among award circles. Their 100-year-old grove is the “largest planting of mission olives anywhere,” said co-owner Darro Grieco. Grieco attributes the high quality of Berkeley’s oil to four key factors: organic farming, traditional agriculture (wide tree spacing), dry farming (rain irrigation only) and the varietal. Grieco compares the old trees, planted in 1913, to wine where “the best wine comes from old vineyards.”

The winning olive oils from the United States are below. The full list of winners can be found at the Best Olive Oils website.


Brand Name
Producer
Award
Arbequina Reserve
Olivas de Oro Olive Company
Silver
Bondolio
Bondolio
Gold
Bondolio
Bondolio
Gold
California Mission Classic
Berkeley Olive Grove 1913
Gold
California Mission Reserve
Berkeley Olive Grove 1913
Gold
Calistoga Olive Oil Company Blend 1441
Calistoga Olive Oil Company
Gold
Corto Blend
Corto Olive
Silver
Dry Creek Olive Company Healdsburg Blend
Dry Creek Olive Company
Silver
Dry Creek Olive Company Meditteranean Blend
Dry Creek Olive Company
Gold
First Fresh
Sanders & Co, LLC
Silver
Frantoio Grove
Frantoio Grove
Silver
Gallo Family North Coast Blend
E&J Gallo Winery
Gold
Il Fiorello
Il Fiorello Olive Oil Company
Gold
Il Fiorello
Il Fiorello Olive Oil Company
Gold
Jovia Groves
Jovia Groves Olive Oil
Gold
Mistral
Apollo Olive Oil
Gold
Moonshadow Grove Ascolano
Moonshadow Grove
Silver
Moonshadow Grove Mission
Moonshadow Grove
Silver
Olive View Estate
Temecula Olive Oil Company
Silver
Organic Arbosana
Mike Polit
Gold
Pacific Sun Eva's Blend
Pacific Sun
Gold
Pacific Sun Proprietor's Select
Pacific Sun
Gold
Pacific Sun Tuscan Blend
Pacific Sun
Gold
Provencale
Ojai Olive Oil
Gold
Rancho El Molino
Rancho El Molino
Gold
Red Rock Olive Oil of California - Red Label
Red Rock Olive Oil of California
Gold
Regina
Dickson Napa Ranch
Gold
Rescello D Inverno
Jim Melson
Silver
Roanti Ranch
Roanti Ranch
Silver
Rosenthal Olive Ranch Koroneiki
Rosenthal Olive Ranch
Silver
Round Pond Estate Italian Varietal
Round Pond Estate
Silver
Sierra
Apollo Olive Oil
Gold
Talcott Carneros
Talcott Olive Oil
Silver
Tuscan
Ojai Olive Oil
Silver
Val di Luna Farms
Val di Luna Farms
Gold
Winterhill
Winterhill OLive Oil
Silver

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This article was last updated November 30, 2014 - 11:52 AM (GMT-5)