Elias Zarkadoulas, Diamantis Pierrakos and Dino Pierrakos accept a Gold Award .

The world of olive oil watched the NYIOOC press con­fer­ence last week when the win­ners of all the cat­e­gories were announced. Among the 1,000 com­peti­tors from 27 coun­tries, there were 155 from Greece to com­pete in the most renowned annual olive oil com­pe­ti­tion. The results showed that their ded­i­ca­tion and labor all year long to pro­duce high-qual­ity olive oil paid off, as they got away with 31 gold and 23 sil­ver awards, set­ting a coun­try record in the com­pe­ti­tion both in the num­ber of Gold Awards and the over­all wins.

Our efforts, patience, and per­se­ver­ance proved us right in our quest to make our olive oil the way we wanted.- Apostolos Porsanidis-Kavvadias, Dr. Kavvadia Olive Oil

Their anx­i­ety and intense feel­ings were obvi­ous dur­ing the event. Getting their NYIOOC awards was the cul­mi­na­tion of their efforts and they were burst­ing with excite­ment when they spoke to Olive Oil Times about their suc­cess.
See more: Greek Award Winners

One Greek com­pany excelled in the com­pe­ti­tion with a won­drous col­lec­tion of four Gold and one Silver Award.

“The New York inter­na­tional con­test is undoubt­edly the biggest in the world and this gives more value to our suc­cess,” said Konstantinos Papadopoulos of the Papadopoulos Olive Oil Mill. “It is not easy to win four gold and one sil­ver prize in such a com­pe­ti­tion. It requires hard work, devo­tion, and atten­tion to every detail.”

Nicholas Silverman, representing Papadopoulos Olive Oil Mill received four Gold Awards at the 2018 NYIOOC

Papadopoulos then added, “It is impor­tant that what we do lasts, that’s why we par­tic­i­pate every year in this con­test and win prizes. We want to show our cus­tomers that we pro­duce high-qual­ity olive oil and the NYIOOC is a guar­an­tee to this.”

Papadopoulos Olive Oil Mill won two Gold Awards for their Omphacium made from robust Olympia and organic Omphacium from medium Olympia, and two more for Mythocia Chef’s Exclusive and Mythocia Olympia from medium blends. The Silver Award was earned for their organic Mythocia Olympia.

For Oliorama from Ancient Olympia, win­ning two Gold Awards for their Exclusive Olympia and Exclusive Bio Olympia extra vir­gins from medium Koroneiki was a great moment. Maria Spiliakopoulos, founder and owner, said, “It is a great honor and sat­is­fac­tion to win a prize in such a cel­e­brated com­pe­ti­tion.”

At the same time, Spiliakopoulos acknowl­edged that climb­ing to the peak of olive oil mak­ing was the result of team­work: “I would like to thank all our staff and espe­cially our agri­cul­tur­ist, Giorgos Divritsiotis who was in charge of super­vis­ing our olive groves. I also want to thank the Papadopoulos Olive Oil Mill for their con­tri­bu­tion to our suc­cess. Our ulti­mate tar­get is to always secure the high­est qual­ity in our pro­duc­tion, which leads to the inter­na­tional recog­ni­tion of our prod­ucts and our region.”

Hellenic Agricultural Enterprises from Lesvos con­tin­ued its suc­cess­ful run by again win­ning a Gold Award, after hav­ing achieved the dis­tinc­tion the two pre­vi­ous years. Ellie Tragakes, the man­ag­ing direc­tor of the com­pany, said, “It is now our ACAIA organic that received this very spe­cial dis­tinc­tion. ACAIA organic has all the char­ac­ter­is­tics of ACAIA plus the added ben­e­fits derived from cul­ti­va­tion that pro­motes eco­log­i­cal pro­duc­tion meth­ods and bio­di­ver­sity.”

The com­pany uses an indige­nous vari­ety to pro­duce their olive oil, as Tragakes explained: “It is made from the Kolovi olive vari­ety native to the island of Lesvos. The recog­ni­tion that our efforts have received in New York’s highly pres­ti­gious com­pe­ti­tion for the third year in a row serves as an inspi­ra­tion to us to per­se­vere with our hard work in order to con­tinue to pro­duce olive oil of the high­est qual­ity.”

Konstantin Nikolas Kokkolis whose of Antheion won a Gold Award for their extra vir­gin from a del­i­cate Koroneiki was very enthu­si­as­tic about his prize and his home place in the Ionian Sea: “I am extremely excited and hon­ored to be the recip­i­ent of a gold award at the NYIOOC. This not only ele­vates my brand, but it also raises the recog­ni­tion of my island, Kefalonia, which I’m deeply proud of,” he said.

Apart from per­sonal sat­is­fac­tion, it also seems that his win was a boost for oth­ers to enter the world of qual­ity EVOO. Kokkolis noted that it has inspired many other olive grow­ers and pro­duc­ers in Kefalonia “to up their game” and, with the recent open­ing of the Kefalonia Olive Mill, to join in the effort to make world-class EVOO. “I would like to thank Curtis Cord and every­one at Olive Oil Times for giv­ing my brand, Antheion, and my island, Kefalonia, a stage from which to shine,” Kokkolis added.

Another com­pany from Greece that left New York with a Gold Award was E‑La-Won with its Green Fresh early har­vested olive oil from the Athinolia vari­ety.

Ioannis Kampouris char­ac­ter­ized the gold award “a pres­ti­gious prize that every exporter to America wants to get,” and he revealed that it was miss­ing from their col­lec­tion of 40 prizes from inter­na­tional olive oil com­pe­ti­tions. Their Green Fresh also car­ries a European Union health claim and has already earned eight com­pe­ti­tion prizes. “It is the flag­ship of our prod­uct range. It is among the first choices of con­sumers who tar­get the healthy foods cat­e­gory, and every­one in our com­pany feels jus­ti­fied for their work and to be able to com­mu­ni­cate this pure and qual­ity Greek prod­uct. It forces us to con­tin­u­ously improve.”

More win­ners from Greece shared their feel­ings with Olive Oil Times. The Gold Award that Olympian Green International S.A. won for their Ktima Louiza from organic robust Koroneiki was a dis­tinc­tion for every­body, as Catherine Papaioannou men­tioned: “It is a great honor for all our oper­a­tives. We are very proud because we fol­low a rit­ual in cul­ti­vat­ing, pro­duc­ing, and pack­ag­ing our prod­uct. The olives are hand­picked from our 1,200 trees of the Koroneiki vari­ety being grown in the 14 acres of the Louiza estate. It is an organic cul­ti­va­tion with no chem­i­cal fer­til­iz­ers and the olives are cold pressed to cre­ate the fresh extra vir­gin Ktima Louiza olive oil.”

Elias Zarkadoulas, Diamantis Pierrakos and Dino Pierrakos accept a Gold Award at the 2018 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition for their Laconiko Olive Oil (Photo: NYIOOC)

Diamantis and Dino Pierrakos were thrilled to receive a gold award for Laconiko extra vir­gin made from medium Koroneiki, hon­or­ing their late father’s mem­ory as they told us. They said that NYIOOC “has now been rec­og­nized as the biggest inter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion, and we can’t express our excite­ment for being listed in the yearly index of the best olive oils in the world.”

Apostolos Porsanidis-Kavvadias of Dr. Kavvadia Olive Oil spoke about their Gold Award for their organic extra vir­gin from a medium Lianelia vari­ety. “The only thing I can say is that our efforts, patience, and per­se­ver­ance proved us right in our quest to make our olive oil the way we wanted and against the sta­tus quo. If you have the will, then the dreams come true.”



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