` Mario Solinas Winners Announced - Olive Oil Times

Mario Solinas Winners Announced

May. 24, 2012
Julie Butler

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A Spanish com­pany that just six years ago moved from mak­ing bricks to mak­ing olive oil has won one of the world’s most pres­ti­gious olive oil prizes.

Aceites Oro Bailen, in Jaén, came first in the intense green fruiti­ness cat­e­gory of the Mario Solinas Quality Award extra vir­gin olive oil com­pe­ti­tion, the International Olive Council announced today (May 24).

Córdoba’s Almazara de Muela took the medium green fruiti­ness cat­e­gory and Navarra’s Hacienda Queiles was the ripe fruiti­ness win­ner.

The field spanned 111 oils — up from 97 last year. Spain had 44 entries, Portugal 40 and Greece 20. Italy sub­mit­ted two entries and Cyprus, Egypt, Israel 1, Syria and Turkey one each, the IOC, which holds the awards, said. The offi­cial prize-giv­ing cer­e­mony will be held at its Madrid head­quar­ters on June 22.

From bricks to bou­quets

A delighted José Gálvez, direc­tor of Galgón 99, the com­pany behind intense cat­e­gory win­ner Aceites Oro Bailen, found out about his lat­est prize when called by Olive Oil Times. Prizes like this serve as an endorse­ment by a third party that your olive oil is as good as you say it is” he said.

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It’s one of the most impor­tant inter­na­tional awards.” It is also rig­or­ous, requir­ing entries to be cer­ti­fied and col­lected by a notary, which is pos­si­bly why just two entries came from Italy, he said.

When Spain’s ceram­ics sec­tor floun­dered, the Gálvez fam­ily decided to switch from man­u­fac­tur­ing bricks to mak­ing olive oil, start­ing the lat­ter only about six years ago. We knew that being in (world olive oil pro­duc­tion cap­i­tal) Jaén, we had to dif­fer­en­ti­ate, and we did that by aim­ing for max­i­mum qual­ity” Gálvez said.

Part of that involves an early har­vest in his about 100ha grove in the foothills of the Sierra Morena. This season’s started on October 10 and pro­duced 60 tons of the win­ning EVOO, Oro Bailen Reserva Familiar, with an acid­ity of less than 0.1 per­cent

Before his win, Gálvez had writ­ten to the IOC sug­gest­ing a change in the award tim­ing so win­ning pro­duc­ers could use their prize to boost sales of that season’s oil for longer.

His EVOO has already won other awards and is sold through­out Spain — such as in the gourmet sec­tion of Spanish depart­ment store chain El Corte Inglés, where 500ml sells for €8.45 ($10.60) — and about a third is exported, he said.

Its aroma is so intense it is more like a fruit juice than an olive oil.”

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Mario Solinas Quality Award Winners

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First Prize

Intense green fruiti­ness: Aceites Oro Bailen (Jaén, Spain)
Medium green fruiti­ness: Almazara de Muela (Córdoba, Spain)
Ripe fruiti­ness: Hacienda Queiles (Navarra, Spain)

Second Prize

Intense green fruiti­ness: Aceites Campoliva (Jaén, Spain)
Medium green fruiti­ness: Oro de Canava (Jaén, Spain)
Ripe fruiti­ness: Los Barbechos (Valencia, Spain)

Third Prize

Intense green fruiti­ness: Aceites San Antonio (Jaén, Spain)
Medium green fruiti­ness: Aroden (Córdoba, Spain)
Ripe fruiti­ness: SAOV Sociedade Agrícola Ouro Vegetal (Abrantes, Portugal)

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Finalists

Intense green fruiti­ness:

Potosí 10 (Jaén, Spain)
Agricola Roda (Sevilla, Spain)
Campos de Uleila (Almeria, Spain)

Medium green fruiti­ness:

Venchipa (Granada, Spain)
SCA Almazaras de la Subbética (Córdoba, Spain)
Jeronimo Pedro Mendonça de Abreu e Lima (Mirandela, Portugal)

Ripe fruiti­ness:

Enolea (Entroncamento, Portugal)
Agricola i Caixa Agraria i Secció de Credit de Cambrils (Tarragona, Spain)
Cooperativa de Olivicultores de Valpaços (Valpaços, Portugal)



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