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24th Ercole Olivario Awards Recognize Italian Olive Oil Excellence

Mar. 25, 2016
Ylenia Granitto

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The 24th edi­tion of the Ercole Olivario wound up with a cer­e­mony award held this week in Perugia (Umbria), that brought together 100 final­ists. In the year of renais­sance for the Italian olive oil sec­tor, 249 pro­duc­ers from 17 regions took part in the pres­ti­gious national contest.

The com­pe­ti­tion has been orga­nized by the Union of the Italian Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Handicraft, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Chamber of Commerce of Perugia and the sup­port of the National Chamber System. Since its foun­da­tion, the Ercole Olivario has aimed to pro­mote the excel­lence of olive oil from the var­i­ous areas of the penin­sula, sup­port­ing pro­duc­ers who aspire at the high­est qual­ity and pro­mot­ing the skills of pro­fes­sional tasters.

We are a small fam­ily com­pany with an intense con­nec­tion with the ter­ri­tory and we put all our ener­gies in the qual­ity.- Federico Massoli, Podere Ricavo

The Ercole Olivario Award takes its name from a tem­ple ded­i­cated to Hercules, the divine hero linked to the agri­cul­tural world, located in the area of Forum Boarium in Rome. The holy place, with majes­tic fluted columns and pre­cious corinthian cap­i­tals, was built in the first cen­tury BC at the expense of the ancient Roman cor­po­ra­tion of olive oil pro­duc­ers, which exported their prod­ucts through­out the empire, board­ing from the ancient port of Rome on the banks of the Tiber river close to the tem­ple (the cur­rent Testaccio district).

Participants from Latium (47), Umbria (40) and Sardinia (26), Puglia and Sicily (24), Calabria and Abruzzo (19), Tuscany (17), Campania (10), Liguria (6), Marche (4), Molise and Lombardy (3), Veneto, Emilia-Romagna and Basilicata (2) and Trentino (1) com­peted for the cat­e­gories DOP and EXTRA (for the extra vir­gin olive oils) based on the dif­fer­ent types of fruiti­ness (light, medium and intense). Four awards were granted: the Amphora Olearia, for the best label; the Lekythos, for the for­eign per­son­al­ity who stands out for the knowl­edge of tast­ing tech­niques; the Special Mention for Organic EVOO of the year; and the prize The courage to set up new agri­cul­tural enter­prises,” reserved new startups.

Considering the high qual­ity of the sam­ples, the delib­er­a­tions were not easy for the 16 tasters of the national board, who exam­ined the olive oils selected from 17 regional com­mis­sions. The panel con­sisted of experts rep­re­sent­ing the olive grow­ing regions selected from the National list of tech­ni­cians and experts of vir­gin and extra vir­gin olive oils, with a yearly rota­tion mech­a­nism. The twenty-fourth edi­tion con­firms and enshrines the high olfac­tory-gus­ta­tory per­for­mance that unequiv­o­cally char­ac­ter­ize the excel­lence of Italian olive oils,” said the panel leader Giuseppe Cicero.

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This year, in addi­tion to the activ­ity of selec­tion, we offered ser­vices that can be used by the com­pa­nies to pro­mote their own devel­op­ment in the sec­tor,” said the chair­man of the coor­di­na­tion com­mit­tee, Giorgio Mencaroni. 

The first ser­vice is related to the dig­i­tal­iza­tion: all 249 par­tic­i­pants will be pro­vided with a study on the online pres­ence of their com­pany, with indi­ca­tions to max­i­mize the visibility. 

The sec­ond aims at the trans­parency of labels. Thanks to the col­lab­o­ra­tion with a com­pany for the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of agri-food qual­ity, Agroqualità, we will ver­ify the pres­ence of the manda­tory ele­ments required by the European Regulations and related decrees on label­ing,” he explained. 

Internationalization is the third area of activ­ity for which I wish to thank the Italian Trade Agency ICE, which plays a key role in the pro­mo­tion of Italian prod­ucts in for­eign mar­kets. I also thank the coun­cil for the research in agri­cul­ture and analy­sis of agri-econ­omy CREA which super­vised the regional selections.”

This award is a recog­ni­tion of the care and atten­tion we paid to high qual­ity,” affirmed Federico Massoli of the Podere Ricavo, the win­ner in the cat­e­gory PDO light fruity. We are a small fam­ily com­pany with an intense con­nec­tion with the ter­ri­tory and we put all our ener­gies in the qual­ity, that for us is more impor­tant than the quan­tity. This atti­tude repaid us with a great satisfaction.”

Ercole Olivario Award Winners

PDO EVOO Light Fruity Category

DOP Terre di Siena Podere Ricavo Azienda Agricola Buoni o del Buono Maria Pia in Cetona (Siena)
EVOO DOPUmbria Colli Assisi Spoleto Azienda Agraria Marfuga in Campello sul Clitunno (Perugia)

PDO EVOO Medium Fruity Category 

DOPColline Pontine Azienda Agricola Biologica Orsini in Priverno (Latina)
DOP Umbria Colli Orvietani Azienda Eugenio Ranchino in Orvieto (Terni)

PDO EVOO Intense Fruity Category 

DOP Terra Di Bari — Castel Del Monte Frantoio Galantino in Bisceglie (Barletta, Andria, Trani)
DOP Colline Pontine Azienda Agricola Alfredo Cetrone in Sonnino (Latina)

EVOO Light Fruity Category 

EVOO Azienda Cassini Paolo in Isolabona (Imperia)
EVOO Società Agricola Ceraudo Roberto in Strongoli (Crotone)

EVOO Medium Fruity Category 

EVOO Azienda Agraria Viola di Sant’Eraclio in Foligno (Perugia)
EVOO Azienda Agricola Di Giacomo Sandro in Pianella (Pescara)

EVOO Intense Fruity Category 

EVOO Azienda Agricola Callicarpo in Oliena (Nuoro)
EVOO Azienda Agricola Adria Misiti in Sabaudia (Latina)

Special Awards

Amphora Olearia Award: com­pany Terraliva (Sicily)

Special Mention Organic Oil: EVOO DOP Colline Pontine Azienda Agricola Biologica Orsini (Latium)

Lekythos Award: Università dei Sapori

New Enterprise Award: Azienda Agricola Callicarpo (Sardinia)



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