` Gold and Silver for France

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Gold and Silver for France

May. 13, 2014
By Alice Alech

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Lau­rent Bélorgey pro­duces La Lieu­tenante, which won a Sil­ver Award at the New York Inter­na­tional Olive Oil Com­pe­ti­tion.

France won two Gold Awards and one Sil­ver Award at the 2014 New York Olive Oil Com­pe­ti­tion (NYIOCC). The three French pro­duc­ers were rewarded for the sub­lime qual­ity of their best fruity green olive oil — three small- to medium-sized pro­duc­ers who sub­mit­ted their oils to the huge New York com­pe­ti­tion for the first time.

From Seil­lans, an ancient vil­lage in Provence, Gilles and Brigitte Stal­enque run the fam­ily busi­ness pro­duc­ing around 3,000 liters of Domaine Stal­enq extra vir­gin olive oil per year on their 5 hectare prop­erty. The cou­ple has only recently started enter­ing com­pe­ti­tions and in one year has won 5 Gold and 3 Sil­ver Awards in France. They are excited with their first inter­na­tional suc­cess, proud of their fruity green which the judges described as robust with aro­mas of green fruit, green grass, tomato and notes of tomato.

Brigitte Stal­enque said:

We’re not as well known as big olive oil pro­duc­ers but we’re always sold out by July and our cus­tomers keep com­ing back to us. We’re very happy to win this reward espe­cially as we’re only a small domaine in a lit­tle Provençal vil­lage. Even the mayor of Seil­lans is proud of what we’ve achieved.”

Pro­ducer Fred­erique Pina­tel from Domaine Sal­va­tor won a Gold Award with Cuvée Par­adis which he described as robust oil made with one sin­gle vari­ety with aro­mas of green grass, green bananas, pears and fresh almonds.” He said that his oil reflected the ter­roir of Haute Provence and the fam­ily know-how from five gen­er­a­tions. Olive Oil from Domaine Sal­va­tor has been win­ning pro­fes­sional olive oil com­pe­ti­tions in France since 1977.

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From the Baux de Provence Lau­rent Bélorgey pro­duces La Lieu­tenante, an ele­gant extra vir­gin olive oil which won a Sil­ver Award. An engi­neer by pro­fes­sion, Lau­rent gave up his job as a banker in Lux­em­bourg to man­age 48 hectares and 13,000 olive trees, a deci­sion he does not regret.

La Lieu­tenante has won many awards in France over the years but win­ning in New York means so much; it’s great for our work to be rec­og­nized and to attract inter­na­tional cus­tomers. It’s par­tic­u­larly moti­vat­ing and stim­u­lat­ing for those who work in the orchard, to all the team. We are very happy and will most cer­tainly be enter­ing the New York Olive Oil Com­pe­ti­tion next year.”

Among the inter­na­tional panel of judges tast­ing the col­lec­tion of over 650 olive oil sam­ples from some 25 coun­tries was Fabi­enne Roux, direc­tor of the French High School of Olive Oil Tast­ing. She said the com­pe­ti­tion was car­ried out with all seri­ous­ness and pro­fes­sion­al­ism vital to suc­cess, very good orga­ni­za­tion with even bet­ter tast­ing con­di­tions than last year.

She said: We had some good sur­prises as best of class. Even if we are expe­ri­enced tasters we were at times cap­ti­vated by aro­mas and fla­vors like chil­dren dis­cov­er­ing some­thing very new and excit­ing.”

Fabi­enne said she enjoyed shar­ing her French vision of tast­ing extra vir­gin olive oil in a culi­nary set­ting with the other judges. What did she par­tic­u­larly enjoy?

Liv­ing for one week together with such inter­est­ing and knowl­edge­able peo­ple dis­cussing olive oil from break­fast until late at night.”

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