`Producers from Peloponnese Shine at NYIOOC World Competition - Olive Oil Times

Producers from Peloponnese Shine at NYIOOC World Competition

Jun. 22, 2021
Costas Vasilopoulos

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Part of our con­tin­u­ing spe­cial cov­er­age of the 2021 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.


With the high­est-ever num­ber of suc­cesses at the NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition – 99 awards in total – Greek pro­duc­ers and exporters set new stan­dards for the coun­try’s olive oil sec­tor.

While Cretan pro­duc­ers demon­strated their com­pet­i­tive­ness, their coun­ter­parts on the Peloponnese penin­sula also enjoyed numer­ous wins in the world’s most pres­ti­gious olive oil qual­ity com­pe­ti­tion.

Being rec­og­nized in this com­pe­ti­tion is not only the biggest com­pli­ment for us, but it is the one com­pe­ti­tion that does the talk­ing for small pro­duc­ers like our­selves.- Diamantis Pierrakos, co-owner, Laconiko Olive Oil Company

The Peloponnese, the south­ern-most part of con­ti­nen­tal Greece, is vir­tu­ally a con­tin­u­ous olive grove that hosts more than 30 mil­lion olive trees and pro­duces top-qual­ity olive oil.

The Peloponnese and many other ter­ri­to­ries of Greece, from Crete to Corfu, have just the right cli­mate for olive tree cul­ti­va­tion with mild to cold, but not freez­ing win­ters, and long, warm sum­mers,” agron­o­mist Yiorgos Kostelenos, who has been record­ing the indige­nous olive vari­eties of Greece for more than 40 years, told Olive Oil Times.

See Also: The Best Olive Oils from Greece

We should also con­sider that olive tree grow­ing goes back almost 6,000 years in Greece,” Kostelenos con­tin­ued. Consequently, the olive trees have genet­i­cally evolved here more than any­where else, and the olive fruits they give have evolved accord­ingly.”

Add that the Greek pro­duc­ers have made a remark­able turn toward mod­ern tech­niques and meth­ods in the pro­duc­tion of olive oil dur­ing the recent years, it is no won­der that the olive oil is of excel­lent qual­ity,” he added.

The ninth edi­tion of the NYIOOC once again allowed Peloponnesian pro­duc­ers to exhibit their award-win­ning extra vir­gin olive oils.

This com­pe­ti­tion means every­thing to us, and being rec­og­nized for the eighth con­sec­u­tive year gives us the great­est sense of accom­plish­ment,” Diamantis Pierrakos, one of the own­ers of the Laconiko Olive Oil Company, told Olive Oil Times. Our grat­i­tude is over­whelm­ing.”

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Photo: Laconiko Olive Oil Company

Being rec­og­nized in this com­pe­ti­tion is not only the biggest com­pli­ment for us, but it is the one com­pe­ti­tion that does the talk­ing for small pro­duc­ers like our­selves,” he added. My brother, Dino, and I feel so ecsta­tic for our awards right now; it might take a cou­ple of weeks before the over­whelm­ing excite­ment set­tles.”

The com­pany expanded its col­lec­tion of NYIOOC acco­lades by earn­ing two Gold and one Silver Award at this year’s com­pe­ti­tion.

Laconiko won the Gold Awards for Its name­sake Koroneiki mono­va­ri­etal, and the Olio Nuovo Reserve, made from Koroneiki olives. In addi­tion, Laconiko Kambos, another mono­va­ri­etal Koroneiki, received a Silver Award in New York this year.

Pierrakos said that the 2020 har­vest was quite chal­leng­ing due to the travel restric­tions of the Covid-19 pan­demic. However, he is opti­mistic about the com­ing sea­son.

The next har­vest looks promis­ing, but it is def­i­nitely too early to tell, he said. Every year, we always hope for the best, but we know that we will have obsta­cles to over­come.”

The only sure thing about the next sea­son is that we will give 100 per­cent to pro­duce the absolute best extra vir­gin olive oil that we can,” Pierrakos added. As long as we do this, we will always keep our head high regard­less of the out­come.”

Mediterre Eurofood was another repeat Peloponnesian win­ner to earn mul­ti­ple awards at 2021 NYIOOC.

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Konstantinos Papadopoulos (front and center) and the rest of the team. Photo: Mediterre Eurofood

Previously oper­at­ing under the name of Papadopoulos Olive Oil, the com­pany once again excelled in the com­pe­ti­tion, earn­ing four Gold and two Silver Awards from all six of its entries.

All our extra vir­gin olive oils were suc­cess­ful at NYIOOC,” Konstantinos Papadopoulos, the CEO of the Olympia-based com­pany, told Olive Oil Times. It is worth say­ing that we were the most dis­tin­guished Greek pro­ducer this year, hav­ing achieved six out of six olive oils to be awarded.”

The har­vest­ing sea­son went well, and thanks to the hard work of our team of agri­cul­tur­ists, we once again man­aged to pro­duce olive oil of impec­ca­ble qual­ity,” he added.

The pro­ducer earned two Gold Awards for the Mediterre Alea brand, a mono­va­ri­etal organic Koroneiki, and the Mythocia Olympia PGI medium blend. Omphacium and Omphacium organic, both made from the Olympia vari­ety, also received Gold Awards.

Mediterre Eurofood earned two Silver Awards for its Mediterre Lena brand, a blend of Koroneiki and Manaki olives, and Mediterre Olymp Olympia PGI, made from organic Koroneiki and Kolireiki olives.

Apart from well-estab­lished Greek pro­duc­ers at the NYIOOC, first and sec­ond-time com­peti­tors from the Peloponnese also mea­sured up to the require­ments.

Argolio, from the region of Argolida in the east­ern part of the Peloponnese, chose to com­pete at the NYIOOC for the first time and suc­ceeded, earn­ing a Gold Award for its name­sake medium blend of Koroneiki and Manaki olives.

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Photo: Argolio

It is the first time that we par­tic­i­pate in a com­pe­ti­tion, and we feel very happy that we won the Gold Award in the most impor­tant and time­less com­pe­ti­tion of all,” Michalis Kontovrakis, the company’s CEO, told Olive Oil Times.

Kontovrakis also said that they were con­fi­dent of a good result based on their olive oils’ chem­i­cal and organolep­tic analy­sis. The pro­duc­ers are now look­ing to mar­ket Argolio around the world.

We dare to say that it should be in every house, restau­rant and del­i­catessen,” he said proudly.

Further south, on the out­skirts of the city of Kalamata, the bot­tler and exporter Agro VI.M. returned to the com­pe­ti­tion after 2020 to earn three prizes in total, all made from Koroneiki.

The com­pany picked up a Gold Award for its Kalamata Iliada PDO and another for its Iliada organic PDO. Agro.VI.M earned the Silver Award for the Iliada organic Emerald Selection.

Agro.VI.M. has been awarded at NYIOOC for two con­sec­u­tive years,” Eugenia Gyftea, the company’s CEO, told Olive Oil Times. We remain true to our vision to offer qual­ity prod­ucts of high nutri­tional value to our cus­tomers.”

Our Iliada extra vir­gin has been ful­fill­ing our mis­sion for years,” she added. Our awards in New York are the cul­mi­na­tion of our hard work, and they con­firm the qual­ity of the prod­ucts we offer to the United States and around the world.”

Elsewhere in the Peloponnese, in Arcadia, at the cen­ter of the penin­sula, G‑Team pro­duced its organic Agourelion brand from early-har­vested, hand-picked olives of the Olympia vari­ety, which were grown at high alti­tude.

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Photo: G‑Team

The com­pany, a new con­tender in the com­pe­ti­tion, took home one Gold Award for its Hypereleon Ultra Gold and two Silver Awards for the Hypereleon Gold and another organic Agourelion, the Hypereleon Nutri-Arcadian Mountains blend, made from Olympia and Athinolia olives.

It is a con­tin­u­ous, demand­ing and sophis­ti­cated pro­duc­tion process, which requires great patience, love and devo­tion,” the com­pany told Olive Oil Times. Therefore, the awards and the recog­ni­tion at the NYIOOC in our first par­tic­i­pa­tion filled us with joy and opti­mism and gave us the courage to con­tinue our efforts for improv­ing our prod­ucts.”

G‑Team uses only organic farm­ing meth­ods, includ­ing non-chem­i­cal pes­ti­cides, which pro­mote gen­tle, nat­ural cul­ti­va­tion of the trees in a bio­di­verse and bal­anced ecosys­tem, they said.

On the other hand, the com­pany uti­lizes mod­ern sci­en­tific mon­i­tor­ing and qual­ity con­trols in its pro­duc­tion process.

By strictly fol­low­ing spe­cial cer­ti­fied pro­ce­dures dur­ing all stages of pro­duc­tion, we ensure the top qual­ity of every drop of our prod­uct from our groves to your front door,” they said.

We truly believe in the value of Greek agri­cul­tural prod­ucts, espe­cially regard­ing olive oil and olive prod­ucts,” they added. Based on the tra­di­tion and her­itage our ances­tors bestowed us with, we move for­ward with respect and love for the nat­ural envi­ron­ment, the ecosys­tem and our blessed land.”


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