Sardinia, Lazio Shine at 26th 'Ercole Olivario'

An award ceremony in Perugia concluded the 26th Ercole Olivario, the competition for the Italian excellence.

The winners of the 26th Ercole Olivario
Apr. 17, 2018
By Ylenia Granitto
The winners of the 26th Ercole Olivario

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One hun­dred extra vir­gin olive oils took part in the final stage of the 26th Ercole Olivario, the award for the Italian regional excel­lence orga­nized by the Italian Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Handicraft and Agriculture (Unioncamere), in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Chamber of Commerce of Perugia with the sup­port of the National Chamber System.

237 labels came from 17 regions, seven of which were awarded: Sardinia led with 5 awards, fol­lowed by Lazio and Puglia with 3 recog­ni­tions each, and Umbria, Tuscany, Trentino and Abruzzo, each with one award.

The jury, com­posed by tasters rep­re­sent­ing the olive oil regions and con­ducted by the panel leader Angela Canale, selected twelve win­ners, in accor­dance with two cat­e­gories, PDO/PGI and extra vir­gin, sub­di­vided into three classes, light, medium and intense, to which were added some spe­cial prizes.

On April 7, at the audi­to­rium of the University for Foreigners of Perugia, the award cer­e­mony was mod­er­ated by the jour­nal­ist Maurizio Pescari in the pres­ence of the rec­tor Giovanni Paciullo, the pres­i­dent of the Chamber of Commerce of Perugia and pres­i­dent of the National Committee Ercole Olivario, Giorgio Mencaroni, and the pro­fes­sor of food sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy at the University of Perugia, Maurizio Servili, who gave a Lectio Magistralis on the impor­tance of bio­di­ver­sity in the qual­ity of Italian olive oils and tem­per­a­tures in the extrac­tion process.

We launched this impor­tant com­pe­ti­tion twenty-six years ago with the objec­tive to map the excel­lence of the many beau­ti­ful ter­ri­to­ries of the penin­sula,” said the pres­i­dent of the com­pe­ti­tion com­mit­tee, Giorgio Mencaroni. We rec­og­nize the value of the oper­a­tors in the sec­tor, who carry out a con­stant qual­i­ta­tive improve­ment, and of the pro­fes­sional tasters, who are com­mit­ted to pro­mot­ing qual­ity pro­duc­tions.”

We are pleased with these recog­ni­tions espe­cially because our com­pany was recently founded,” said Graziano Pau, the pres­i­dent of the olive grow­ers’ coop­er­a­tive of Oliena, in the province of Nuoro, in Sardinia. This is our first pro­duc­tion, as we took the reins of a com­pany cre­ated at the begin­ning of last cen­tury, and chose to focus on qual­ity,” he remarked after receiv­ing an award for the best medium fruity extra vir­gin olive oil and a spe­cial prize for new com­pa­nies. It was an excep­tional sea­son and we are proud of this recog­ni­tion of the vari­ety Nera di Oliena, which is an expres­sion of our ter­ri­tory, where olive groves char­ac­ter­ize a won­der­ful land­scape in the heart of Sardinia.”

Thirteen extra vir­gin olive oils from Lazio, which was the most rep­re­sented region, took part in the national com­pe­ti­tion. They were all suc­cess­ful at the 25th edi­tion of Orii del Lazio — Capolavori del gusto — the con­test for the best extra vir­gin olive oils of the region, pro­moted by Unioncamere Lazio.

The Temple of Hadrian, the sug­ges­tive head­quar­ters of the Chamber of Commerce of Rome, hosted the award cer­e­mony on March 24. During the event, the sec­re­tary gen­eral of Unioncamere Lazio, Pietro Abate under­lined the role of the com­pe­ti­tion in pro­mot­ing the regional pro­duc­tions, which reached the high­est lev­els of qual­ity.”

Eighty-two thou­sand hectares of olive groves and four pro­tected des­ig­na­tions of ori­gin (Sabina, Canino, Tuscia and Colline Pontine) give an idea of the impor­tance of our extra vir­gin olive oils in the con­text of the national agri-food excel­lence,” the pres­i­dent of Unioncamere Lazio, Lorenzo Tagliavanti remarked.

Twenty-three par­tic­i­pants from the province of Latina, 21 from Viterbo, 13 from Rieti, 9 from Rome and 7 from Frosinone com­peted in two cat­e­gories. Other spe­cial prizes, includ­ing the Critics’ Award given by agri-food jour­nal­ists, were bestowed.

The win­ners were selected by a pro­fes­sional panel through tast­ing ses­sions held at the chem­i­cal lab­o­ra­tory of the Chamber of Commerce of Rome, which is the body autho­rized to carry out chem­i­cal and phys­i­cal ana­lyzes for the cer­ti­fi­ca­tions of pro­tected des­ig­na­tion of ori­gin. The tech­ni­cal orga­ni­za­tion of the com­pe­ti­tion was imple­mented by Agro Camera, a spe­cial com­pany of the Chamber of Commerce of Rome for the devel­op­ment of the agri-food sec­tor.

We are so glad about this recog­ni­tion,” said Alessandro Donati of the Frantoio Oleario Narducci in Moricone. At the begin­ning of the sea­son, drought caused con­cern, but then the weather has set­tled down, and rains at the right time allowed us to obtain a very good prod­uct: fra­grant, with har­monic bit­ter­ness and pun­gency,” pointed out the pro­ducer from the province of Rome, as run­ner-up in the medium fruity PDO Sabina cat­e­gory. We recently renewed the machin­ery of our mill which gave us a great oil, and this is a reward of our com­mit­ment to qual­ity.”

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