The best extra virgin olive oils for 2019 were revealed tonight in New York.
Curtis Cord, the Olive Oil Times publisher and president of the NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition, provided an overview of this year’s contest to a packed room of 200 journalists, olive oil producers and food industry professionals, and an estimated 10,500 who watched the live stream of the event.
In a year that saw a dramatically reduced output in some traditional regions, the findings of an 18-member panel of expert tasters suggested there is no shortage of excellent olive oils to go around. In fact, the number of award winners set an all-time record.
“There were farmers who told us this year they simply had no olives — that their trees succumbed to deep freezes, drought and other calamities,” Cord told the crowd. “And, there were some who had their best harvest in years.”
There were 552 awarded brands from 23 countries among the more than 900 entries, Cord revealed. The high success rate continued a trend among quality-minded olive oil producers throughout the world who aim to distinguish their brands from the pack.
“The record-breaking 552 award winners suggests that more producers know how winning oils should taste and have developed the skills to craft them,” said Cord. “And those who have managed to craft excellence are more often able to repeat their success.”
Producers from Italy submitted the most entries with 223, followed by Spain with 154, Greece with 109, the United States with 96, Portugal with 67, Croatia with 61 and Tunisia with 30. There were entries from Australia, Brazil, Turkey, Chile, Slovenia, France, Japan, China, New Zealand, Argentina, South Africa, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, Uruguay, Algeria, Cyprus and Israel.
The winningest country was Italy, with 152 awards, followed closely by Spain with 93, the United States with 75 and Greece with 55 awards. “More than ever before, we are seeing the tremendous efforts by producers around the world result in exceptional oils for us to choose,” Cord said, before calling some of the producers in attendance to the stage to accept their awards.
“This is so special,” said Richard Meisler of San Miguel Olive Farm, who received two Gold Awards for his Tuscan Gold Eleganza and Tuscan Gold Supremo blends. “This is one of the highlights of my life.”
“This is for all the hard-working people in Solta!” said Mirjana Kanzler, representing the Best in Class Award winner, Zlatna Šoltanka.
The NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition is the largest olive oil quality contest and its annual listing of award winners is widely considered the most trusted guide to the year’s best extra virgin olive oils.
Award winners will be listed in the NYIOOC’s official Index of the World’s Best Olive Oils and many will be available through the Best Olive Oils Marketplace, the online portal where buyers can source the winning oils from retailers and distributors who stock them.
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