An Award-Winning Finish to A Fruitful Harvest in The Southern Cone

After bumper harvests in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay, producers demonstrated their quality with a combined 14 awards at the world’s largest olive oil quality contest.

Agricola Pobeña
By Costas Vasilopoulos
Nov. 9, 2023 17:39 UTC
Agricola Pobeña

Producers from Chile, Argentina and Uruguay beat the odds to pro­duce some of the world’s best extra vir­gin olive oils this year, com­bin­ing to win 21 awards from 32 entries at the 2023 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.

Despite pro­longed drought and high sum­mer tem­per­a­tures, farm­ers in the three coun­tries com­pris­ing South America’s Southern Cone enjoyed bumper har­vests.

These awards mean a lot to our team and con­firm that our com­mit­ment to pro­duc­ing high-qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oil is being appre­ci­ated.- José Manuel Reyes, com­mer­i­cal man­ager, Agricola Pobeña

Chilean pro­duc­ers set a new record in the com­pe­ti­tion, win­ning 14 awards (eight Gold and six Silver Awards) with a 70 per­cent suc­cess rate, sur­pass­ing their pre­vi­ous high­est tally of ten medals in 2019.

The har­vest in Chile started in April and ran through June. Despite a sig­nif­i­cant drought that dom­i­nated much of the country’s fer­tile cen­tral val­ley, home to most of its olive groves, Chilean pro­duc­ers enjoyed a robust crop this year, sim­i­lar to their 2022 yield.

See Also:The Best Olive Oils from Chile

According to our sta­tis­tics, Chile’s olive oil pro­duc­tion reached 21,000 tons in 2023,” Gabriela Moglia, the gen­eral man­ager of ChileOliva, a pro­ducer asso­ci­a­tion, told Olive Oil Times.

We are happy that Chilean olive oils were awarded in the con­test that sup­ports the qual­ity of our prod­uct world­wide,” Moglia added. The olive oil of Chile is more than 90 per­cent extra vir­gin as the coun­try spe­cial­izes in qual­ity.”

Among the biggest Chilean win­ners at the 2023 NYIOOC was Agricola Pobeña, which earned four Gold Awards.

We are very proud to win four golds at the NYIOOC this year,” José Manuel Reyes, the com­mer­cial man­ager at Agricola Pobeña, told Olive Oil Times. These awards mean a lot to our team and con­firm that our com­mit­ment to pro­duc­ing high-qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oil is being appre­ci­ated.”

For the fourth con­sec­u­tive year, the com­pany won with its Alonso brand of olive oils, includ­ing Hojiblanca, Coratina, and Cuartel 64 mono­va­ri­etals and the Obsession blend.

The pro­duc­ers behind Olivos Ruta del Sol, another award-win­ning com­pany from Chile, acknowl­edged the impor­tance of par­tic­i­pat­ing and win­ning in the world’s largest and most pres­ti­gious olive oil qual­ity con­test.


Winning awards at the NYIOOC helps Chilean exporters promote their brands in the U.S. and elsewhere. (Photo: Olivos Ruta del Sol)

To win acco­lades at the NYIOOC is extra­or­di­nary, espe­cially because our mar­kets are 100 per­cent over­seas and New York is a great show­room,” Fernando Carrasco Spano, the com­pa­ny’s chief exec­u­tive, told Olive Oil Times.

The com­pany received Gold and Silver Awards for two blends at the 2023 NYIOOC, the Deleyda Fine Selection and the Deleyda Premium. This year’s recog­ni­tion extends the company’s win­ning streak at the World Competition to five con­sec­u­tive years.

Based in Valparaíso, Olivos Ruta del Sol cul­ti­vates 143,000 olive trees of var­i­ous olive vari­eties, includ­ing Coratina, Koroneiki, Frantoio and Arbequina, tak­ing advan­tage of the area’s loca­tion and geo­mor­phol­ogy.

Our loca­tion in a unique val­ley in the Valparaíso region in cen­tral Chile offers a strong bar­rier against [olive] pathogens because of the Andes,” Spano said.

Located 90 kilo­me­ters west of the cap­i­tal, Santiago, Hacienda Chorombo had to cope with the area’s water short­age to cel­e­brate its first award in the com­pe­ti­tion, a Gold for its Trattoria blend from Coratina and Arbequina olives.


Years of drought in Chile have led to producers to adapt state-of-the-art irrigation technologies to conserve water and keep quality high.(Photo: Hacienda Chorombo)

This award is a source of pride and great sat­is­fac­tion because it reflects all the effort and team­work,” said Alfonso Acevedo, the company’s chief exec­u­tive. It is also a very good indi­ca­tor that val­i­dates our con­vic­tion to obtain extra vir­gin olive oils of the best qual­ity.”

This year, we had a major chal­lenge with water avail­abil­ity,” he added. The key was to use the resource with max­i­mum effi­ciency to reach the har­vest point in opti­mal con­di­tions.”


Acevedo also said that the com­pany relies on state-of-the-art tech­nol­ogy and con­stantly looks for new ways to use water effi­ciently in its olive groves.

In neigh­bor­ing Argentina, farm­ers also enjoyed a bumper har­vest. While offi­cial data has not been pub­lished, offi­cials antic­i­pate this year’s har­vest to exceed those of the pre­vi­ous three.

At the 2023 NYIOOC, two Argentine pro­duc­ers com­bined to earn four awards (one Gold and three Silver Awards) with a 50 per­cent suc­cess rate.

Establecimiento Olivum received two Silver Awards for its medium-inten­sity Changlot Reial mono­va­ri­etal and medium blend. It was the fifth year that the pro­ducer tri­umphed at the com­pe­ti­tion.


Establecimiento Olivum produces award-winning extra virgin olive oil in the foothills of the Andes. (Photo: Establecimiento Olivum)

The pro­ducer grows around 1,000 hectares of olive trees at the foothills of the Andes in the province of San Juan.

Another pro­ducer from San Juan, Agropecuaria El Mistol, won a Gold and a Silver Award in the com­pe­ti­tion for two of its blends: El Mistol Premium and El Mistol Clasico.

Argentina is the largest olive oil pro­ducer in the Americas, boast­ing more than 90,000 hectares of olive groves mainly sit­u­ated in the north­west­ern provinces of San Juan, Mendoza, La Rioja and Catamarca.

On the east­ern coast of the Southern Cone, Uruguay’s two largest olive oil brands con­cluded a record-set­ting har­vest with three awards at the NYIOOC.


Nuevo Manantial’s olive mill in Rocha, Uruguay, is one of the most most modern in the country. (Photo: Nuevo Manantial)

Agroland, based in Maldonado and pro­duc­ing the Colinas de Garzón brand, earned two Gold Awards for two medium-inten­sity blends. Maldonado is the largest olive oil-pro­duc­ing region in Uruguay.

Meanwhile, Nuevo Manantial, which pro­duces the Olivares de Rocha brand in the neigh­bor­ing province, earned a Silver Award for its medium-inten­sity blend.

For us, who are in a very small coun­try, hav­ing this inter­na­tional recog­ni­tion is very good,” Victor Rodriguez, who super­vises the pro­duc­tion of both brands, told Olive Oil Times. It fills us with pride and opens a path for us to any mar­ket we may want to enter.”

These awards also help us to make our­selves known on the global stage as a com­pany, not from a tra­di­tional olive oil mar­ket,” he con­cluded.

Daniel Dawson con­tributed to this report.

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