Australians Overcome Cold, Wet Harvest to Win in New York

Producers in Australia earned fifteen awards at the 2023 NYIOOC after a chilly, damp harvest reduced their yield.
Harvesting olives at Cobram Estate (Photo: Jayden Ostwald)
By Lisa Anderson
Oct. 23, 2023 15:34 UTC

Producers from Australia earned 15 awards and achieved their sec­ond-high­est suc­cess rate of 88 per­cent at the 2023 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition. The pos­i­tive result came after a har­vest marked by cool tem­per­a­tures and labor issues.

To receive this recog­ni­tion at a pres­ti­gious inter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion such as the NYIOOC is incred­i­bly valu­able for our brand.- Leandro Ravetti, co-CEO, Cobram Estate

Cooler weather ben­e­fited the coun­try’s pro­duc­ers, yield­ing high-qual­ity oils from slowly ripen­ing fruit.

See Also:The best olive oils from Australia

Congratulations to the Australian grow­ers who con­tinue to pro­duce high-qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oil year-on-year,” Australian Olive Oil Association gen­eral man­ager Jan Jacklin told Olive Oil Times. It was a mixed year for grow­ers in terms of yield, but the slower ripen­ing of fruit con­tributed to the qual­ity of the oil,” she added.

Australia’s largest pro­ducer, Cobram Estate, earned two Gold Awards for its Coratina and Koroneiki brands and three Silver Awards for Hojiblanca, Frantoio and Picual extra vir­gin olive oils.


Rob McGavin, Sam Beaton and Leandro Ravetti

We are incred­i­bly happy with the five awards this year and proud that the qual­ity and con­sis­tency of our extra vir­gin olive oils con­tinue to be rec­og­nized as some of the best in the world,” Leandro Ravetti, Cobram Estate’s co-chief exec­u­tive and chief oil maker, told Olive Oil Times.

To receive this recog­ni­tion at a pres­ti­gious inter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion such as the NYIOOC is incred­i­bly valu­able for our brand. It high­lights all the hard work, expe­ri­ence, tech­ni­cal knowl­edge and pas­sion that goes into craft­ing every bot­tle of Cobram Estate extra vir­gin olive oil,” he added.

See Also:Quality and Investment Are Key to Olive Oil’s Future, Boundary Bend Co-Founder Says

Ravetti said a wet and cold win­ter and spring delayed flow­er­ing and short­ened the fruit devel­op­ment period.

This sit­u­a­tion, com­bined with an above aver­age crop load, led to smaller flesh-to-pit ratios and greener than nor­mal fruit that pro­vided our oils with firm and bal­anced bit­ter­ness and pun­gency, match­ing over­ar­ch­ing green, grassy and herbal notes,” he said.

Cape Schanck Olive Estate from Australia’s Mornington Peninsula, also in Victoria, earned two Gold Awards for its medium-inten­sity Picholine and Picual oils.


Cape Schanck Olive Estate

Stephen Tham, who co-owns the estate with his wife Sui, told Olive Oil Times he was elated that their oils are still meet­ing the stan­dards and palates of the judges.

We have had a great run so far with the medal count since we entered our first NYIOOC com­pe­ti­tion in 2016, and the pres­sure is on try­ing to main­tain this momen­tum,” Tham said. Personally, it’s a gen­tle pat on the prover­bial back that we are doing okay from the care of the trees to the pro­cess­ing of the olives,” he added. Commercially, it does help us with brand recog­ni­tion. It gives us street cred’ as a cred­i­ble olive oil pro­ducer and val­i­dates the qual­ity of our oils.”

See Also:At Cape Schanck Olive Estate, Weekend Getaway Grows Into Lauded Brand

Cape Schanck’s recent har­vest that yielded their award-win­ning oils was chilly and damp, Tham said.

In the five-week period prior to har­vest, we thought our olives would never mature,” he said. We had to hold on from the har­vest as long as we could and thought our oils would be too green,’ But sur­pris­ingly, it has turned out quite bal­anced, with a nice mid-palate and fin­ish,” he said.

As they say, a long ripen­ing period may give bet­ter qual­ity oils,” he said. But I hope we never encounter such inclement weather again.”

Meanwhile, another pro­ducer from Victoria, Grassy Spur Olives, earned two Gold Awards for its Frantoio and Picual mono­va­ri­etals.

It is sat­is­fy­ing to know that our olive oil is rec­og­nized as being of a high qual­ity and appre­ci­ated by the judges,” Peter Wright, the co-owner of Grassy Spur Olives, told Olive Oil Times.


The recog­ni­tion of these awards is an acknowl­edg­ment of the qual­ity of pro­duce that we grow in South Gippsland and how it can attract all sorts of food­ies to the ever­green rolling hills of our region,” Peter Wright, the co-owner of Grassy Spur Olives, told Olive Oil Times.

In our region, many of the groves pro­duce high-qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oil, so we feel we are part of a priv­i­leged group of grow­ers who help each other rather than stand out,” he added.

Across the Tasman Sea, another pro­ducer from Oceania, Loopline Olives from the Wairarapa region on the North Island of New Zealand, won a Silver Award for its medium-inten­sity Picual.


Loopline Olives

We are delighted to have achieved a stan­dard this year wor­thy of inter­na­tional recog­ni­tion, par­tic­u­larly as the 2023 har­vest was such a poor one,” owner Stephen Howard Davies told Olive Oil Times. New Zealand has had an excep­tion­ally wet sum­mer and autumn, which gave us trees laden with fruit but a very poor yield and very mild oil com­pared to Loopline’s usual intense oil.”

See Also:Former Fighter Pilot Steers Loopline Olives to the World Stage

Despite the low yield, we stuck to our prin­ci­ples of striv­ing for qual­ity over quan­tity,” Davies said. A sig­nif­i­cant fac­tor in that qual­ity is press­ing the fruit within six hours of har­vest­ing.”

Emma Glover, Olives New Zealand’s exec­u­tive offi­cer, extended her con­grat­u­la­tions. After a chal­leng­ing wet sea­son, it is excit­ing to see Loopline Olives pick up a well-deserved award in the Southern Hemisphere edi­tion of the NYIOOC,” she said.


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