French Producers Celebrate Superb Showing at NYIOOC

Producers from southern France and Corsica combined to earn 11 awards from 26 entries in the 2022 World Olive Oil Competition.

Mas des Bories
By Lisa Anderson
Jul. 5, 2022 14:46 UTC
Mas des Bories

Part of our con­tin­u­ing spe­cial cov­er­age of the 2022 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.

French pro­duc­ers took home 11 awards at the tenth edi­tion of the world’s most pres­ti­gious extra vir­gin olive oil qual­ity com­pe­ti­tion.

The Mediterranean coun­try’s pro­duc­ers com­bined to earn seven Gold and four Silver Awards at the 2022 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition – the country’s sec­ond-best result at the com­pe­ti­tion – after a har­vest com­pli­cated by spring­time frosts.

See Also:Best Olive Oils From France

Mas des Bories from the town of Salon-de-Provence in the coun­try’s south­east earned a Gold Award for its medium blend.

As new­com­ers to the world of olive grow­ing, we are proud that the qual­ity of our extra vir­gin olive oil is rec­og­nized inter­na­tion­ally in a com­pe­ti­tion as pres­ti­gious as the NYIOOC,” owner Claire de Fina Coutin told Olive Oil Times.

It is also a feel­ing of deep sat­is­fac­tion to be rewarded for our efforts and work in our con­tin­u­ous search for authen­tic­ity and excel­lence,” she added.


Photo: Mas des Bories

De Fina Coutin said the acco­lade rein­forces their choice of an arti­sanal approach, small-scale pro­duc­tion and con­trol­ling the pro­duc­tion chain from the tree to the bot­tle.

She said the olives for Mas des Bories’s award-win­ning AOP de Provence blend – Salonenque, Bouteillan, Grossane and Aglandau – are har­vested sep­a­rately at opti­mum matu­rity, which is becom­ing increas­ingly dif­fi­cult with the impact of cli­mate change. Immediately after har­vest, the olives are trans­formed indi­vid­u­ally in their mill.

De Fina Coutin said that despite a ter­ri­ble drought and heat, they had a good fruit set. This gives us hope for a good har­vest in 2022,” she said.

Domaine de Leos, from nearby L’Isles-sur-la-Sorgue, also won a Gold Award for its Sélection Fruité Vert, a medium blend.


Domaine de Leos

Joël Gayet, the man­ager of Domaine de Leos, said they were pleased about receiv­ing the award.

This is the eighth gold medal we have won in 2022,” he said. Personally, I am happy for the team and for the owner, Patrick Bruel, who has made this quest for excel­lence an ambi­tion shared by all.”

The award is a guar­an­tee, and it val­i­dates the choices we have made so far, even if we are aware that the search for excel­lence remains a quest,” he added.

For Gayat, the con­sis­tency of these awards sets Domaine de Leos apart from its com­peti­tors, adding that they refer to the fla­vor of their oil as orig­i­nal” because it is rem­i­nis­cent of the green olives from which it was cre­ated.

He said the company’s pro­duc­tion was lim­ited due to adverse weather con­di­tions last year, adding that Domaine de Leos is look­ing to con­tinue their quest for excel­lence in the next har­vest.

Another pro­ducer from Provence, Miraval, received a Silver Award for its organic medium Picholine blend.


Photo: Miraval

We are very proud while hop­ing to do even bet­ter next year,” said Nicole De Luca, the busi­ness devel­op­ment coor­di­na­tor for De Medici Imports, the mar­keter for Miraval in the United States. It shows that we are on the right path in cre­at­ing the best oil pos­si­ble. We strive to do even bet­ter and get a Gold next time.”

Chateau Miraval is a very spe­cial place, sit­ting at an aver­age of 1,200 feet (365 meters) and roughly 40 min­utes from the coast where olive trees have been grown organ­i­cally for over 3,000 years,” she added. Today, we have roughly 4,000 trees and 13 cul­ti­vars hand-har­vested and processed by our team on our prop­erty.”


We are ded­i­cated to cre­at­ing the best oil from these spe­cial olives and shar­ing the har­vest from our unique ter­roir,” De Luca con­tin­ued. We are a very small pro­ducer and take spe­cial care at every step of the process to ensure the best qual­ity oil goes into every sin­gle crock.”

De Luca said Miraval’s pre­vi­ous har­vest was aver­age in terms of quan­tity, but they were able to pro­duce extra vir­gin olive oil of the best qual­ity.

We can no longer pre­dict any­thing,” De Luca said in ref­er­ence to the upcom­ing har­vest. Winters are dryer and warmer each year. On top of that, we’re cur­rently expe­ri­enc­ing an unex­pected major heat wave. So who knows what’s next? Nevertheless, we con­tinue to be dili­gent and care for our trees.”

Château Virant, in the south­east­ern Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence region between Aix-en-Provence and Marseille, took home a Silver Award for its medium blend.


Photo: Château Virant

Christine Cheylan, Château Virant’s miller, said she felt proud after their PDO Aix-en-Provence was awarded at the NYIOOC.

This award is a recog­ni­tion of qual­ity, knowl­edge and work. It’s my first time par­tic­i­pat­ing in the NYIOOC, and my oil has won a prize,” Cheylan said. This is fan­tas­tic.”

She added that the award would make the brand more rec­og­niz­able to con­sumers.

Part of what sets their oils apart is that Château Virant con­trols the whole process of cre­at­ing their oil, from the grove to the mill.

Cheylan added that the com­pany achieved a fan­tas­tic result with their Aglandau dur­ing the pre­vi­ous har­vest.

For the upcom­ing har­vest, we’ll con­tinue to select trees and vari­eties,” she said. But this sum­mer seems very dry, and olive trees need water to pro­duce. The best water for the tree is water that comes from the sky. So let’s wait and see.”

Away from con­ti­nen­tal France, on the Mediterranean island of Corsica, Moulin Oltremonti earned a Gold Award for its Athea brand’s medium Taggiasca blend.


Emilie Borel Berta

We feel extremely happy to have our work and efforts rec­og­nized in the NYIOOC con­test, and of course thrilled to win a Gold Award with our Athea this year,” Moulin Oltremonti co-owner Emilie Borel Berta told Olive Oil Times.

Borel Berta said their award-win­ning oil is made from a typ­i­cal Corsican cul­ti­var, which lends it a unique fruity fla­vor and makes it one of the best in the world.

Despite the suc­cess, she added that labor short­ages were a prob­lem dur­ing the pre­vi­ous har­vest.

Luckily, we have our own mill, which means that we can work from home. While my hus­band was at the mill day and night, I worked with the team in our olive groves,” she said.

Looking ahead to the upcom­ing har­vest, Borel Berta con­cluded: One big chal­lenge will be the heat wave we are expe­ri­enc­ing at the moment, which surely will be con­tin­u­ing this sum­mer.”


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