California’s Napa Valley is legendary for its fine wines, culinary excellence, natural beauty and good living. California olive oil producers have a chance to be associated with the Napa Valley allure by entering their olive oil into the third annual Napa Valley Olive Oil Competition.

The competition will be judged by a panel of trained tasters using standards adapted from the International Olive Oil Council’s 100-point system. Winning producers will have the opportunity to market their olive oil at the Napa County Fair in a wine, art and culture pavilion. Producers may also offer samples, tastings and seminars during the fair which runs from July 3 to 7, 2013.

The fair’s chief executive officer, Carlene Moore, believes that the Napa Valley Olive Oil Competition is distinctive because of the opportunity for producers to directly engage and “educate consumers on the benefits of olive oil and its different tastes and flavors.”

Another distinctive feature is the variety of competition categories, added Moore. A new category this year is a Micro-producer division for those who produce less than 100 gallons. The new division was added because, “We want to encourage small producers. It’s hard for small producers to go up against the larger producers,” said Moore.

Other divisions include EVOO, infused flavored oils, co-milled flavored oils and organic versions of each division.

In last year’s competition, 75 oils from 27 producers were received. Moore expects more than 100 samples this year.

Alexandra Kicenik Devarenne will Chair the 2013 competition. It will be a “really exciting competition with a lot more oils to taste this year, and a great group of judges,” said Kicenik Devarenne.

Entries from California olive oil producers are being accepted until 4 PM on March 29. The judges will make their decision on April 9 and the results will be announced on April 11. Entry rules and information are available at or by calling the Fair office at 707-942-5111.

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