Marco Oreggia’s independently published olive oil guide has come to its fourth edition under the title of Flos Olei (which means “the best oil” from Latin), but the Italian olive oil taster and writer has dedicated many more years to tasting and grading extra virgin olive oils from around the world, starting in 2001 when such olive oil reviews were still an almost unknown subject even in Italy.

The 2013 edition — featuring the previous year’s products and written in both Italian and English — was presented to the press and public during the “Extra Virgin Day” held at the Westin Excelsior Rome.

The “Best 20” awards were assigned to the companies, products and people selected by Oreggia, his partner and fellow taster Laura Marinelli and the other panel members. Author Tom Mueller received a special award named after the Italian food writer Cristina Tiliacos.

This year, the guide listed 488 farms from 45 countries, including the new entries Namibia and Yemen. Each country is introduced by a text with information about its history, production and characteristics, with a wider space dedicated to Italy and Spain, as the leaders in the olive oil sector.

Other innovations for 2013 are new iPhone and iPad apps, and a particular attention paid to sustainability, identifying six criteria — from the use of sustainable materials to alternative energies.

However, as it happens for all guides and awards, the major highlights of the new Flos Olei presentation was the Best 20, the list of the best international olive oils. Between them, 16 awards were for specific products, while 4 were awarded for the job all year round by farms and producers.

Italy triumphed, obtaining 15 awards: 13 went to specific olive oils while 2 went to Società Agricola Consortile Olio Cru in Northern Italy, as the “Emerging Farm” with innovative projects, their great passion and their deep attention to denocciolato olive oil (obtained processing only the pulp of olives without the pit), and to Azienda Agricola Nicola Monterisi in Apulia, as the “Made with Love” Farm, producing some powerful extra virgin olive oil from the typical cultivar Coratina.

Italy also won the Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil Of The Year award, given to Azienda Agricola De Carlo from Apulia, with their PDO Terra di Bari/Bitonto Torre Mossa. The Farm of the Year is the Spanish Pagos de Familia Marqués de Griňon from Andalusia (Spain also got the awards for the best Quality/Quantity and Quality/Price relation) while Tonin, from Croatia, was awarded for the Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil Blended Medium Fruity.

Rangihoua Estate from New Zealand earned the award titled “Frontier Farm.” Anne Stanimiroff and her husband Colin Sayles established it on the Wahieke Island in 1996 after a journey to Tuscany. They were also inspired by the olive trees growing at Stonyridge Vineyard, where Anne worked. Waiheke Island is a small island situated in the Hauraki Gulf of the coast of Auckland. It is often described as a little Mediterranean jewel nestled in the Hauraki Gulf with an ideal climate for olives and grapes to grow and ripen, yielding great oils and wines. They make Koronoeiki e Picual monocultivar, and two different blends: the robust Waiheke Blend end the elegant and spicy Frantoio Blend from the Italian varieties Frantoio and Pendolino.

“Flos Olei confirms its international scope,” Laura Martinelli said, “and at the same time shows that our The Best 20 is the product of a careful and meticulous selection, taking into consideration all the aspects of the production chain. In the past edition, Italy and the rest of the world had similar results. This year our country has obtained most of the awards thanks to the extraordinary quality of the selections proposed. If this trend changes next year, we will be ready to inform about it.”

In the afternoon, with a 5-euro ticket the public could access the hall where all the 20 awarded companies, and others exhibited their products. There were some excellent Italian food and wine products, such as Mozzarella di Bufala Campana, San Marzano tomatoes and Prosecco wine from Veneto. But extra virgin olive oil still was the star of the day. It was an occasion to taste extraordinary extra virgin olive oils from all over the world, discovering unknown varieties both from Italy, South Africa, Turkey, Spain and Croatia.

“This situation is in line with the results of the guide,” Marco Oreggia explained, “where our country has excelled this year. However, I also want to stress the presence of many realities from other countries, constituting a sort of dream team of the best international oil production.”

Flos Olei 2013 Best 20

The Farm of the YearPagos de Familia Marqués de GriñonES
The Emerging FarmSocietà  Agricola Consortile Olio CruIT
The Frontier FarmRangihoua EstateNZ
The “Made with Love” FarmAzienda Agricola Nicola MonterisiIT
The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil of the YearAzienda Agricola De CarloITTenuta Torre di Mossa - Pdo Terra di Bari - Bitonto
The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Organic FarmingAzienda Agricola Biologica Americo QuattrociocchiITOlivastro - Etichetta Nera - from Organic Farming
The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Organic Farming and Pdo/PgiAzienda Agricola Gregorio MinerviniITMarcinase - Fruttato Medio - Pdo Terra di Bari - Bitonto - from Organic Farming
The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Extraction SystemFrantoio FranciITOlivastra Seggianese
The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Quality/QuantityPotosi 10ESFuenroble - Pdo Sierra de Segura
The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Quality/PackagingAzienda Agricola ComincioliITNumero Uno - Denocciolato
The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Quality/PriceAceites La MajaESAlfar - Pdo Aceite de Navarra
The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil Monovarietal - Light FruityAzienda Agricola San CassianoITMonte Guala - Grignano
The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil Monovarietal - Medium FruityAzienda Agricola ForcellaITForcella - Intosso
The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil Monovarietal - Intense FruityAzienda Agricola Alfredo CetroneITCetrone - Intenso
The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil Blended - Light FruityAzienda Agrituristica FioranoITFiorano - from Organic Farming
The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil Blended - Medium FruityToninHRTonin
The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil Blended - Intense FruityMadonna dell'OlivoITMadonna dell'Olivo - Raro Denocciolato
The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil Pdo/Pgi - Light FruityFrantoio BonaminiITBonamini - Pdo Veneto - Valpolicella
The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil Pdo/Pgi - Medium FruityAzienda Agricola PrunetiITPruneti - Moraiolo - Pdo Chianti Classico - from Organic Farming
The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil Pdo/Pgi - Intense FruityAzienda Agraria ViolaITColleruita - Pdo Umbria - Colli Assisi-Spoleto
Award Cristina TiliacosTom Mueller - Journalist, author of the book “Extra Virginity”

  • Flos Olei Guide

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