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
|AWARD||FARM||COUNTRY||EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL|
|The Farm of the Year||Pagos de Familia Marqués de Griñon||ES|
|The Emerging Farm||Società Agricola Consortile Olio Cru||IT|
|The Frontier Farm||Rangihoua Estate||NZ|
|The “Made with Love” Farm||Azienda Agricola Nicola Monterisi||IT|
|The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil of the Year||Azienda Agricola De Carlo||IT||Tenuta Torre di Mossa - Pdo Terra di Bari - Bitonto|
|The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Organic Farming||Azienda Agricola Biologica Americo Quattrociocchi||IT||Olivastro - Etichetta Nera - from Organic Farming|
|The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Organic Farming and Pdo/Pgi||Azienda Agricola Gregorio Minervini||IT||Marcinase - Fruttato Medio - Pdo Terra di Bari - Bitonto - from Organic Farming|
|The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Extraction System||Frantoio Franci||IT||Olivastra Seggianese|
|The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Quality/Quantity||Potosi 10||ES||Fuenroble - Pdo Sierra de Segura|
|The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Quality/Packaging||Azienda Agricola Comincioli||IT||Numero Uno - Denocciolato|
|The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Quality/Price||Aceites La Maja||ES||Alfar - Pdo Aceite de Navarra|
|The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil Monovarietal - Light Fruity||Azienda Agricola San Cassiano||IT||Monte Guala - Grignano|
|The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil Monovarietal - Medium Fruity||Azienda Agricola Forcella||IT||Forcella - Intosso|
|The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil Monovarietal - Intense Fruity||Azienda Agricola Alfredo Cetrone||IT||Cetrone - Intenso|
|The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil Blended - Light Fruity||Azienda Agrituristica Fiorano||IT||Fiorano - from Organic Farming|
|The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil Blended - Medium Fruity||Tonin||HR||Tonin|
|The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil Blended - Intense Fruity||Madonna dell'Olivo||IT||Madonna dell'Olivo - Raro Denocciolato|
|The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil Pdo/Pgi - Light Fruity||Frantoio Bonamini||IT||Bonamini - Pdo Veneto - Valpolicella|
|The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil Pdo/Pgi - Medium Fruity||Azienda Agricola Pruneti||IT||Pruneti - Moraiolo - Pdo Chianti Classico - from Organic Farming|
|The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil Pdo/Pgi - Intense Fruity||Azienda Agraria Viola||IT||Colleruita - Pdo Umbria - Colli Assisi-Spoleto|
|Award Cristina Tiliacos||Tom Mueller - Journalist, author of the book “Extra Virginity”|
- Flos Olei Guide