38 Complete Sommelier Certification Program in New York

Professionals and enthusiasts from around the world completed an intensive week-long course on olive oil quality and sensory assessment.

Participants learnt about olive oil quality standards, production, taste analysis, faults and positive features, chemistry, olive cultivars, health advantages, culinary applications, sustainability, and more over the week.

The award-winning producer Laurence Deprez was among the attendees, who co-owns Cultura Viva with her husband, Stefano Zenezini. Their Le Clarisse brand earned a Gold Award at the 2023 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.

“Our goal is to produce an exceptional extra virgin olive oil,” Deprez told Olive Oil Times. “So, we are constantly learning about olive oil, from agricultural practices to milling and selling.”

Deprez praised the organization of the course and the knowledge of the expert panel of instructors. “I particularly loved the fact that we tasted olive oils from all over the world,” she added.

"When it comes to assessing the quality of this course, a perfect score of 100 is the pinnacle," Oleg Yakovlev, who came from Barcelona, told Olive Oil Times. "Personally, I would bestow upon it a rating of 97, leaving room for potential theoretical advancements and future growth," he continued.

Small-scale producer Lesley Imhof traveled to the course to learn how she could apply regenerative agricultural best practices on her five-hectare grove of formerly-abandoned centenary trees in Puglia, Italy, from which she produces olive oil.

“I enrolled in the sommelier certificate course because we are committed to producing the best quality organic extra virgin olive oil and because we believe in educating and promoting others on the virtues of olive oil consumption,” Imhof told Olive Oil Times.