The world of olive oil watched the NYIOOC press conference last week when the winners of all the categories were announced. Among the 1,000 competitors from 27 countries, there were 155 from Greece to compete in the most renowned annual olive oil competition. The results showed that their dedication and labor all year long to produce high-quality olive oil paid off, as they got away with 31 gold and 23 silver awards, setting a country record in the competition both in the number of Gold Awards and the overall wins.
Our efforts, patience, and perseverance proved us right in our quest to make our olive oil the way we wanted.
Their anxiety and intense feelings were obvious during the event. Getting their NYIOOC awards was the culmination of their efforts and they were bursting with excitement when they spoke to Olive Oil Times about their success.
See Also: Greek Award Winners
One Greek company excelled in the competition with a wondrous collection of four Gold and one Silver Award.
“The New York international contest is undoubtedly the biggest in the world and this gives more value to our success,” said Konstantinos Papadopoulos of the Papadopoulos Olive Oil Mill. “It is not easy to win four gold and one silver prize in such a competition. It requires hard work, devotion, and attention to every detail.”
Papadopoulos then added, “It is important that what we do lasts, that’s why we participate every year in this contest and win prizes. We want to show our customers that we produce high-quality olive oil and the NYIOOC is a guarantee to this.”
Papadopoulos Olive Oil Mill won two Gold Awards for their Omphacium made from robust Olympia and organic Omphacium from medium Olympia, and two more for Mythocia Chef’s Exclusive and Mythocia Olympia from medium blends. The Silver Award was earned for their organic Mythocia Olympia.
For Oliorama from Ancient Olympia, winning two Gold Awards for their Exclusive Olympia and Exclusive Bio Olympia extra virgins from medium Koroneiki was a great moment. Maria Spiliakopoulos, founder and owner, said, “It is a great honor and satisfaction to win a prize in such a celebrated competition.”
At the same time, Spiliakopoulos acknowledged that climbing to the peak of olive oil making was the result of teamwork: “I would like to thank all our staff and especially our agriculturist, Giorgos Divritsiotis who was in charge of supervising our olive groves. I also want to thank the Papadopoulos Olive Oil Mill for their contribution to our success. Our ultimate target is to always secure the highest quality in our production, which leads to the international recognition of our products and our region.”
Hellenic Agricultural Enterprises from Lesvos continued its successful run by again winning a Gold Award, after having achieved the distinction the two previous years. Ellie Tragakes, the managing director of the company, said, “It is now our ACAIA organic that received this very special distinction. ACAIA organic has all the characteristics of ACAIA plus the added benefits derived from cultivation that promotes ecological production methods and biodiversity.”
The company uses an indigenous variety to produce their olive oil, as Tragakes explained: “It is made from the Kolovi olive variety native to the island of Lesvos. The recognition that our efforts have received in New York’s highly prestigious competition for the third year in a row serves as an inspiration to us to persevere with our hard work in order to continue to produce olive oil of the highest quality.”
Konstantin Nikolas Kokkolis whose of Antheion won a Gold Award for their extra virgin from a delicate Koroneiki was very enthusiastic about his prize and his home place in the Ionian Sea: “I am extremely excited and honored to be the recipient of a gold award at the NYIOOC. This not only elevates my brand, but it also raises the recognition of my island, Kefalonia, which I’m deeply proud of,” he said.
Apart from personal satisfaction, it also seems that his win was a boost for others to enter the world of quality EVOO. Kokkolis noted that it has inspired many other olive growers and producers in Kefalonia “to up their game” and, with the recent opening of the Kefalonia Olive Mill, to join in the effort to make world-class EVOO. “I would like to thank Curtis Cord and everyone at Olive Oil Times for giving my brand, Antheion, and my island, Kefalonia, a stage from which to shine,” Kokkolis added.
Another company from Greece that left New York with a Gold Award was E‑La-Won with its Green Fresh early harvested olive oil from the Athinolia variety.
Ioannis Kampouris characterized the gold award “a prestigious prize that every exporter to America wants to get,” and he revealed that it was missing from their collection of 40 prizes from international olive oil competitions. Their Green Fresh also carries a European Union health claim and has already earned eight competition prizes. “It is the flagship of our product range. It is among the first choices of consumers who target the healthy foods category, and everyone in our company feels justified for their work and to be able to communicate this pure and quality Greek product. It forces us to continuously improve.”
More winners from Greece shared their feelings with Olive Oil Times. The Gold Award that Olympian Green International S.A. won for their Ktima Louiza from organic robust Koroneiki was a distinction for everybody, as Catherine Papaioannou mentioned: “It is a great honor for all our operatives. We are very proud because we follow a ritual in cultivating, producing, and packaging our product. The olives are handpicked from our 1,200 trees of the Koroneiki variety being grown in the 14 acres of the Louiza estate. It is an organic cultivation with no chemical fertilizers and the olives are cold pressed to create the fresh extra virgin Ktima Louiza olive oil.”
Diamantis and Dino Pierrakos were thrilled to receive a gold award for Laconiko extra virgin made from medium Koroneiki, honoring their late father’s memory as they told us. They said that NYIOOC “has now been recognized as the biggest international competition, and we can’t express our excitement for being listed in the yearly index of the best olive oils in the world.”
Apostolos Porsanidis-Kavvadias of Dr. Kavvadia Olive Oil spoke about their Gold Award for their organic extra virgin from a medium Lianelia variety. “The only thing I can say is that our efforts, patience, and perseverance proved us right in our quest to make our olive oil the way we wanted and against the status quo. If you have the will, then the dreams come true.”