Award-Winning Brands Place Slovenia on World Stage

Slovenian producers enjoyed another successful year at the world's most prestigious olive oil quality competition, winning four awards from five entries, including two Gold Awards.

Miha Jakovčič, Giuliana
May. 26, 2020
By Isabel Putinja
Miha Jakovčič, Giuliana

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Olive oil pro­duc­ers from Slovenia were awarded for four of the five brands they entered into the 2020 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.

Receiving an award from the NYIOOC helps us to pro­mote Slovenian olive oil world­wide.- Franc Morgan, Cuvee pro­ducer

The high suc­cess rate among Slovenian brands is entirely the result of the hard work of small fam­ily pro­duc­ers. For the Morgan fam­ily, this year’s com­pe­ti­tion marks four years in a row that their Cuvee brand, an organic blend of Istrska Belica, Leccino, Maurino, Moraiolo and Rosciola olives, has won Gold at the world’s most pres­ti­gious olive oil qual­ity con­test.

The NYIOOC is impor­tant because it gives us the pos­si­bil­ity to par­tic­i­pate and to com­pare our­selves with other olive oil pro­duc­ers from other parts of the world,” Franc Morgan said from his home in Grintovec, south­ern Slovenia.

See Also: The Best Olive Oils From Slovenia

Winning a fourth Gold Award in a row con­firms to us that our strat­egy for pro­duc­ing the high­est-qual­ity organic olive oil is on track,” he added. Also, receiv­ing an award from the NYIOOC helps us to pro­mote Slovenian olive oil world­wide.”

The other Gold win­ner from Slovenia was Ivan Sirk and his fam­ily. This is the sec­ond time the Sirk fam­ily sent an entry to NYIOOC, earn­ing top marks for their Kmetija Sirk blend, com­posed of the Istrska Belica, Leccino, Pendolino and Gorgazzo olive vari­eties. The panel of judges at the NYIOOC described the oil as fresh and fruity, with a lit­tle bit­ter­ness and spici­ness.”

Last year, the Sirks won Silver as first-time par­tic­i­pants at the NYIOOC. While three gen­er­a­tions have pro­duced wine on their fam­ily farm sit­u­ated in the region of Goriška Brda, in west­ern Slovenia, olive pro­duc­tion is a more recent under­tak­ing.

Photo courtesy of the Morgan family.

The awards mean a lot for us, because they let us know that our work is well-done and effi­cient,” Ivan Sirk said. Winning an award for the sec­ond year in a row con­firms that our oil is of excep­tional qual­ity.”

This com­pe­ti­tion is impor­tant for us mainly because it’s inter­na­tional and there are a lot of sam­ples sent in from around the world,” he added. In Slovenia, such an award offers us the recog­ni­tion of our oils.”

Hailing from the same region is the Bučinel fam­ily, whose name­sake Bučinel extra vir­gin olive oil is made up of a blend of three vari­etals, two of which are indige­nous to Goriška Brda: Briška Drobnica and Briška Črnica, while the third is Maurino from Tuscany.

The blend was awarded a Silver at the 2020 NYIOOC, while last year judges gave it a Gold Award.

We are very happy and proud that the qual­ity of our olive oil is rec­og­nized,” Aleš Bučinel said. He equates suc­cess to three essen­tial ingre­di­ents. Passion, ded­i­ca­tion and recog­ni­tion. All three are the essence of doing some­thing, and doing it suc­cess­fully.”

Bučinel said that the fam­ily has always been pas­sion­ate about olive oil and, since begin­ning pro­duc­tion, have ded­i­cated their lives to mak­ing the best pos­si­ble extra vir­gin olive oil.

After pas­sion, ded­i­ca­tion and hard work, there hope­fully comes recog­ni­tion,” he said. Recognition proves that your pas­sion and ded­i­ca­tion are strong. That is what win­ning an award at con­tests such as the NYIOOC is. It rep­re­sents recog­ni­tion, and that is the rea­son we keep com­ing back each year.”

Miha Jakovčič, Giuliana (Pablo Esparza for Olive Oil Times)

The fourth award for Slovenian pro­duc­ers went to another multi-year win­ner. The Jakovčič fam­ily won a Silver Award for their Giuliana blend — the fourth con­sec­u­tive win­ning year for the pro­ducer.

The com­pe­ti­tion at the NYIOOC is very high and every pro­ducer wants to make their mark,” Miha Jakovčič said. Winning an award at the NYIOOC is there­fore a big chal­lenge and ulti­mately a great reward for all the hard work done dur­ing the sea­son.”

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