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.
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.
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 more: 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.
“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.”
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.”