Diamantis Pierrakos accepted the Gold Award

from NYIOOC Panel Leader Brígida Jiménez Herrera for his "Laconiko" medium-intensity Koroneiki extra virgin olive oil.

Thirty-five extra vir­gin olive oils from Greece have achieved the dis­tinc­tion “Best in the World” for 2015 at the New York International Olive Oil Competition (NYIOOC), a much stronger show­ing than in 2014 and a clear sign that the deter­mi­na­tion of olive oil pro­duc­ers in Greece is pay­ing off.

Twenty-one per­cent of Greek entries in the world’s largest and most pres­ti­gious olive oil qual­ity con­test were awarded this time, a lower suc­cess rate than rival pro­ducer coun­tries Spain and Italy, but a marked improve­ment over last year’s tally. Nineteen Gold Awards and 16 Silver Awards went to Greek oils.
See more: The Best Greek Olive Oils for 2015
Greece sub­mit­ted more entries (168) in the annual com­pe­ti­tion than any other coun­try, an indi­ca­tion that pro­duc­ers are striv­ing for qual­ity and to dis­tin­guish their brands in the mar­ket­place.

“Winning at the NYIOOC was a big honor for our fam­ily,” said Diamantis Pierrakos, who was in New York with his brother Dino to accept the award for the Gold Award-win­ning brand, Laconiko. “Being rec­og­nized at this very pres­ti­gious com­pe­ti­tion has proven to us that our hard work and sac­ri­fices we have made are finally pay­ing off. This dis­tinct recog­ni­tion is a mes­sage that our fam­ily, from the small region of Lakonia, Greece, pro­duce one of the world’s best extra vir­gin olive oils.”

Greek pro­duc­ers have long sold their olive oils in bulk to for­eign pro­duc­ers who used the robust kick of the mostly Koroneiki vari­etals to lift the taste of infe­rior blends. In recent years, even in the midst of a wrench­ing eco­nomic cri­sis, Greek olive oil com­pa­nies have unveiled new, inno­v­a­tive brands while step­ping up the qual­ity of their prod­ucts.

“Greek olive oil qual­ity is trend­ing higher,” said Curtis Cord, NYIOOC pres­i­dent. “What we are see­ing now is the rise of Greek olive oil brands to the world stage, a stage on which they right­fully belong.”

39 – 22 won a Gold Award for its medium-intensity Koroneiki

The strong show­ing at the com­pe­ti­tion will help draw the atten­tion of retail buy­ers and food indus­try pro­fes­sion­als who use the the best olive oils”>NYIOOC results as a buy­ing guide for the com­ing year.

Once on store shelves, they will surely cap­ture the atten­tion of shop­pers: Greek olive oils light up the cat­e­gory with some of the most inno­v­a­tive brand­ing and strik­ing pack­ag­ing designs around.

Since much of the Liquid Gold from Greece went name­less until recently, pro­duc­ers were free to develop new iden­ti­ties from scratch. These newly minted brands marry a rich Greek tra­di­tion with fresh, mod­ern designs to cre­ate unfor­get­table brands unen­cum­bered by con­ven­tions.

Now, it seems Greek pro­duc­ers are set­ting their sights on what’s inside by improv­ing har­vest­ing and pro­duc­tion con­di­tions and exer­cis­ing con­trol over the count­less steps on the path to pro­duc­ing great olive oil.

“When you have pas­sion you will always do what is nec­es­sary, from proper prun­ing, har­vest­ing, con­stantly learn­ing and apply­ing dif­fer­ent skills and tech­niques,” the Laconiko pro­ducer, Diamantis Pierrakos added. “A lit­tle of every­thing is needed to make one of the world’s best. As in life, you need love and atten­tion to fine detail.”


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