Two California olive oil producers won the first American ‘Best in Class’ awards at the 2014 New York International Olive Oil Competition (NYIOOC). Winners of the competition were announced at a press conference on April 10.
Among the award winners, The Olive Press and Enzo Olive Oil Company each took home ‘Best in Class’ designations — the first top awards for the United States placing the country in good company with leader Italy who won five of the top awards and Spain and Australia who won three each.
See Also: The World’s Best Olive Oils for 2014
California producers accounted for most of the 37 U.S. medals, but Texas, Oregon and Georgia contributed to the total by earning their first NYIOOC awards.
This year, the NYIOOC shared the judging panel’s remarks about each of the winning oils. The judges described The Olive Press medium-intensity Picual as having “aromas of green fruit, green grass, apple, red fruit and notes of fig leaf, chamomile, eucalyptus, flowers, herbs.”
For Enzo Delicate Arbequina, the judges noted “abundant fruitiness, green grass, sweetness, some bitterness, light pungency and notes of almond, pepper, with exceptional harmony, a high complexity and a high persistence.”
Vincent Ricchiuti of the Enzo Olive Oil Company said that he and his family were very excited to hear about their award. He noted that although the company has won 17 awards in the last year, they had not won at the New York International and it was “very special to get the recognition of such a prestigious award.” Ricchiuti credits the quality of his oil to being 100 percent certified organic EVOO and 100 percent estate-grown. “We are able to control everything from planting to bottling, and this is the big reason we are able to control quality.”
The winning California producers and the awards won are shown below. More information on the winners can be found at bestoliveoils.org.