Producers from the Marche and Umbria regions considered their achievements at the 2020 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.
Part of our continuing coverage of the 2020 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.
The 2020 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition has brought big results for large and smaller producers in Central Italy who saw their extra virgin olive oils recognized as world-class products by the judging panel.
It comes on top of the dedication and the hard work that our team put on our groves throughout the whole year.
“We are a small company operating in a beautiful valley, traditionally focused on the production of Verdicchio wine,” Francesco Sabbatini Rossetti, owner of L’Olinda Olive Farm and producer of the 2020 Gold Award-winning Monocultivar Raggi, told Olive Oil Times. “Winning the Gold Award for one of our best extra virgin olive oils sends us really good vibes.”
L’Olinda Olive Farm is an agricultural company completely devoted to olive oil production on its more-than 130,000 acres in the Marche region of Central Italy.See more: Special Coverage: 2020 NYIOOC
“We produce several monocultivar extra virgin olive oils; olive oils coming from a single variety of olive tree. Traditionally we harvest the Raggia olives in the first half of October,” Rossetti said. “We had to overcome a series of adverse conditions in the last couple of years. Our trees are still recovering from the Burian winter storm that hit us two years ago.”
“It brought very cold temperatures in mid-March, such an unusual event for our lands,” he added. “Many plants have suffered and the Raggia trees suffered even more, being more exposed to those unexpected and icy winds.”
One of the secrets of Monocultivar Raggia’s quality, Rossetti said, lies with the private oil mill the farm can count on. Their Mori mill only processes L’Olinda Olive Farm olives. In the mill area, the extra virgin olive oil is stored in dedicated rooms under controlled conditions.
“We only bottle our oil when we ship our orders,” Rossetti said.
Not far from the Marche region, in Umbria, several growers also saw their names and olive oils appear on the Official Index of the World’s Best Olive Oils — the NYIOOC’s guide to the award winners.
“We are very honored and happy to receive the Gold Award for our Rastrello extra virgin olive oil,” Christiane Wassmann, owner of the Rastrello Boutique Hotel and farm, close to the town of Panicale, told Olive Oil Times. “It comes on top of the dedication and the hard work that our team put on our groves throughout the whole year.”
“Last season was not an easy season, with more than half of our sprouts lost because of the heatwave. We depend on rainfall, and we did not have enough, we even had to replant 40 young trees that did not make it through the drought,” Wassmann added. “We also had some evidence of the olive fruit fly spreading, but the early harvesting allowed us to protect the quality of our extra virgin olive oil.”
To the judging panel, Rastrello’s tasting sensations include herbs, green pepper, chicory, spice and arugula.
To Wassmann, the secret of Rastrello’s success lies in the “respect for our trees, from the organic fertilization to pruning and harvesting. We take care of our olives, we are very careful about how we handle them and we have a strong relationship with our local oil mill.”
A Gold Award was also awarded for the third time to the Frescobaldi Laudemio extra virgin olive oil, which is produced in Tuscany and imported to the United States by the Manicaretti Italian Food Importers, who submitted it to the competition.
“I am mostly pleased that the Frescobaldi family is maintaining this noble position after 30 years,” the founder of the company, Rolando Beramendi, said after learning of the award. “This oil is produced under the strictest self-imposed rules and considerations, and even with all the uncertainties Mother Nature always has in store for us, it continues to be a winner.”
Beramendi’s company began importing Laudemio extra virgin olive oil decades ago.
“Little by little, with the help of the entire Frescobaldi family and their unconditional support, we have grown the brand and maintained a position of utmost quality in our distribution,” Beramendi said. “I think after three consecutive years of Gold, you could almost call it a classic, as we do.”