Italian PDO Tuscia by Selects Colli Etruschi was awarded The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil of the Year.

In its fifth edi­tion under the title of “Flos Olei” — for­merly pub­lished as Guida all’Extravergine by a dif­fer­ent pub­lish­ing house – Marco Oreggia’s guide was pre­sented to the press and pub­lic in Rome last month. Written in both Italian and English, the guide offers a com­pre­hen­sive overview of world­wide olive oil pro­duc­tion, prov­ing to be a valu­able tool for extra vir­gin enthu­si­asts, informed con­sumers, buy­ers and mer­chants.

Showcased prod­ucts and farms hail not only from the major pro­duc­ing coun­tries like Italy, Spain and Greece, but also from other Mediterranean coun­tries such as Croatia, France, Slovenia and Morocco and from new areas such as Argentina, Chile, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Some are switch­ing from being (rel­a­tively new) con­sumers to becom­ing pro­duc­ers: among them, Japan, Brazil and Peru.

Journalist and food critic Marco Oreggia is pub­lisher and edi­tor of the book. He explains: “Flos Olei has become a point of ref­er­ence for all those work­ing in the sec­tor – and our guide is grow­ing year by year. For the 2014, edi­tion we decided to show­case the most impor­tant 500 com­pa­nies in the world, describ­ing 703 labels and 47 coun­tries, with Switzerland and Ukraine as new entries. In addi­tion, the accu­rate intro­duc­tion offers use­ful infor­ma­tion to both experts and novices who want to get to know this won­der­ful prod­uct.”

As the authors point out, among the high­lights of this edi­tion of the guide, and of the launch event that took place in Rome on the 1st December, there is a par­tic­u­lar focus on busi­ness. In fact, 60 farms from dif­fer­ent coun­tries and many other Italian food crafts­men pre­sented their prod­ucts at the event itself.

“Flos Olei is also impor­tant for those who buy olive oil,” said Laura Marinelli, edi­tor of the guide, jour­nal­ist and expert taster, “as demon­strated by the fact that buy­ers from major mar­kets such as the UK, Holland, Sweden, Ukraine, USA and Japan took part in the event. The rep­u­ta­tion of our guide is a real endorse­ment, and more and more cus­tomers con­sult it before decid­ing on a pur­chase.”

An in-​depth analy­sis of the global extra vir­gin mar­ket is also pro­posed, high­light­ing the present sit­u­a­tion char­ac­ter­ized by the exten­sion of the pro­duc­tion bor­ders and a ten­dency toward free trade. This may involve a num­ber of prob­lems due to the lack of a trans­par­ent leg­is­la­tion within the European Community and in the rest of the world, even though new norms about the ori­gin, label­ing and the intro­duc­tion of new anti-​fraud chem­i­cal para­me­ters were approved and intro­duced in many coun­tries.

The guide sup­plies his­tor­i­cal and cul­tural infor­ma­tion and pro­duc­tion data. Italy and Spain are ana­lyzed in detail and sub­di­vided into regions, while every pro­duc­ing coun­try has a ded­i­cated fact sheet to intro­duce the local olive grow­ing back­ground.

Each of the selected 500 farms also has a ded­i­cated page about its his­tory, grow­ing and milling tech­niques. The book also pro­vides details of the best prod­ucts selected by a panel of tasters, includ­ing notes about oil tast­ing and gas­tro­nomic matches.

As in pre­vi­ous edi­tions, the guide also fea­tures “The Best 20,” the rank­ing of the best com­pa­nies and labels divided into cat­e­gories. This year there was a spe­cial recog­ni­tion in mem­ory of the Italian jour­nal­ist and food writer Cristina Tiliacos, who sadly passed away few years ago. An award was attrib­uted to the super­mar­ket chain owned by Fozzy Group in Ukraine.

The Farm of the Year was De Carlo, which has pro­duced extra vir­gin olive oil in Apulia since the 17th cen­tury. Emerging Farms were Le Tre Colonne, from Italy, and Finca La Torre from Spain. The Frontier Farm award – mak­ing olive oil in far­away lands or with an avant-​garde spirit – went to Noan Olive Oil, which pro­duces extra vir­gin in Thessaly, Greece. Their phil­an­thropic project involves local olive grow­ers sup­port­ing edu­ca­tional activ­i­ties for dis­ad­van­taged chil­dren and teenagers. The “Made with Love” Farms (high-​quality farms show­ing spe­cial care and pas­sion for their activ­ity) were Frantoio Romano from Italy and Morgenster Wine and Olive Estate from South Africa. Italian PDO Tuscia by  Selects Colli Etruschi was awarded The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil of the Year.



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