Golden Year for Tuscan Producers as Early NYIOOC Results Unfold

As results from the world's most prestigious olive oil quality contest continue to unfold online, producers in Tuscany have already struck gold.

Filippo Alampi, owner of Fattoria Romarino
May. 13, 2020
By Paolo DeAndreis
Filippo Alampi, owner of Fattoria Romarino

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The long wait has finally ended as the first days of the 2020 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition have come to a close.

While farm­ers, pro­duc­ers and experts from all over the world will fol­low the com­pe­ti­tion as its results are unfold­ing this week, the first round of win­ners have already put the spot­light on some promi­nent Tuscan olive oil pro­duc­ers.

We are used to fol­low­ing the NYIOOC award night every year,” Filippo Alampi, owner of organic-cer­ti­fied pro­ducer, Fattoria Ramerino, told Olive Oil Times. This year, every­thing has to hap­pen on the inter­net and it has been very reward­ing to see the Gold Awards being given to both of the olive oils that we sent to the com­pe­ti­tion.”

Fattoria Ramerino picked up their Gold Award for Guadagnolo Primus.

See Also:More From the 2020 NYIOOC

It is our his­toric blend,” Alampi said. It has been our first olive oil to reach the mar­ket. Thanks to its qual­ity, our com­pany has been able to grow. It is an extra vir­gin olive oil made pri­mar­ily from the Moraiolo cul­ti­var blended with Frantoio, Leccino and Pendolino vari­eties.”

The other Ramerino pro­duc­tion to win Gold was the Cultivar Frantoio, which came as the result of the com­pa­ny’s expe­ri­ence in the field.


It is an oil entirely ded­i­cated to a sin­gle cul­ti­var,” Alampi said. Still, it is a blend of indi­vid­ual olive pro­cess­ing ses­sions. We taste and eval­u­ate the prod­uct of each press­ing ses­sion and for this blend we chose only the oil that most char­ac­ter­izes the cul­ti­var.”

Many of the high-qual­ity olive oils pro­duced in Tuscany are a result of the region’s his­toric cul­ture, com­plete with spe­cific har­vest­ing and milling tra­di­tions.

However, for the Gold Award-win­ning extra vir­gin olive oil from Vazart & Sons, it took just three years to achieve such a pres­ti­gious award.

Three years ago we found these olive trees com­pletely aban­doned. They had been left alone for almost 20 years,” Alexander Vazart, owner of a 5,000-tree farm near Florence, told Olive Oil Times.

The first year we just har­vested the lit­tle that was there, but we started work­ing on them and prun­ing them,” he added. We also had to face bad weather and a severe olive fruit fly infes­ta­tion.”

Still after just three short years, the result­ing oil has been cat­a­pulted onto the Official Guide to the World’s Best Olive Oils.

I had a bad expe­ri­ence with the fly, so we took olives only from those trees that were not touched by the insect,” Vazart said. It meant we had to give up a por­tion of the pro­duc­tion, but we still met our qual­ity tar­gets.”

The Vazart fam­ily har­vested 500 kilo­grams (1,100 lbs) of olives per day dur­ing the 2019/20 har­vest sea­son.

Every sin­gle night of the har­vest­ing sea­son, I would bring the olives to a ded­i­cated oil mill myself and come back in later the night with the oil,” Vazart said.

The result of these long hours and hard work was an extra vir­gin olive oil that the judges said offered tast­ing sen­sa­tions of herbs, fig leaf, pep­per, radish and olive leaf.

Along with tra­di­tion­ally pro­duced oils from the hal­lowed region, a super-inten­sive pro­ducer, the Olive Grove Partners, was also among the Gold Award win­ners at this year’s edi­tion of the NYIOOC.

We are very happy for the Gold Award, even more so con­sid­er­ing that we began our activ­ity just a few years ago, in 2017,” Andrea Sozzi Sabatini, owner of the com­pany that pro­duced Etrusco Sostenuto said.

This award will help oth­ers to under­stand that super-inten­sive olive farm­ing does not hin­der the prod­uct qual­ity,” Sabatini said. Our Etrusco Sostenuto is a medium blended oil, its name comes from the Italian music notes known all over the world.”

Innovation is key to the farm, Sabatini, whose com­pany has adopted robotic means and tech­nol­ogy for many of its oper­a­tions, said.

Our expe­ri­ence shows that, in just a few years, a super-inten­sive farm can begin to pro­duce not only good quan­ti­ties of olive oil but also extra vir­gin olive oil of the best qual­ity.”


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