Greeks Discuss Effort and Dedication Behind NYIOOC Triumphs

In spite of poor weather and trouble with pests, Greek producers took home a total of 35 awards at the 2019 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.

Representatives from Liokareas accept a Gold Award at the 2019 NYIOOC
By Lisa Radinovsky
May. 16, 2019 07:59 UTC
Representatives from Liokareas accept a Gold Award at the 2019 NYIOOC

Competing with 903 olive oils from 26 coun­tries at the 2019 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition, Greek extra vir­gin olive oils received 18 Gold Awards and 17 Silvers.

In this chal­leng­ing har­vest year, some of the top Greek win­ners dis­cussed their meth­ods, efforts, and emo­tions with Olive Oil Times.

This was a year where our pas­sion­ate com­mit­ment to qual­ity and think­ing out­side the box had to come into play to over­come the many obsta­cles that were pre­sented to us.- Diamantis Pierrakos, win­ner of a Gold for Laconiko

Goutis Estate was the biggest Greek win­ner at NYIOOC, tak­ing home two Golds and two Silvers for their Bitter Gray, Metron, Bella Vista, and Fresh extra vir­gin olive oils, respec­tively.

In spite of the dif­fi­cult cli­matic con­di­tions and pests in Greece this year, Nicolas Lambropoulos told Olive Oil Times that this suc­cess came from the Goutis Estate team’s strict cul­ti­va­tion, pro­duc­tion, extrac­tion and mar­ket­ing pro­to­cols, exhaus­tive atten­tion to qual­ity across the board, pas­sion for the finest qual­ity,” and respect for each other and for nature.

See Also:NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition

When nature chal­lenges you, you have to stay calm,” he said. You need to deploy all avail­able resources, con­sol­i­dated expe­ri­ence, and cri­sis man­age­ment skills.” These deploy­ments proved effec­tive.

Another multi-award win­ner from Greece was Papadopoulos Olive Oil – Mediterre, whose Mythocia Olympia PGI Organic won a Gold Award, while Mediterre Alea Organic and Omphacium claimed Silvers.

Eva Papadopoulou told Olive Oil Times that the lead­ing Greek award win­ner at last year’s NYIOOC, Papadopoulos Olive Oil Mill, is now tran­si­tion­ing to a col­lab­o­ra­tion under the umbrella of Mediterre International SA.”

Master miller and olive oil taster Konstantinos Papadopoulos remains in charge of the extra vir­gin olive oils that have been win­ning mul­ti­ple awards in var­i­ous com­pe­ti­tions for sev­eral years, prov­ing our sta­bil­ity in qual­ity and reli­a­bil­ity for our clients.”

Papadopoulou pointed out that their pre­cise cul­ti­va­tion and care­ful pro­duc­tion method, along with the appro­pri­ate stor­age con­di­tions, lead to excel­lence” that is rec­og­nized year after year.

Hellenic Agricultural Enterprises was yet another Greek multi-award win­ner, tak­ing home both a Gold Award for ACAIA Organic and a Silver for their con­ven­tion­ally-pro­duced ACAIA extra vir­gin olive oils.

Ellie Tragakes told Olive Oil Times she and her team were thrilled at once again being rec­og­nized as one of the top olive oils in the world.

This is the fifth year in a row that ACAIA has been hon­ored at this very pres­ti­gious olive oil com­pe­ti­tion,” she said. This is extremely reward­ing for us, moti­vat­ing us to con­tinue our hard work to pro­duce top qual­ity olive oil, and help­ing us to bring world­wide recog­ni­tion to Lesvos, our home island in the Aegean, where Kolovi olive oil orig­i­nates.”

Tragakes added that ACAIA has an unusu­ally sub­tle fla­vor, with an excel­lent bal­ance between fruiti­ness, bit­ter­ness and pun­gency along with a very high antiox­i­dant con­tent that helps make it espe­cially healthy.”

Eftychios Androulakis received a Gold Award for his very healthy, more robust Pamako Monovarietal Mountain Bio, an organic sin­gle-estate Tsounati extra vir­gin olive oil from Crete.

As Androulakis empha­sized, we are truly obsessed with cre­at­ing a gourmet organic olive oil every year, through con­stant exper­i­men­ta­tion and close obser­va­tion of how each sea­son is going to end.”

This year, he and his part­ner, Silver Award win­ner Michael Marakas, intro­duced dry­ers after wash­ing, exper­i­mented with depit­ting before crush­ing and added the inert gas argon to the malaxer.

Delighted with their lat­est awards but never rest­ing on their lau­rels, they are now prepar­ing the next season’s exper­i­ments and new ways of mak­ing a bet­ter olive oil” – their ever­last­ing goal and project.


Another win­ner from Crete, George Proestakis of Ziro Sitias, explained that awards also encour­age his team’s con­tin­ued per­sis­tence and patience, and a con­stant search for improve­ment, both in cul­ti­va­tion and extrac­tion meth­ods,” as well as care­ful stor­age.

They learn about the lat­est meth­ods used in Italy, then adapt them to fit the local con­di­tions in Crete. His team are also deter­mined to pro­duce a pure prod­uct free of any­thing that would be con­sid­ered harm­ful to humans or nature,” even a baby, mean­ing no trace of chem­i­cals at any stage of pro­duc­tion, from the field to the ves­sel,” includ­ing no plas­tic touch­ing their oils.

The result: his team is delighted with the Gold Award in New York, in our eyes the peak of all inter­na­tional olive oil com­pe­ti­tions.”

Meanwhile, Diamantis Pierrakos said win­ning a Gold Award at NYIOOC, one of the Oscars in the olive oil world,” for his family’s Laconiko extra vir­gin olive oil is our con­fir­ma­tion and recog­ni­tion that we pro­duce a great olive oil.”

This year’s award was espe­cially impor­tant for us, with all the chal­lenges we had to over­come, to prove that in our sixth con­sec­u­tive year receiv­ing an award is not an acci­dent, and that we can pro­duce a great olive oil even in the worst of con­di­tions,” Pierrakos added. This was a year where our pas­sion­ate com­mit­ment to qual­ity and think­ing out­side the box had to come into play to over­come the many obsta­cles that were pre­sented to us.”

Gold Award win­ner Peter Liokareas also reflected on the extra chal­lenges of this har­vest year. He said that he felt hor­ri­ble for the pro­duc­ers who were strug­gling, but also felt a great sense of pride for Messinia and Laconia in the Peloponnese.

He was proud that the farm­ers he talked with there had not given up on the pro­duc­tion of this great prod­uct for which the region is known, but demon­strated amaz­ing deter­mi­na­tion, a ded­i­ca­tion to qual­ity and very hard work.

It all starts with fam­ily, tra­di­tion and expe­ri­ence,” Liokareas said. We have been doing this for more than 150 years and five gen­er­a­tions, and every year we learn some­thing new. We care­fully take part in every step of pro­duc­tion, over­see­ing that every­thing is done cor­rectly.”

Many fac­tors con­tributed to the suc­cess of NYIOOC’s top win­ners this year. Goutis Estate’s Nicolas Lambropoulos offered an expla­na­tion that may apply to a num­ber of them.

Perfection needs devo­tion. Devotion needs pas­sion,” he said. Rapidly evolv­ing tech­nol­ogy and sci­en­tific dis­cov­er­ies are more eas­ily acces­si­ble than ever before, but their use depends on our pas­sion for qual­ity and the com­bi­na­tion of accu­mu­lated knowl­edge, clear goal-set­ting, and strate­gic plan­ning.”


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