Italy Triumphs at 2016 NYIOOC

Italian producers came back from last year's disastrous harvest with a vengeance, winning more awards at the prestigious New York competition than any other country.
O&Co. representative Rose Malindretos (center) picked up a Gold Award for Il Fornacino (Photo: NYIOOC)
Apr. 16, 2016
Hannah Howard

Recent News

Complimenti, Italia! This year, Italian olive oil swept the New York International Olive Oil Competition (NYIOOC) with 109 awards, the most from any coun­try.

Twenty-six coun­tries from around the world sub­mit­ted olive oil to be tasted and eval­u­ated by the NYIOOC inter­na­tional panel of expert judges. This year’s com­pe­ti­tion marked the fourth annual NYIOOC and the largest inter­na­tional col­lec­tion of olive oils ever assem­bled. After Italy, Spain, took home the sec­ond high­est num­ber of awards, 78. The United States came in third place with 50.

A remark­able achieve­ment by Italian pro­duc­ers who suf­fered one of the worst har­vests in recent his­tory just a year ago.- Curtis Cord, NYIOOC

From the incred­i­bly stiff com­pe­ti­tion, Italy’s olive oil pro­duc­ers emerged at the top. It was a remark­able achieve­ment by Italian pro­duc­ers who suf­fered one of the worst har­vests in recent his­tory just a year ago,” said Curtis Cord, pres­i­dent of the NYIOOC.
See Also: The Best Italian Olive Oils for 2016
During the 2014/2015 har­vest sea­son, Italy fell vic­tim to a bac­te­r­ial blight that destroyed around 40 per­fect of olive oil pro­duc­tion, crip­pling grow­ers. Many Italian pro­duc­ers were not able to make any olive oil at all last sea­son.

Among them was Lucia Verdacchi Pinelli, who makes extra vir­gin olive oil at Fontanaro Estate in Umbria. Her oil took home a Silver Award at the 2014 NYIOOC, but she and her part­ner were forced to bow out in 2015. Last year we did not pro­duce at all,” she said, because of the poor con­di­tions. It was so sad to let the fruits go unpicked.”

Fontanaro Estate producer Lucia Verdacchi Pinelli

The crip­pling har­vest caused a reduced Italian pres­ence at NYIOOC with 100 entries com­pared to 141 in 2014. This year, Italy’s show­ing was stronger than ever. The coun­try sent nearly 200 brands to com­pete for the cov­eted Silver, Gold and Best in Class awards — a strong sign of resur­gence. 58 per­cent of Italian entrants received awards — the high­est suc­cess rate among the major par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­tries.

We are in love with every­thing about olive oil,” said Pinelli, whose fam­ily has been pro­duc­ing oil for five gen­er­a­tions in the hills sur­round­ing the Trasimeno. At their own mill, olives are cold pressed within three hours of the olive pick­ing to guar­an­tee the very best qual­ity. For us, olive oil is life.”

Her family’s ded­i­ca­tion and her olive oil’s sky-high qual­ity earned Fontanaro a Gold Award this year. I am so pleased,” she said, beam­ing with joy and pride. Our friends know what we do, our fam­ily knows, but what I find is amaz­ing is that the knowl­edge out­side Italy is grow­ing, thanks to the NYIOOC.”

Claire Treves Brezel for Azienda Agricola Sonnino-Treves

Six Italian extra-vir­gins won the highly cov­eted Best in Class awards: 75 were awarded Gold, and 28 received Silver. Among the best in class win­ners were Colle del Giachi’s D.O.P. Chianti Classico, from olives typ­i­cally found high in the Chianti hills. The oil is well-bal­anced, with intense golden-green color and super low acid­ity.

La Bandiera, crafted in the wine-grow­ing area of Bolgheri on the coast of Tuscany, Italy, also won a best in class this year. It is a sin­gle-estate, organic olive oil from three vari­etals with plenty of robust, full-bod­ied fla­vor. They were joined by many more.

The full list of win­ners can be found at the Best Olive Oils web­site, and will be avail­able at the new Best New Olive Oils Marketplace in the upcom­ing weeks.

Related News

Feedback / Suggestions