Italian extra virgin is a catch-all at the international competition in New York, winning 87 awards out of the 232 given to the Northern Hemisphere and the 261 overall.
The much-publicized first edition of the New York International Olive Oil Competition was a big success in itself and probably set a new standard for international olive oil competitions and awards, and it was certainly a great achievement for Italian extra virgin.
Italy was the most award-winning country at the competition, gaining the record number of 87 medals, while Spain followed with 45 and the United States gathered 33 awards.
Among the 87 awarded Italian products, 8 won the “Best of Class” medal for the different categories of the Northern Hemisphere, and a very satisfying 53 won a Gold Awards, while 26 won a Silver. Winning oils came from different areas of Italy, with many representatives from the famous regions of Tuscany, Umbria, Lazio and Sicily.
Frantoio Franci, with the excellent score of 9.60, won the Best of Class Award for the Robust Blend category. A blend of Frantoio “Correggiolo” (50 percent, a local subvariety), Moraiolo (35 percent) and Leccino (15 percent) varieties, it has an elegant and intense aroma with artichoke and roasted coffee notes.
It has been a golden year for Villa Magra, which also won many other national and international competitions such as the SOL d’Oro, the Joop – Japan Olive Oil Prize and a silver medal at the Ercole Olivario competition in Italy.
The family-owned company from Tuscany also won a second award in New York with the IGP Toscano olive oil – a less complex yet very good product with fresh grass and fruity notes and a light tomato scent – that was awarded as Best of Class for the Medium Blend category, and a third – a Gold Medal – for its Olivastra Seggianese in the Delicate Monovarietal category.
Giorgio Franci, who leads the company together with his father Ferdinando, is very happy for the result and he is firmly convinced that the New York Competition will become an essential reference for all the buyers and consumers who really care about high quality extra virgin olive oil.
Olio Reserva by Domenica Fiore obtained the highest score at the New York competition.
Olio Reserva by Domenica Fiore Company won the Best of Class award for the Organic Medium Blend category. It is a golden green oil, robust and full-bodied, and it comes in the special 18/10 stainless steel bottles inspired by the ideas of Marco Mugelli, the founder of National Association of Olive Oil Tasters (ANAPOO), to preserve olive oil’s nutritional and flavor characteristics.
The Tenuta Torre Di Mossa by De Carlo company from Apulia won the Best of Class award for the Robust Monovarietal category, being an intensely pungent and bitter yet balanced olive oil obtained from the local variety Coratina.
Best of Class award in the Organic Robust Monovarietal category went to the Torre Bianca Frantoio by the Torre Bianca Farm, from Tuscany again, with its very sharp smell of fresh greens. La Montagnola’s Minerva (a beautiful farmhouse in Umbria, which also offer nice rustic accommodations, yoga classes and olive oil tasting seminars) won the Best of Class award for the Delicate Monovarietal Category.
For the Delicate Category, the organic extra virgin by Tenuta San Jacopo (a beautiful farmhouse in Tuscany, again, also producing wines and spirits) was awarded as Best of Class Organic Blend while the Best of Class Award for traditional Blend went to the Olevano Delicate extra virgin by Consorzio Olivicolo del Tusciano, which also won the Gold Metal for the Robust Blend Category with its Olevano Intense oil.
This company was actually born by the twinning and relationship between Wilmington, DE USA, and the small village of Olevano Sul Tusciano, in Southern Italy. Over the centuries, many Olevanese emigrated to the US but their descendants continued to communicate and strengthen the trans-Atlantic relationship with their Italian cousins, until in 2003 the two cities were officially declared as Sister Cities of the International Organization. Extra virgin olive oil is only one of the Italian products coming from their homeland that they decided to import to the US.
The panel leader Gino Celletti was very proud of the Italian results, but especially of the jurors’ job: “It was one of the broadest and most qualified panel that has ever been made, and they all did extremely well,” he said.
The other winning olive oils from Italy are below. The full list of winners can be found at the Best Olive Oils website.