`Spain’s Standout Success at 2014 NYIOOC

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Spain’s Standout Success at 2014 NYIOOC

Apr. 16, 2014
Julie Butler

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Spain won more prizes than any other coun­try in the lat­est edi­tion of the New York Inter­na­tional Olive Oil Com­pe­ti­tion.

Of the 135 Span­ish extra vir­gin olive oils entered this year, 3 scored best in class, 50 earned gold and 15 landed sil­ver awards. In total, the world’s biggest olive oil pro­ducer bagged 68 prizes, two more than Italy, the next biggest, which had 141 entries among the 651 oils from 25 coun­tries judged last week.

NYIOOC pres­i­dent Cur­tis Cord noted Spain did even bet­ter than last year, when it took home 51 awards. I think it was an excel­lent result for Spain, where there has been so much effort to improve and high­light the qual­ity of its oils,” he said.

Out of a total 19 best in class awards this year, Spain’s haul of three went to Masía el Altet Pre­mium, in the medium blend cat­e­gory, Mel­gar­ejo Fran­toio Pre­mium, in the robust mono­va­ri­etal cat­e­gory, and Oro del Desierto Organic Coupage, in the robust blend cat­e­gory.

Masia el Altet: medals help open doors in new mar­kets

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Masia el Altet, located in the Alcoy Moun­tains of Ali­cante, also took gold medals for its High End, High Qual­ity and Spe­cial Selec­tion oils — all four oils it entered were win­ners.

Owner Jorge Petit said the com­pany already exports to coun­tries includ­ing Japan and the United States, and around Europe, but such awards help open doors in mar­kets where peo­ple don’t yet know much about olive oil. For exam­ple if peo­ple think a lit­tle pun­gency or bit­ter­ness is a defect, when really it’s a virtue, it helps to have medals on your bot­tle.”

Mak­ing good olive oilis like mak­ing good wine, it demands that you really look after your olive trees, have the right micro­cli­mate, and har­vest at exactly the right time. We live on the plan­ta­tion so we check the trees every day,” he said.

Rain favoured com­plex fla­vor for Aceites Cam­po­liva

Aceites Cam­po­liva, maker of the Mel­gar­ejo olive oils, took home four gold awards in addi­tion to its best in class prize. Pro­duc­tion and qual­ity direc­tor Blas Mel­gar­ejo said he was delighted with the result, which con­firms our efforts in try­ing to pro­duce the best pos­si­ble olive oils and gives us great moti­va­tion to keep doing so.”

Located in Jaén, the epi­cen­ter of Spain’s olive oil pro­duc­tion, the com­pany won two gold awards last year and this year had a boost from favor­able weather – par­tic­u­larly rain in the fall – which saw the olives ripen in such a way as to pro­duce extra­or­di­nary sen­so­r­ial char­ac­ter­is­tics in terms of com­plex­ity and har­mony,” he said.

Desert Gold” oil an off­spring of sus­tain­able pro­duc­tion

True to its name, Oro del Desierto is pro­duced in a semi-desert area of Almería, in the bot­tom right­hand cor­ner of Spain. It is made by the fam­ily com­pany Rafael Alonso Aguil­era, which exports more than half of its total annual yield of about 150 tons of organic extra vir­gin olive oil.

Mar­ket­ing direc­tor Rafael Alonso said its Oro del Desierto Organic Coupage, which won a Best in Class among robust blends, was the young company’s only entry in the NYIOOC and has an annual pro­duc­tion of about 35 tons.

Alonso said he hoped the win would raise global aware­ness of the small pro­ducer, which has the phi­los­o­phy that, even if some­thing is already really good, it can always be bet­ter.”

We’re not just organic, we’re also sus­tain­able, we recy­cle all our waste mate­r­ial, such as for fer­til­izer, and use solar power to be self-suf­fi­cient in energy,” he said.

All of the New York Inter­na­tional Olive Oil Com­pe­ti­tion win­ners are listed at the web­site: bestoliveoils.com.

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