Concerned about staying healthy, we value nutritious food more than ever. We especially value food that combines superb flavor with health benefits, as extra virgin olive oil does. So Greek Liquid Gold is spotlighting several of this year's top award-winning Greek olive oil companies, starting with a few of the world's best extra virgin olive oils.
Even in this difficult year, Greek companies won more awards for their extra virgin olive oils' quality at prestigious international olive oil competitions than one article can cover. In this partial overview of highlights, some company representatives share their pride, along with selected points about their methods.
One noteworthy example is the Cretan company Terra Creta. Especially impressive distinctions include their Best of Greece and Best Koroneiki variety olive oil awards from EVOOLEUM, Best of Greece at the Zurich Olive Oil Award, Grand Prestige Gold and Best of Crete at TerraOlivo, and Gold and Best of Crete awards at EVO IOOC, all for their Terra Creta Grand Cru extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). Terra Creta Organic EVOO also won an Extra Gold award at PremioBIOL, as well as Gold awards at several other competitions.
Emmanouil Karpadakis told Greek Liquid Gold the Terra Creta team is very proud and satisfied to have their hard work recognized at especially demanding competitions. They continue to strive for increased quality and transparency, focusing on “knowledge, attention to the smallest detail, and an excellent level of communication” with everyone who works with their products. They also deeply value the opinion of consumers, who appreciate “the natural, pleasant, stable character of our products, along with their high health value” and traceability.
Working with four different olive varieties in the area around Ancient Olympia, Papadopoulos - Mediterre & Co. was another of Greece's major winners this year. Their awards include two Double Gold medals at the Athena International Olive Oil Competition (IOOC) for Mediterre Olympia Early Harvest (both conventional and organic versions) and Platinum awards for Mediterre Olympia PGI (for quality) and Mediterre Omphacium Organic (for healthy high polyphenols) at the Berlin Global Olive Oil Awards (GOOA). They also won a Grand Prestige Gold for Mediterre Alea at TerraOlivo and a Platinum at the London IOOC for Mediterre Olympia Early Harvest PGI.
Konstantinos Papadopoulos credits his team's “strict and diligent supervision of the whole procedure,” from olive tree cultivation to olive oil production, for their success. He adds, “we truly love what we do, and this definitely makes a difference.” They have carefully chosen a team of producers to work with who share “the same passion and love for the product.”
Growing Makris variety olives that now have a new Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status near Alexandroupoli in northern Greece, Kyklopas took home awards from a variety of competitions, including long-established but less-known contests in Italy such as L'Orciolo d'Oro, Leone d'Oro, and Monocultivar. Other highlights include Best of Greece and Best of Makris variety awards at the Athena IOOC, a Platinum at the Berlin GOOA, and Golds at the NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition, EVO IOOC, London IOOC, Japan Olive Oil Prize (JOOP), and Dubai Olive Oil Competition, all for Kyklopas Early Harvest EVOO.
Kyklopas's new limited edition Ages EVOO also captured Gold awards in Berlin and Dubai. This low acidity oil originates in a centuries-old organic grove that is harvested early by hand, with the oil extracted within just 90 minutes of the harvest. For all their olive oils, Valia Kelidou emphasizes “the high quality we maintain year after year,” thanks to their family business's care for “every stage of the production process.”
With olives growing mainly in the area of Olympia in Peloponnese, Goutis Estate captured major awards in each of the three international competitions they entered this year. Their prizes include the designation of Goutis Estate Intense as the Best EVOO of Greece at Olive Japan, a Platinum medal for Goutis Estate Balanced at the Berlin GOOA, Gold awards for Goutis Estate Bitter Gray at NYIOOC and the Berlin GOOA, plus three more Golds in Berlin and two more Golds at Olive Japan.
Nicolas Lambropoulos explained to Greek Liquid Gold that Goutis Estate is so successful because the company has created a team with “a common code of values,” including a shared “passion for the finest quality” and a devotion to “our strict cultivation, production, extraction, and marketing protocols.” The result, he added, is that they “combine teamwork and fun by respecting each other, our worldwide customers,” and nature.
With both organic and conventional olive oil originating in their “unique terroir in the small village of Ancient Skillountia in Olympia,” according to Nikolas Philippidis, Hellenic Fields Ltd. also took home dozens of awards. Coming from the USA, Europe, and Asia, prizes for enaena Ultra Superior Early Harvest PGI Olympia include Best of Greece and Best of Class PGI at JOOP, a Merit award at L'Orciolo d'Oro, and Gold awards at the NYIOOC and EVO IOOC. Other awards comprise Golds at the BIOL XXV International Prize (BIOL), EVO IOOC, and the Athena IOOC for enaena Organic PGI Olympia.
Philippidis views the prizes for their three EVOOs and two aromatic olive oils (with herbs grown in the olive grove) as rewards for his team's “careful cultivation and strict production procedures.” These awards “give us the motivation and challenge to continue our constant pursuit of excellence in everything that our company produces.”
AGROVIM won major awards for their Iliada brand extra virgin olive oils at seven international competitions this year. Highlights include a Double Gold medal at the Athena IOOC, a Grand Prestige Gold award at TerraOlivo, and Golds at NYIOOC, JOOP, and the London IOOC, all for Iliada Kalamata PDO. AGROVIM also took home Gold awards for Iliada Organic at the London and New York IOOCs and at BIOL.
As George Xakoustos told Greek Liquid Gold, “these awards inspire all of us to become better and to continue our commitment to exceptional quality and innovation.” Making Greek olive oil since 1964, AGROVIM focuses on providing “quality, tradition, and value all in one brand.” They do so by combining “traditional harvesting and modern production methods that respect the environment.” Then they offer the exceptional customer service that satisfies consumers “who have been following us for decades.”
This year, award news comes late since the pandemic delayed many olive oil competition results. Some have still not been announced, but Greek producers are also looking ahead to the new olive crop now.
Valia Kelidou reports that Kyklopas has “good expectations” for this autumn's harvest. Goutis Estate's Nicolas Lambropoulos expects the harvest to bring “some exceptional results” for his company once again. And Konstantinos Papadopoulos reports that agronomists view their olives as “very healthy” and plentiful again this year, so they “expect a good crop year” in terms of both quality and quantity. Olive oil aficionados have plenty to look forward to in the coming year.
Selected 2020 Awards for Greece's Top Winners
(for EVOO quality, except where a health benefits award is specified)
- EVOOLEUM Top 100 - Best of Greece & Best Koroneiki EVOO - Terra Creta Grand Cru
- Leone d'Oro - Finalist - Terra Creta Grand Cru
- EVO IOOC - Gold & Best of Crete - Terra Creta Grand Cru
- EVO IOOC - Finalist for "Best International Monovarietal" - Terra Creta Grand Cru
- EVO IOOC - 2 Golds - Terra Creta Organic & Terra Creta Platinum 0.3
- Olive Oil Award / Zurich - Best of Greece - Terra Creta Grand Cru
- TerraOlivo - Grand Prestige Gold & Best of Crete - Terra Creta Grand Cru
- Olive Japan - Gold - Terra Creta Organic
- Biofach/Germany - Top 10 - Terra Creta Organic
- Kotinos - Gold (1st Place) - Terra Creta Organic
- Cretan Olive Oil Competition - 2 Golds (1st Place) - Terra Creta PDO Kolymvari & Terra Creta Organic
- London IOOC - Gold - Terra Creta Grand Cru
- Armonia - Grand Mentione Diploma - Terra Creta Grand Cru
- BIOL - ExtraGold - Terra Creta Organic
- AVPA - Gold - Terra Creta PDO Kolymvari
- Aipo D'Argento - 2nd Classificato (2nd Place) Monovarietal & 2nd Classificatto International - Terra Creta Grand Cru
Papadopoulos - Mediterre & Co.
- Athena IOOC - 2 Double Golds - Mediterre Olympia Early Harvest & Mediterre Olympia Early Harvest Organic
- Athena IOOC - 2 Golds - Mediterre Lena & Mediterre Omphacium Organic
- Berlin GOOA - Platinum (High Polyphenols) - Mediterre Omphacium Organic
- Berlin GOOA - Platinum - Mediterre Olympia PGI
- Berlin GOOA - 3 Golds - Mediterre Lena, Mediterre Alea, & Mediterre Omphacium Organic
- Dubai OOC - 2 Golds - Mediterre Alea & Olympia Early Harvest PGI Organic
- EVO IOOC - 2 Golds - Mediterre Olympia Early Harvest PGI & Mediterre Omphacium Organic
- NYIOOC - 2 Golds - Mediterre Alea & Mediterre Olympia PGI
- NYIOOC - Silver - Mediterre Lena
- Olive Japan - Gold - Mediterre Omphacium Organic
- Olive Japan - 3 Silvers - Mediterre Alea, Mediterre Lena, & Mediterre Olympia PGI
- TerraOlivo - Grand Prestige Gold - Mediterre Alea
- TerraOlivo - Gold - Mediterre Omphacium Organic
- JOOP - 2 Golds - Mediterre Omphacium Organic & Mediterre Lena
- London IOOC - Platinum - Mediterre Olympia Early Harvest PGI
- London IOOC - 3 Golds - Mediterre Lena, Mediterre Alea, & Mediterre Omphacium Organic
- Athena IOOC - Best of Greece - Kyklopas Early Harvest
- Athena IOOC - Best Greek Olive Oil of Thrace - Kyklopas Early Harvest
- Athena IOOC - Best of Makris Variety - Kyklopas Early Harvest
- Berlin GOOA - Platinum - Kyklopas Early Harvest
- Berlin GOOA - Gold - Ages
- Monocultivar - Gold - Kyklopas Early Harvest
- NYIOOC - Gold - Kyklopas Early Harvest
- Kotinos - Gold - Kyklopas Early Harvest
- Leone d'Oro - Selezione Leone - Kyklopas Early Harvest
- Aipo D'Argento - 2 Gocce Qualita (Quality Drops) - Kyklopas Early Harvest
- EVO IOOC - Gold - Kyklopas Early Harvest
- London IOOC - Gold - Kyklopas Early Harvest
- L'Orciolo d'Oro - Certificate of Quality - Kyklopas Early Harvest
- JOOP - Gold - Kyklopas Early Harvest
- Dubai OOC - 2 Golds - Ages & Kyklopas Early Harvest
- Flos Olei Catalogue 2021 - Kyklopas Early Harvest
- Olive Japan - Gold & Best of Greece - Goutis Estate Intense
- Olive Japan - Gold - Goutis Estate Bella Vista
- Olive Japan - Gold - Goutis Estate Premium
- Olive Japan - Silver - Goutis Estate Blossom
- Berlin GOOA - Platinum - Goutis Estate Balanced
- Berlin GOOA - Gold - Goutis Estate Bitter Gray
- Berlin GOOA - Gold - Goutis Estate Bella Vista
- Berlin GOOA - Gold - Goutis Estate Sea Breeze
- Berlin GOOA - Gold - Goutis Estate Fresh
- Berlin GOOA - Gold - Goutis Estate Blossom
- NYIOOC - Gold - Goutis Estate Bitter Gray
Hellenic Fields Ltd.
- JOOP - Best of Greece - enaena Ultra Superior Early Harvest PGI Olympia
- JOOP - Best of Class PGI - enaena Ultra Superior Early Harvest PGI Olympia
- JOOP - 2 Golds - enaena Ultra Superior Early Harvest PGI Olympia & enaena Pure Drop PGI Olympia
- BIOLNovello - Gold - enaena Organic PGI Olympia
- BIOL - Gold - enaena Organic PGI Olympia
- NYIOOC - Gold - enaena Ultra Superior Early Harvest PGI Olympia
- Los Angeles IOOC - Gold - enaena Flavored Olive Oil with Wild Oregano
- EVO IOOC - 2 Golds - enaena Organic PGI Olympia & enaena Ultra Superior Early Harvest PGI Olympia
- Athena IOOC - 3 Golds - enaena Organic PGI Olympia, enaena Pure Drop PGI Olympia, & enaena Flavored Olive Oil with Wild Oregano
- Olive Japan - Gold - enaena Flavored Olive Oil with Lemonthyme
- Berlin IOOC - Gold - enaena Pure Drop PGI Olympia
- Kotinos - Best of Class PGI - enaena Ultra Superior Early Harvest PGI Olympia
- China IOOC - Silver - enaena Ultra Superior Early Harvest PGI Olympia
- L'Orciolo d'Oro - Merit - enaena Ultra Superior Early Harvest PGI Olympia
- Der Feinschmecker Olio Award - Best 250 Olive Oils - enaena Organic PGI Olympia
- NYIOOC - 2 Gold Medals - Iliada Kalamata PDO & Iliada Organic
- TerraOlivo - Grand Prestige Gold Award - Iliada Kalamata PDO
- TerraOlivo - 2 Prestige Gold Awards - Iliada Organic & Iliada Single Estate Organic
- Athena IOOC - Double Gold Medal - Iliada Kalamata PDO
- Athena IOOC - Gold Medal - Iliada Organic
- London IOOC - 2 Gold Medals - Iliada Kalamata PDO & Iliada Organic
- China IOOC - Silver Award - Iliada Kalamata PDO
- China IOOC - Bronze Award - Iliada Organic
- JOOP - Gold Medal - Iliada Kalamata PDO
- BIOL - 2 Gold Medals - Iliada Organic & Iliada Single Estate Organic
Due to time and space limitations, this article about some of the top Greek winners at major international olive oil quality competitions in 2020 was unable to mention many of the excellent, multi-award-winning Greek extra virgin olive oils distinguished with prizes this year. It features Greek companies that won “best of” awards or a competition's highest award for their extra virgin olive oil, plus at least one more of the highest category of general quality awards at a second competition (Grand Prestige Gold, Gold, etc., depending on the competition), suggesting a very favorable “second opinion.” Another article focuses on some of this year's top award winning Greek flavored olive oils, and a third will feature extra healthy Greek EVOOs.
Thanks to Terra Creta, Goutis Estate, Kyklopas, and AGROVIM for the photos of their EVOOs.
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(This story was originally published on Greek Liquid Gold: Authentic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (greekliquidgold.com). See that site for recipes with olive oil, photos from Greece, and olive oil news and information.)