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.
An elegant black bottle of Kyklopas.
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.”
AGROVIMwon 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.
Bottles of Iliada olive oil.
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
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.
Interested in reaching out to readers of the Greek Liquid Gold: Authentic Extra Virgin Olive Oil website in more than 200 countries around the globe? All businesses, organizations, and competitions involved with Greek olive oil, the Mediterranean diet, and/or agrotourism or food tourism in Greece, as well as anyone else interested in supporting Greeks working in these sectors, are now invited to consider advertising and sponsorship opportunities on the only wide-ranging English-language website featuring news and information from the Greek olive oil world.
(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.)
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