Selected Greek extra virgin olive oils have been recognised as some of the most highly awarded olive oils in the world because of their success in international olive oil competitions in 2017. Greek olive oil companies view these distinctions as an affirmation of their teams’ hard work, passion, and continuous endeavours to produce high quality olive oil.
“Created to promote the most awarded” extra virgin olive oils (EVOOs) worldwide, the EVOO World Ranking (EVOOWR) 2017, according to its website, “is part of the World Ranking of WAWWJ (World Association of Journalists and Writers of Wines, Liquors and others).” It recognises the extra virgin olive oils that won the most prizes in the 30 international olive oil competitions held last year that the EVOOWR committee considers most noteworthy, based on the WAWWJ’s classification of each competition’s importance.
EVOOWR lists multiple award winners in a number of categories, including extra virgin olive oils, olive oil-producing societies, and various countries and olive varieties. In 2017, according to EVOOWR, “Greece won 213 awards in 13 contests” and obtained 13 EVOO of the Year distinctions. Greece excelled with the Koroneiki variety, capturing the majority of distinctions for it, produced all the best Kolovi and Manaki variety EVOOs listed, as well as noteworthy EVOOs of other less common varieties, and earned distinction for a number of flavoured olive oils.
Hellenic Agricultural Enterprises Ltd (HAE) was ranked one of the Top 100 [Olive Oil-Producing] Societies in the World, as well as being judged the Best Society of Greece for EVOOWR 2017, with nine awards in four contests last year. HAE’s ACAIA Kolovi was among the top extra virgin olive oils of the year, ACAIA flavoured Lemon and Oregano one of the best flavoured oils, ACAIA the very best EVOO produced from Kolovi olives, and Aeolian Olive the third best Kolovi.
HAE’s Ellie Tragakes is honoured to be in a position to champion Greek olive oil worldwide and equally proud of having won the Best of Greece awards a number of times, an honour that she says is reflected in their ranking as the Best Society for EVOOWR 2017 of Greece. Tragakes says, “It is very gratifying to be recognised globally, particularly as a company with more than one brand,” ACAIA, Aeolian Olive, and L&KO organic EVOO. She does not believe there is any real secret to success, just dedicated teamwork, hard work, and constant attention to detail, over and over again.
Jordan Olivenoel Natives Bio was designated the Best EVOO of Greece for EVOOWR 2017 and one of the EVOOs of the Year for 2017. While Bastian Jordan believes what is most important is for customers to like it most, he says that it’s always nice if someone congratulates you for your work.
Jordan revealed that he grew up with his grandfather showing him how the olive harvest worked in their own olive groves, and throughout the years it grew on him.”To become good at what you do, you must be passionate about it and love it – as well as working hard and permanently questioning the status quo, while only accepting the best quality,” he says.
Cristina Stribacu of LIÁ Cultivators was delighted and very proud of LIÁ’s ranking as the world’s best extra virgin olive oil from the Koroneiki olive variety, as well as one of the EVOOs of the Year. She believes LIÁ’s high scores in the EVOO World Ranking for the last four years show “how accurate and good a job LIÁ Cultivators do.” Even so, Stribacu emphasises, “we still have to work very hard to successfully meet our future goals with nonstop attention to every single detail every moment, every day.” She says the secrets to their success are “our land, our trees, our love, our passion, our expertise, our team, our partners, and foremost our creative spirit, which never stops learning!”
With his Syllektikon EVOO with Orange, Lemon, and Thyme ranked second in the world for Flavoured Olive Oil, and his Fyllikon ranked among the best Koroneikis, George Sakellaropoulos of Sakellaropoulos Organic Farming feels this recognition is a great honour, both “personally as a producer as well as for my country, Greece.” For him, the key factor for success is this: “I love what I do, and I do it with great joy and satisfaction,” focusing on “producing high quality olive oil that provides health benefits as well as great flavour.” Moreover, Sakellaropoulos is always interested in creating new and innovative products, through trial and error, never giving up and always looking ahead. This includes extra healthy organic table olives that have produced “astonishing results” in research studies.
Commenting on the ranking of Mani Bläuel Greek Organic as the world’s third-best EVOO from the Koroneiki variety and one of the EVOOs of the Year, Silvia Lazzari of Friedrich Bläuel & Co Ltd said that her company always aims for the best possible quality from all points of view: low acidity, top sensory qualities, and the healthiest possible product, with its excellent properties preserved all year round through ideal storage conditions.
They attain this result through patience and perseverance, as well as “good communications and mutually supportive partnerships with all parties involved in production, bottling, and distribution of olive oil,” and with satisfied customers.
Lazzari recommends such a focus on relationships, support, and communication for other companies as well. Jordan encourages everyone to remain “honest and straightforward.” Stribacu reminds producers that “extra virgin olive oil does not mean only low acidity, but also the right organoleptic characteristics,” so that “it is important to have an accredited laboratory do a sensorial analysis.” In all cases, it is clear that hard work and dedication to quality contributes to Greek olive oil companies’ success.
GREEK EVOOs OF THE YEAR 2017
Jordan Olivenoel GMBH/Jordan Olivenoel Natives Bio/Blend
LIÁ Cultivators/LIÁ Premium/Koroneiki
Hellenic Agricultural Enterprises Ltd/ACAIA/Kolovi
Friedrich Bläuel & Co Ltd/Mani Bläuel Greek Organic/Koroneiki
Greka Icons SA/Navarino Icons Koroneiki/Koroneiki
Oliorama & Co GP/Oliorama Exclusive Bio PGI Olympia/Koroneiki
Kidonakis Bros/Oleum Crete Bio/Koroneiki
Olympus Olive Oil/Olympus Olive Oil/Koroneiki
Ellindor Private Company/Ellindor/Koroneiki
Terra Creta SA/Terra Creta Estate Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil/Koroneiki
Olympian Green International SA/Olympian Green Oly Oil Traditional/Koroneiki
Osis – G Koropoulis & Sia EE/Maleas/Koroneiki
Gaea Products SA/Gaea Estate Vranas/Blend
Article originally published by Greek Liquid Gold: Authentic Extra Virgin Olive Oil at greekliquidgold.com See that site for recipes with olive oil, photos from Greece, and olive oil news and information.