Australia’s best olive oils make a splash
Victoria’s Cape Schank Olive Estate and Tasmania’s Flinders Island Olives have taken the coveted Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) in Show titles at the 2020 Australian International Olive Awards, which this year saw twin “top gongs” awarded to boutique and commercial quantity producers respectively.
Cape Schank Olive Estate’s Picual EVOO topped the judges’ scores at 95/100, beating a strong field of medal-winning entries. The varietal then achieved a clean sweep across all eligible trophy categories, taking out the awards for Champion Spanish Varietal, Best Victorian EVOO, Best Australian EVOO, Best Southern Hemisphere EVOO and Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Show Commercial Volume. Cape Schank’s Coratina and Leccino varietal EVOOs were also awarded gold.
Flinders Island Olives’ Organic EVOO was awarded a score of 91.5 by the judges, earning a gold medal and the trophies for Reserve Champion Medium EVOO, Champion Tasmanian EVOO and Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Show Boutique Volume. The Flinders Island Olives Season’s Blend EVOO added another gold medal for the 1100-tree producer, which is the only commercial grove on Flinders Island.
Also on the major award winner’s list was NSW producer Wymah Organic Olives, which won the Champion Kalamata Olive, Best Australian Table Olive, Best Southern Hemisphere Table Olive and Best Table Olive in Show for its Wymah Certified Organic Kalamata Olives.
South Australia’s Rio Vista Olives and New Zealand producer The Olive Press Limited tied for the title of Best Flavoured Olive Oil of Show, Rio Vista’s Basil Pressed and The Olive Press’ Pressed Gold Rosmarino Blu Toscano both scoring 94 points among a field of exceptional flavoured oil entries. Both producers also won awards across various categories – The Olive Press taking two EVOO golds and Rio Vista racking up an impressive total of 12 gold, three silver and two bronze medals.
Spanish producer Goya En España again championed in both oil and table olive categories, taking the Best EVOO Northern Hemisphere award for its Goya “Organics” Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the Best Table Olive Northern Hemisphere for its Manzanilla Stuffed with Tuna Paste.
Competition Chief Steward Trudie Michels says this year’s competition saw an even greater emphasis on the global status of the competition, with judging panels across Australia joined by international panels in Spain, Italy, New Zealand, Tunisia and China.
“For entrants, it was a chance to have their products appraised by world-renowned oil judges, and also provides an unprecedented opportunity for international recognition and the marketing benefits that follow,” Michels says.
“It was also great to see a continuing increase in entries from international producers, with entries this year coming from Tunisia, Italy, Spain, China, New Zealand and Australia.”
Michels says that, considering 2020’s COVID-19 pandemic along with bushfire and drought challenges, the level of local entries is also testament to the both the value of the competition and the determination of Australian growers.
“It’s fulfilling to see the industry producing truly world class oils,” she says, “and to see the growing international interest in the Australian industry and our quality olive products.”
For olive oil-loving consumers who’d like to get their hands on some winning Aussie oils, you’d better act fast. The reduced 2020 harvest means there’s not as much available this year, so if you want to enjoy fresh, high-quality Australian EVOO, get out and buy it now.
For a full list of all award winners, head to internationaloliveawardsaustralia.com.au