In its inaugural year, the Canada International Olive Oil Competition (IOOC) attracted 411 extra virgin olive oils and flavoured olive oils from 20 countries. Fourteen judges from nine nations evaluated the oils, judging Greece worthy of 87 medals, more than any other country. This included six Platinum awards for oils produced by four companies. The next closest was Spain with 36.
Terra Creta’s Grand Cru Koroneiki extra virgin olive oil continued its impressive performance this year by adding a Platinum award at the Canada IOOC to top awards at the Mario Solinas Quality Award, Leone D’Oro, the Zurich IOOC, ESAO in Spain, and other international contests. Emmanouil Karpadakis told Greek Liquid Gold that Terra Creta entered this new contest seeking “recognition of our superior quality in a market where we are developing our presence. As we produce a large quantity of superior quality, authentic monovarietal Cretan extra virgin olive oil, a competition like the Canada IOOC is an excellent way to communicate that to both the distribution networks and the consumers.” Karpadakis considers Terra Creta’s Grand Cru EVOO more than just a product. He views it as an ongoing project that involves many people and techniques, as well as “a holistic approach to cultivation, extraction, and communication of a philosophy” focused on the production of superb extra virgin olive oil.
In addition to winning dozens of Gold awards and additional Silvers and Bronzes for the country’s high quality extra virgin olive oils, Greece claimed the vast majority of the competition’s awards for infused olive oils at all levels, including five Platinum awards for flavored oils.
Another repeatedly triumphant company, Laconiko, took home two Platinums for their flavored olive oils, as well as five Golds and seven Silvers for both their extra virgin and infused oils. Diamantis Pierrakos informed Greek Liquid Gold that his company “entered the Canada IOOC in hopes that our recognition would open the Canadian market for us, considering the fact that we are based in North America,” with their olive oil imported directly from their family estate in Greece. As Pierrakos explained, “we are an honest family business that constantly strives to offer the healthiest and freshest olive oil possible.” To do this, Pierrakos and his team take great care with harvesting, production, storage, and transport, “only importing our olive oil to the United States immediately after our harvest during the cold months, and not during the hot summers that would degrade the quality of our olive oil.”
Double Platinum award winner Sakellaropoulos Organic Farms “participated in the Canada IOOC in order to confirm, once again in an international competition, the top quality of our single estate olive oils,” according to Nick Sakellaropoulos. “This is yet another confirmation for consumers of the excellent, unique taste and very high quality of our olive oils, which we are constantly proving in the most important olive oil competitions worldwide. We have now received 355 international awards in major competitions for our olive products, which is a record number for a Greek single estate organic producer.” Entering 12 extra virgin and flavored olive oils in the Canada IOOC, they captured a Platinum, Gold, or Silver award for each one, including six Golds.
Pellas Nature co-owner Ioanna Diamanti is “proud to have been awarded a Platinum medal for our Pellas Nature Basil olive oil, a Gold medal for our Pellas Nature Rosemary olive oil, and a Silver medal for our Pellas Nature Garlic olive oil.” Pellas Nature uses “an innovative natural production process that respects the delicacy of the EVOO and creates a new product which is healthy and tasty. We use premium Greek EVOO and fresh plants. Most of the plants we cultivate ourselves. We do not use any essences, essential oils, or additives. Our family and our company team both work with passion and commitment to quality. This demands continuous investments, effort and research.” That effort has been rewarded with a long list of prizes in recent years.
The prizes bestowed on hundreds of olive oils at the Canada IOOC may help familiarize Canadians with many of the world’s excellent oils. It is a good time for that, since Canada has both significantly increased its olive oil imports in the last 16 years, and been ranked one of the top countries for doing business. As Canada IOOC judge Karen Rapp of Toronto, Canada emphasizes, “more Canadian consumers than ever before are looking to purchase top quality extra virgin olive oils.” Greek olive oil companies will be happy to help them.
Selected Greek Awards at the Canada IOOC
Greek Platinum Award Winner – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Terra Creta Grand Cru Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Terra Creta SA
Greek Platinum Award Winners – Infused Olive Oils
EL1- Basil – Pellas Nature P.C.
Enigma Flavored Gourmet – Sakellaropoulos Organic Farms
Laconiko Lemon Thyme – Laconiko
Laconiko Rosemary – Laconiko
Masterpiece Blend with Pimento, Cloves, Nutmeg & Cinnamon – Sakellaropoulos Organic Farms
Greek Gold Award Winners – Extra Virgin Olive Oils
776 Deluxe – 776 Deluxe Foods
Aegean Gold – Rafteli Protouli
Agourelaio Early Harvest Organic EVOO – Sakellaropoulos Organic Farms
Agriston – Agriston Simple Member Ltd.
AK Vistones – Vistones
Alexandros “Black Edition” – Olive Mill “Alexandros” Voukoureslis Nikolaos S.A.
Alexandros “Special edition” – Olive Mill “Alexandros” Voukoureslis Nikolaos S.A.
Dorian – Agricultural Cooperatives Union – Laconia Greece S.A.
E-La-Won – Olivelawon IKampouris EE
Eleagnos – Think Greece
Elegia – Panagiota Nikoloulia
Fyllikon First Harvest Organic EVOO – Sakellaropoulos Organic Farms
Hypereleon Ultra Gold – D. Mourlas and Co. L.P./ G-Team
Karras’ Farm Premium – Karras Trade
Kladeos – Lapithas Estates
Kritsa 0.3 Premium – Agricultural Cooperative of Kritsa
Laconiko Olio Nuovo Limited Reserve – Laconiko
Ladi Biosas – Ladi Biosas
Lapithas – Lapithas Estates
Mavroudis Corfu Family EVOO – S.E. Mavroudis Bros Co.
Mesimeri – Konstantinos Spyropoulos
MINOS PGI Chania – El Renieris & Co.
Moires EVOO PDO Kalamata – Angelos Kasimis
Oliorama Exclusive PGI Olympia – Oliorama & Co. G.P.
Olive Oil of Pilion Voliotis Family Extra Virgin – Voliotis Apostolos
Olive Valley – Klampanos Dimitrios
One & Olive – Anagnostopoulos A. & Co.
Pamako Premium Organic Mountain Monovarietal – Androulakis Eftichios – Pamako
Petromilos – 7 Islands – N. Theodosis & Co.
Trifilia – Trifilia Premium
Vassae Premium – Dimitrios Mavroeidis
Vatsiko – Agricultural Cooperative “Eleonas”
Greek Gold Award Winners – Infused Olive Oils
EL1 – Fresh Organic Rosemary – Pellas Nature P.C.
Gemstone Blend with Ginger, Lime & Basil – Sakellaropoulos Organic Farms
Laconiko Blood Orange – Laconiko
Laconiko Garlic – Laconiko
Laconiko Lemon – Laconiko
Laconiko Pesto – Laconiko
Majestic Blend with Lemongrass & Tarragon – Sakellaropoulos Organic Farms
Nature Blessed Oregano with Chili – Nature Blessed P.C.
Oleoastron with Fennel, Bay Leaves, Rosemary & Oregano – Sakellaropoulos Organic Farms
Syllektikon Gourmet with Orange, Lemon & Thyme – Sakellaropoulos Organic Farms
For other Greek winners, see the Canada IOOC website.