AN extra virgin olive oil from Victoria's Cape Schank Olive Estate has blitzed a path through the medals at the 2020 Australian International Olive Awards.
Cape Schank Olive Estate's Picual EVOO topped the judges' scores at 95/100, beating a strong field of medal winning entries.
The varietal did 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.
With COVID restrictions preventing growers and processors from gathering for an in-person event, the Australian Olive Association announced the winners via a virtual gala presentation on October 16.
Organisers received 137 EVOO entries from 70 exhibitors, 23 flavoured oil entries from 11 exhibitors and 46 table olive entries from 15 exhibitors.
This was a drop of only 7.7 per cent on last year's figures.
Competition chief steward, Trudie Michels, said this year's competition saw an even greater emphasis on the global status of the competition, with judging panels across Australia joined in their contemplations by international panels in Spain, Italy, New Zealand, Tunisia and China.
"All up we had more than 40 judges who gave their time and expertise to be a part of this year's competition," she said.
Tasmania's Flinders Island Olives won the coveted Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) in Show titles at the 2020 Australian International Olive Awards (AIOA).
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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 New South Wales 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 Espaa, 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.
Ms Michels said that, considering 2020's COVID-19, 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.
"As were the results: in this year's EVOO competition there were 130 medals awarded, including 56 gold (30 in 2019), 47 silver (76 in 2019) and 27 bronze (37 in 2019). Thus 94.8pc of entries were awarded a medal, up from last year's 91.2," she said.
"It is fulfilling to see the industry producing truly world class oils - and to see the growing international interest in the Australian industry and our quality olive products."
- See the complete list of winners by clicking HERE.
- To download the official AIOA Awards Booklet HERE.
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The story Top olive producers awarded in virtual gala presentation first appeared on Good Fruit & Vegetables.