Nation's top olives on show

Nation's top olives making a global name for themselves

Smart Farmer News
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Are you looking for the perfect table olives or extra virgin olive oils? The 2020 Australian International Olive Awards has done the research for you.

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GRINNERS: Jared and Jacqueline Bettio enjoy their 2020 Australian International Olive Awards success in their Mount Torrens, SA, grove.

GRINNERS: Jared and Jacqueline Bettio enjoy their 2020 Australian International Olive Awards success in their Mount Torrens, SA, grove.

Are you looking for the perfect table olives to compliment your Christmas cheese platter or the best extra virgin olive oils to make salad dressing?

The 2020 Australian International Olive Awards (AIOA), one of Australia's premier olive competitions, has done all the research for you.

The AIOA is run annually by the Australian Olive Association and was opened to international entries in 2017.

Celebrating and promoting the industry's best products and producers, it is fast becoming one of the most prestigious events on the global olive oil stage.

This global status means the competition for medals is fierce, so when consumers taste an AIOA winner they know they're enjoying the very best of the best.

This year Cape Schank Olive Estate's Picual extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) topped the judges' scores at 95/100, beating a strong field of medal winning entries to be awarded Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Show Commercial Volume.

The Victorian producer'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 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 Tasmania's Flinders Island.

Also a major award winner was NSW producer Wymah Organic Olives, which scored 92/100 to win Best Table Olive in Show for its Wymah Certified Organic Kalamata Olives.

South Australia's Rio Vista Olives tied with New Zealand producer The Olive Press Limited 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 scored 94 points among a field of exceptional flavoured oil entries.

Chief steward Trudie Michels said this year's competition saw a greater emphasis on the event's global status, 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.

"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."

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 importance of the competition and the determination of Australian growers.

"We received 137 EVOO entries, 23 flavoured oil entries, and 46 table olive entries," she said.

"It is an amazing achievement, 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).

"Unfortunately, the reduced 2020 harvest means there's not that much available this year, so if you want to enjoy really fresh, high quality Australian EVOO, get out and buy it now."

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