Australia's best olives announced after reduced harvest
The winners of the 2020 Australian International Olive Awards (AIOA) have been announced, but the award-winning produce is limited due to a poor harvest season.
Australia’s premier olive competition, the AIOA is run annually by the Australian Olive Association and was opened to international entries in 2017.
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 on the winner’s list was New South Wales 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 Best Flavoured Olive Oil of Show, Rio Vista’s Basil Pressed and The Olive Press’s Pressed Gold Rosmarino Blu Toscano both scoring 94 points among a field of exceptional flavoured oil.
Competition chief Steward Trudie Michels said this year’s competition saw an even greater emphasis on the competition’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 international producers with entries this year coming from Tunisia, Italy, Spain, China, New Zealand and Australia.”
Michels said that considering this year’s COVID-19, bushfire and drought challenges, the level of local entries is also a testament to 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. 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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