Terra Creta's olive mill building surrounded by olive groves in Crete

At this year’s second edition of the Domina International Olive Oil Competition in Palermo, Italy, 26 of the 347 entries from 19 countries were Greek extra virgin olive oils. Samples were analyzed by 20 judges from 9 countries, and an impressive 70% of the Greek olive oils received Gold or Silver medals, even in this difficult harvest year.

As Ylenia Granitto reported in Olive Oil Times, ninety-nine different varieties of extra virgin olive oils (EVOOs) competed in this competition, reflecting competition president Antonio G. Lauro’s interest in biodiversity and the “hundreds of minor varieties produced by small, medium and large producers” in various parts of the world.

Greek judge Eleftheria Germanaki told Greek Liquid Gold she was pleased that “a significant percentage of Greek EVOOs were awarded, an indication that Greek producers are improving their knowledge about the quality aspects of our precious product.” Germanaki added that for Crete, “my island, the percentage of awarded samples was historically high, reaching 85%,” a success rate she attributes to educational efforts at the Cretan Olive Oil Competition, seminars on chemical and organoleptic olive oil quality, and organoleptic evaluation laboratories on the island.

Terra Creta SA in Kolymvari, Chania, Crete was this year’s top Greek winner at the Domina Competition, earning a Gold Medal for Terra Creta Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a Silver Medal for Terra Creta Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and the special Best of Crete Award. Terra Creta’s Emmanouil Karpadakis told Greek Liquid Gold that his team appreciates this “recognition for our efforts” and “expects a positive effect on our exports.”  

Terra Creta adds these honors to a long list of awards for both taste and health benefits from international competitions in various countries. Karpadakis commented that they considered it “an interesting challenge” to compete in Italy, judged by a “highly-skilled panel of judges.” They were ready for this challenge after “hard work with our farmers and agronomists, with attention to the smallest detail,” as well as cooperation with certified laboratories that provided them with valuable knowledge about both chemical and organoleptic aspects of their EVOOs.

Terra Creta’s attention to detail extends to the certified baskets they convinced their farmers to use for harvested olives instead of the traditional burlap bags, in order to better protect olives from premature crushing and overheating during transportation to the mill. This is just one example of the company’s ongoing support for the farmers they work with and their use of innovation to achieve high quality products. Karpadakis emphasizes that Terra Creta is also dedicated to both sustainability and excellent service to meet the needs of the global market.

A new Cretan olive oil company, EllinDor Private Company, also won one of the Greek Gold Medals, adding to their list of awards this year. The Gerakianakis siblings, Aristos, Michail, Stefanos, and Maria, told Greek Liquid Gold they appreciate this “constant verification of our efforts, our sacrifices, and our work,” noting that they were pleased to join the Domina competition in “highlighting the value of extra virgin olive oil as an important part of the Mediterranean diet.”

The Gerakianakis family ascribes their “excellent result” to “dedication, sacrifice, care, persistence, patience, toil,” and sharing “a piece of their soul” with their product to give it meaning. They explained, “We have been taught to take care of the olive trees and the olive oil as one of our 'children' which is in constant need of our love and care. And that's what we are doing.”

EllinDor’s story began with their grandfather Gerakianakis. “He was an especially educated and intelligent individual, and he managed to teach us his passion and dedication for the cultivation of the land and his love for its blessed products, the gifts of the Hellenic land, as he used to say. Driven by his words and his passion,” his grandchildren decided to help “spread the wealth and the treasure of the Hellenic land by founding EllinDor.” EllinDor's name comes from the Greek words that describe that treasure and mean “Gifts from the Hellenic land.”

Another multi-award-winning Greek company, Oliorama & Co GP, won a Gold Medal for their Oliorama Exclusive Bio EVOO, after winning Gold Medals at the New York and Los Angeles International Olive Oil Competitions. Oliorama’s Maria Spiliakopoulou told Greek Liquid Gold that her company’s olive oil comes “from the region of Ancient Olympia, with some of the best farmland in Greece.” Oliorama entered the Domina competition because of their “respect for Antonio Lauro and his contribution to the recognition of excellent quality olive oils.”

Although they have won numerous awards, the Oliorama team does not rest on their laurels. As Spiliakopoulou explained, “improving ourselves each year is a necessity for us, and that is why we are extra careful, strict, and faithful regarding our quality. Every single part of the process has to be perfect. Our aim is to continue the tradition of our parents and grandparents by bringing a classic taste into a modern form,” taking into consideration various “environmental, cultural and geological elements.”

Their company name describes their focus: “olio” is Latin for “oil,” and "orama" means “vision” in Greek. As Spiliakopoulou told Greek Liquid Gold, “our vision is to offer our friends the purity and excellent taste of high quality Greek products.” With their list of awards growing, they have new friends around the world. 

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Thanks to Terra Creta for the photos of their mill surrounded by olive groves.

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The Complete List of Award Winning Greek Olive Oils

at the Domina International Olive Oil Competition (IOOC)

 

Greek Gold Medals at the Domina IOOC 2017

  • Ellindor Private Company, Ellindor Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Lia Cultivators, Lia Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Oliorama & Co GP, Oliorama Exclusive Bio Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Osis Koropoulis G. & Sia E. E., Maleas Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Terra Creta SA, Terra Creta Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Greek Silver Medals at the Domina IOOC 2017

  • Greek Heritage Foods Llc, Elaeon Non Organic
  • Greek Heritage Foods Llc, Elaeon Organic
  • Greka Icons S.A., Navarino Icons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Kidonakis Bros., Oleum Crete
  • Kolymvarian Exports, Liostalia
  • Olivelawon I X Kampouris E. E., E-La-Won Green Fresh
  • Olympus Olive Oil, Olympus Olive Oil
  • Papadopoulos Olive Oil & Co, Mythocia Olympia PGI Organic
  • Papadopoulos Olive Oil & Co, Mythocia Olympia PGI
  • Terra Creta SA, Terra Creta Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Vassilakis Estate, Charisma Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Yanni’s Olive Grove, Yanni’s Family
  • Yanni’s Olive Grove, Yanni’s Finest

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