Olive groves, sea, and sky in Lesvos

Selected Greek extra virgin olive oils have been recognized as some of the most highly awarded olive oils in the world because of their success in international olive oil competitions in 2017. Greek olive oil companies view these distinctions as an affirmation of their teams’ hard work, passion, and continuous endeavors to produce high quality olive oil.

“Created to promote the most awarded” extra virgin olive oils (EVOOs) worldwide, the EVOO World Ranking (EVOOWR) 2017, according to its website, “is part of the World Ranking of WAWWJ (World Association of Journalists and Writers of Wines, Liquors and others).” It recognizes the extra virgin olive oils that won the most prizes in the 30 international olive oil competitions held last year that the EVOOWR committee considers most noteworthy, based on the WAWWJ’s classification of each competition’s importance. 

EVOOWR lists multiple award winners in a number of different categories, including extra virgin olive oils, olive oil producing societies, and various countries and olive varieties. In 2017, according to EVOOWR, “Greece won 213 awards in 13 contests” and obtained 13 “EVOO of the Year” distinctions (listed below). Greece excelled with the Koroneiki variety, capturing the majority of distinctions for it, produced all the best Kolovi and Manaki variety EVOOs listed, as well as noteworthy EVOOs of other less common varieties, and earned distinction for a number of flavored olive oils

Hellenic Agricultural Enterprises Ltd (HAE) was ranked one of the Top 100 [Olive Oil Producing] Societies in the World, as well as being judged The Best Society of Greece for EVOOWR 2017, with 9 awards in 4 contests last year. HAE’s ACAIA Kolovi was among the top extra virgin olive oils of the year, ACAIA Flavored Lemon and Oregano one of the best flavored oils, ACAIA the very best EVOO produced from Kolovi olives, and Aeolian Olive the third best Kolovi.

HAE’s Ellie Tragakes is “honored to be in a position to champion Greek olive oil worldwide and equally proud of having won Best of Greece awards a number of times, an honor that is reflected in our ranking as The Best Society for EVOOWR 2017 of Greece.” Tragakes adds, “It is very gratifying to be recognized globally, particularly as a company with more than one brand,” ACAIA, Aeolian Olive, and L&KO organic EVOO. She does not believe there is any “real secret to success, just dedicated teamwork, hard work, and constant attention to detail, over and over again.”

Jordan Olivenoel Natives Bio was designated The Best EVOO of Greece for EVOOWR 2017 and one of the EVOOs of the Year for 2017. While Bastian Jordan believes what is “most important is for my customers to like it most,” he adds that “it’s always nice if someone congratulates you for your work.” Jordan told Greek Liquid Gold that he “grew up with my grandfather showing me how the olive harvest works in our own olive groves, and throughout the years it grew on me. To become good at what you do, you must be passionate about it and love it”—as well as working hard and “permanently questioning the status quo,” while “only accepting the best quality.” 
 
Cristina Stribacu of LIÁ Cultivators feels “delighted and very proud” of LIÁ’s ranking as the world’s best extra virgin olive oil from the Koroneiki olive variety, as well as one of the EVOOs of the Year. She believes LIÁ’s high scores in the EVOO World Ranking for the last four years show “how accurate and good a job LIÁ Cultivators do.” Even so, Stribacu emphasizes, “we still have to work very hard in order to successfully meet our future goals,” with nonstop attention to “every single detail every moment, every day.” The secrets to their success: “our land, our trees, our love, our passion, our expertise, our team, our partners, and foremost our creative spirit, which never stops learning!

With his Syllektikon EVOO with Orange, Lemon, and Thyme ranked 2nd in the world for Flavored Olive Oil, and his Fyllikon ranked among the best Koroneikis, George Sakellaropoulos of Sakellaropoulos Organic Farming feels this recognition “is a great honor,” both “personally as a producer as well as for my country, Greece.” For him, “the key factor” for success is this: “I love what I do, and I do it with great joy and satisfaction,” focusing on “producing high quality olive oil that provides health benefits as well as great flavor.” Moreover, Sakellaropoulos is “always interested in creating new and innovative products, through trial and error, never giving up and always looking ahead.” This includes extra healthy organic table olives that have produced “astonishing results” in research studies.

Commenting on the ranking of Mani Bläuel Greek Organic as the world’s third best EVOO from the Koroneiki variety and one of the EVOOs of the Year, Silvia Lazzari of Friedrich Bläuel & Co Ltd reported to Greek Liquid Gold that her company always aims for “the best possible quality from all points of view: low acidity, top sensory qualities,” and “the healthiest possible product,” with its excellent properties preserved “all year round through ideal storage conditions.” They attain this result through “patience and perseverance,” as well as “good communications and mutually supportive partnerships with all parties involved in production, bottling, and distribution of olive oil,” and with satisfied customers.

Lazzari recommends such a focus on relationships, support, and communication for other companies as well. Jordan encourages everyone to remain “honest and straightforward.” Stribacu reminds producers that “extra virgin olive oil does not mean only low acidity, but also the right organoleptic characteristics,” so that “it is important to have an accredited laboratory do a sensorial analysis.” In all cases, it is clear that hard work and dedication to quality contribute to Greek olive oil companies’ success.


GREEK EVOOs OF THE YEAR 2017

  • Jordan Olivenoel GMBH / Jordan Olivenoel Natives Bio / Blend    
  • LIÁ Cultivators / LIÁ Premium / Koroneiki      
  • Hellenic Agricultural Enterprises Ltd / ACAIA / Kolovi    
  • Friedrich Bläuel & Co Ltd / Mani Bläuel Greek Organic / Koroneiki    
  • Greka Icons S.A. / Navarino Icons Koroneiki / Koroneiki    
  • Oliorama & Co GP / Oliorama Exclusive Bio PGI Olympia / Koroneiki
  • Kidonakis Bros / Oleum Crete Bio / Koroneiki
  • Olympus Olive Oil / Olympus Olive Oil / Koroneiki
  • Ellindor Private Company / Ellindor / Koroneiki
  • Terra Creta S.A. / Terra Creta Estate Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil / Koroneiki    
  • Olympian Green International S.A. / Olympian Green Oly Oil Traditional / Koroneiki
  • Osis - G. Koropoulis & Sia E.E. / Maleas / Koroneiki
  • Gaea Products S.A. / Gaea Estate Vranas / Blend

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Thanks to Hellenic Agricultural Enterprises Ltd. for the photos from their olive groves in Lesvos.

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