Olea Groves landscape with olive groves, hills, and sea

Competing with 658 extra virgin olive oils (EVOOs) from 371 producers representing 19 countries, Greek EVOOs took home numerous quality and design awards at this year’s Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition. Several of the top Greek winners explained what this means to them and how they managed to produce such excellent olive oils. 

OleaJuice earned a Gold Medal for their delicate OleaJuice Red, a Silver Medal for their robust OleaJuice Black with Cool Center, and a Bronze medal for their delicate OleaJuice Pink, all from the Peloponnese. They also captured a Silver Design Award for their series of changing designs that carry a theme or brand identity across several cultivars. Ritsi Frances told Greek Liquid Gold he values these awards since they reassure his team that they are “all doing a good job.”

As always, the OleaJuice team irrigated their Manaki and Koroneiki trees, “looking after each olive tree all year round, hand picking and sorting, harvesting at the right time before the rain starts in October.” Frances believes they are “the only company that peels the skin and removes the pits from each olive,” so that any pesticides brought to their unsprayed trees by the winds will not get into their EVOO. They extract oil from their olives at the unusually low temperature of 19 degrees Celsius and control the entire process, “from the tree to … the sales!”

Papadopoulos Olive Oil won a Gold Medal for their Mythocia Olympia PGI Early Harvest and a Silver Medal for their Mythocia Olympia PGI Organic Koroneiki, both medium intensity EVOOs. Having already won two Extra Golds at Biolnovello in Italy, Konstantinos Papadopoulos says his team is “excited about winning two more awards for this harvesting season.”

Papadopoulos adds, “but for us, participating in competitions and winning are a way to prove to our customers and consumers our stability in quality year after year, and to offer them some of the best olive oils in the world.” A dedicated team of farmers and their own olive oil extraction and packaging facilities give Papadopoulos Olive Oil control of all phases of production, allowing them to oversee every detail. Papadopoulos credits his team’s passion, knowledge, and technical expertise for their olive oil’s excellence and their growing list of awards.

Oliorama captured a Gold Medal for the medium Oliorama Exclusive PGI Olympia and a Silver Medal for the medium Oliorama Exclusive Bio-Organics PGI Olympia. Maria Spiliakopoulou tries to enter her EVOOs in as many competitions as possible in order to increase consumers’ awareness of her products in as many different countries as she can, and the result is an impressive collection of awards after just a few years.

Before competing, Oliorama follows the advice of scientists to produce the healthiest possible olives, to harvest them properly, and to extract their oil in the best way, with careful attention to every step in olive oil production. “We insist on quality, no matter what.” Spiliakopoulou believes quality will determine the future of Greek olive oil. To her, every effort is worth it, because “Greek extra virgin olive oil deserves it.”

Yanni’s Olive Grove collected a Silver Medal for quality and a Gold Color and Type Design Award for their medium Yanni’s Family Chalkidiki Early Harvest EVOO, as well as a Bronze Medal for quality and a Silver Design Award in the Olive Branch category for their medium Yanni’s Finest Wild Chalkidiki Early Harvest EVOO. Evi Psounou Prodromou considers awards like these “the greatest reward for all the efforts of the previous year” as well as “the best sales credentials and excellent quality introductions for our EVOOS.”

Prodromou told Greek Liquid Gold that her team both follows the rules of the International Olive Council and tries to improve “by applying innovative cultivation practices.” During the past three years, Yanni’s was the first to apply the “Gaia Sense” intelligent agriculture practices to olive groves, and Prodromou explains that “gave us the opportunity to reduce our EVOO prices and to increase their quality.” Prodromou reports, “We look only ahead! This is the most difficult way to the top, but we try to learn as much as we can from the scientific community and from leaders in the olive oil business. Education is the key to success, and a strong will is the true power that keeps a person going.”

The “public unveiling – and tasting” of the winners will take place on Saturday, June 23 at Cheers, Los Angeles’s wine, spirits, beer, and food festival, in Pomona, California. See the complete list of Greek olive oil quality awards below.


LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL COMPETITION 2018

GREEK WINNERS (Olive Oil Quality)

Awards By Country – Greece

(in alphabetical order by producer’s name)

LACONIKO
Bronze Medal Delicate, Koroneiki, Olio Nuovo, Peloponnese

LIOKAREAS
Bronze Medal Flavored, Lemon, Late Harvest Kalamata

MAKARIA TERRA
Silver Medal Medium, Koroneiki, Messina

MER DES OLIVIERS DE DELPHES
Bronze Medal Robust, Amfissis, Greece 2017

MYTHOCIA OLYMPIA PGI
Gold Medal Medium, Early Harvest, Olympia PGI 2018

MYTHOCIA OLYMPIA PGI
Silver Medal Medium, Organic Koroneiki, Olympia PGI 2018

NEOLEA
Bronze Medal Delicate, Koroneiki, Greece

OLEAJUICE
Gold Medal Delicate, Red, Peloponnese

OLEAJUICE
Silver Medal Robust, Black with Cool Center, Peloponnese

OLEAJUICE
Bronze Medal Delicate, Pink, Peloponnese

OLIORAMA EXCLUSIVE
Gold Medal Medium, PGI Olympia 2017

OLIORAMA EXCLUSIVE
Silver Medal Medium, Bio-Organics, PGI Olympia 2017

OLYMPIAN GREEN
Bronze Medal Medium, Koroneiki, Traditional, Greece

OLYMPIAN GREEN
Bronze Medal Robust, Koroneiki, Greece

THE KOTSONIS ESTATE
Silver Medal Medium, 3000 BC, Greece 2017

YANNI'S FAMILY
Silver Medal Medium, Chalkidiki, Early Harvest, Greece

YANNI'S FINEST
Bronze Medal Medium, Wild Chalkidiki, Early Harvest, Greece


Awards by Division Class

(including those listed above, in the appropriate categories, with design awards noted parenthetically where appropriate)

Greece, Mono Cultivar

SILVER MEDAL
Hellenic Fields Medium, Pure Drop, PGI Olympia 2018
Makaria Terra Medium, Koroneiki, Messina
Mythocia Olympia PGI Medium, Organic Koroneiki, Olympia PGI 2018
The Kotsonis Estate Medium, 3000 BC, Greece 2017
Yanni's Family Medium, Chalkidiki, Early Harvest, Greece [Design award: Gold - Color & Type]

BRONZE MEDAL
1000 Horia Medium, Koroneiki, Messinia
Ktima Louiza Medium, Koroneiki, Premium Organic, Greece [Design award: Bronze - Design Standard]
Laconiko Delicate, Koroneiki, Olio Nuovo, So Peloponnese
Mer des Oliviers de Delphes Robust, Amfissis, Greece 2017
Olympian Green Robust, Koroneiki, Greece
Olympian Green Medium, Koroneiki, Traditional, Greece
Yanni's Finest Medium, Wild Chalkidiki, Early Harvest, Greece [Design award: Silver - Olive Branch]

Greece, Blends

GOLD MEDAL

Mythocia Olympia PGI Medium, Early Harvest, Olympia PGI 2018
OleaJuice Delicate, Red, Peloponnese [Design award: Silver – Series]
Oliorama Exclusive Medium, PGI Olympia 2017

SILVER MEDAL

ALSEA Medium, Classic, Greece
OleaJuice Robust, Black with Cool Center, Peloponnese [Design award: Silver – Series]
Oliorama Exclusive Medium, Bio-Organics, PGI Olympia 2017

BRONZE MEDAL
OleaJuice Delicate, Pink, Peloponnese [Design award: Silver – Series]

Greece, Islands Mono Cultivar

BRONZE MEDAL
Acaia Medium, Kolovi, Lesvos
Neolea Delicate, Koroneiki, Greece [Design award: Silver – Traditional]

Greece, Islands Blends

GOLD MEDAL
Jordan Olivenoel Delicate, Bio, Nativ Extra, Lesvos

Flavored Oils: Lemon

BRONZE MEDAL
Liokareas Flavored, Lemon, Late Harvest Kalamata

Flavored Blends

SILVER MEDAL
Ariston Specialties Flavored, Pesto, Greece
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Thanks to Yanni’s Olive Grove for the introductory photo and to OleaJuice for the large photo at the top of the article.

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