a Terra Creta employee next to stainless steel equipment in the olive mill

At the sixth edition of the EVO International Olive Oil Competition (EVO IOOC) in Italy, 112 Greek olive oils were awarded for their excellent flavors and aromas. Terra Creta’s Grand Cru Koroneiki Extra Virgin Olive Oil was ranked Best of Greece, while Sakellaropoulos Organic Farms’ Enigma Gourmet was judged the contest’s Best International Flavored Oil.

Founded in 2016 by Antonio Lauro, the EVO IOOC attracted 704 entries from 30 countries this year – 43% more olive oils than in 2020. Of these, 142 of the extra virgin olive oils (EVOOs) and flavored olive oils came from Greece. After four in-person tasting days that complied with COVID-19 precautionary recommendations, the 20 international judges awarded prizes to 79% of the Greek entries. (See below for a list of the Greek EVOOs that won Gold Medals.)

The Best of Greece award winner, Terra Creta Koroneiki Grand Cru Extra Virgin Olive Oil, has been enjoying a triumphant year on many fronts. Its recognition has included Best of Greece awards at the Zurich IOOC in Switzerland and ESAO in Spain, and an especially impressive First Prize in the “mild green fruitiness” category at the prestigious Mario Solinas Quality Award

As Terra Creta’s Emmanouil Karpadakis told Greek Liquid Gold, their “Grand Cru is not just a product, not just a label with extra virgin olive oil inside. It’s a holistic approach to cultivation, extraction, and communication of a philosophy of producing superior extra virgin olive oil” that involves many people and special techniques developed during a three-year (and ongoing) project.

At the EVO IOOC, Terra Creta also captured 3 Gold Medals for their extra virgin olive oils. In addition to the Grand Cru, Terra Creta Organic EVOO and Terra Creta 42 Premium Blend EVOO won Golds. This is another continuation of a trend: Terra Creta Organic also earned Best of Greece distinctions at the BIOL competition in Italy and EVOOLEUM in Spain. The company’s 42 Premium Blend is noteworthy in a different way: it is a combination of oil from a surprising number of olive varieties – 42 cultivars grown in experimental olive groves in Crete.

According to Karpadakis, “for Terra Creta, true quality in significant volume is a primary goal, mainly for two reasons. First to motivate and reward all the people involved, from the tree to the olive oil, and second to cover the demands of the actual market – retailers that are willing to work with products of exceptional quality. This year, we have seen that it is possible to produce such quality and quantity, and we are happy that we have already seen a positive response from the market.”

Greek olive oil companies also stand out in the popular category of flavored oils, with the naturally flavored Enigma Gourmet olive oil judged the Best International Flavored Oil at this year’s EVO IOOC. Part of Sakellaropoulos Organic Farms’ innovative Olive Oil Jewels series, Enigma is a unique combination of Koroneiki variety extra virgin olive oil with cinnamon, apple, walnuts, honey, sage, and lemon. Also the winner of a Platinum Award at the 2021 Berlin Global Olive Oil Awards, Enigma has captured more than 23 prizes.

This is only a fraction of the Sakellaropoulos family’s success. At the EVO IOOC, they took home a total of 14 awards: in addition to the Best Flavored Oil, they won 6 Golds and 3 Silvers for their flavored oils, as well as 4 Silvers for their organic EVOOs. Aside from Enigma, the following distinctive flavored olive oils captured Golds: Majestic, Syllektikon, Oleoastron, Enstagma Saffron & Rosemary, and Enstagma Saffron & Sage. Sakellaropoulos Organic Farms’ record-breaking award count has surpassed 300—more than any other Greek single-estate olive and olive oil producer.

Nick Sakellaropoulos believes his family’s organic farms in Sparta, Laconia, Peloponnese give their olive oils a particular character, “providing them with superior organoleptic and health beneficial properties.” Asked about his company’s success in this difficult time, Sakellaropoulos told Greek Liquid Gold, “our commitment to top quality olive oils and table olives cannot be affected by any pandemic. We stay constantly focused on our production, applying only the best practices, keeping our standards very high.”

Even in the face of the past year’s challenges, a large number of Greek olive oil companies succeeded in staying focused on the attainment of high quality. Long lists of awards at various international competitions show that many professional judges deemed the results of their efforts impressive.

Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oils with Gold Medals at EVO IOOC in 2021

(For EVOOs with Silver medals and award-winning flavored olive oils, select “Greece” in place of "Worldwide" on the EVO IOOC website.) 

Jordan Olivenöl GmbH – Jordan Bio Olivenöl - Nativ Extra – Kolovi, Adramitiani
Jordan Olivenöl GmbH – Jordan Olivenöl - Nativ Extra – Kolovi, Adramitiani     
Liá – Liá – Koroneiki   
Garofallos Dimitris – Marmaro – Chalkidiki     
Terra Creta SA – Terra Creta Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Koroneiki     
Terra Creta SA – Terra Creta 42 Premium Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Arbequina, Athinolia, Koroneiki, Maronia, and more
Terra Creta SA – Terra Creta Koroneiki Grand Cru Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Koroneiki
Enkardia – Enkardia – Koroneiki     
Kanakis Ilias Partnership – Kanakis Family – Koroneiki     
Anagnostopoulos A & Co. – One & Olive Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Koroneiki
Kidonakis Bros GP – Ellora Farms Organic PDO Messara – Koroneiki     
Kidonakis Bros GP – Ellora Farms PDO Messara – Koroneiki     
Kidonakis Bros GP – Oleum Crete PDO Messara – Koroneiki     
Olive Mill "Alexandros" Voukoureslis Nikolaos SA – Alexandros "Black Edition" – Makri
Friedrich Bläuel & Co. Ltd. – Mani Greek Gold Olivenöl Nativ Extra – Koroneiki     
Elettra – Elettra – Koroneiki     
Lapithas Elaioyrgiki SA – Lapithas – Koroneiki     
Hellenic Agricultural Enterprises – L & Ko Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Kolovi     
Hellenic Agricultural Enterprises – Aeolian Olive Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Kolovi
Hellenic Agricultural Enterprises – Aeolian Olive Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Kolovi     
Hellenic Agricultural Enterprises – Acaia Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Kolovi   
Olympian Green International SA – Stadion PGI Olympia – Kolireiki, Koroneiki     
Olympian Green International SA – Louiza Estate Organic – Koroneiki     
Olympian Green International SA – Oly Oil Organic – Koroneiki     
Olympian Green International SA – Oly Oil Traditional – Koroneiki     
Hellenic Fields Ltd. – Ena Ena Pure Drop PGI Olympia – Koroneiki     
Hellenic Fields Ltd. – Ena Ena Ultra Superior PGI Olympia – Koroneiki     
Kyklopas Elaiotriveio Argyri Kelidi SA – Kyklopas Ages PDO Makris – Makri     
Mediterre Eurofood SA – Mediterre Olymp Olympia PGI – Kolireiki, Koroneiki     
Mediterre Eurofood SA – Mediterre Olymp Olympia PGI Organic – Kolireiki, Koroneiki
Mediterre Eurofood SA – Mediterre Lena – Koroneiki, Manaki     
Mediterre Eurofood SA – Mediterre Alea – Koroneiki     
Mediterre Eurofood SA – Mediterre Omphacium – Olympia     
Mediterre Eurofood SA – Mediterre Omphacium Organic – Olympia     
Olix Oil MEPE – Olix Oil Nate Authentic Taste Pure Koroneiki/Manaki Variety – Koroneiki, Manaki     
Olix Oil MEPE – Olix Oil Nate Authentic Taste Pure Manaki Variety – Manaki     
Olix Oil MEPE – Olix Oil Nate Authentic Taste Pure Koroneiki Variety – Koroneiki     
Olix Oil MEPE – Olix Oil Nate Pure Health with High Polyphenolic Content – Koroneiki
Olix Oil MEPE – Eleonas Vatopediou Bio Distributed by Olix Oil – Koroneiki     
Olix Oil MEPE – Olix Oil Nate Authentic Taste Premium Quality – Koroneiki     
Olix Oil MEPE – Olix Oil Koroneiki – Koroneiki     
MB Eleon Single Member PC – Ootopia – Koroneiki     
Nikolaos Ailamakis and Sia OEE – Terra Zakros – Koroneiki   


Thanks to Terra Creta and Sakellaropoulos Organic Farms for the photos.

All businesses, organizations, and competitions involved with Greek olive oil, the Mediterranean diet, and/or agrotourism or food tourism in Greece, as well as others interested in supporting Greeks working in these sectors, are invited to take advantage of the advertising and sponsorship opportunities on the Greek Liquid Gold: Authentic Extra Virgin Olive Oil website. The only wide-ranging English-language site focused on news and information from the Greek olive oil world, it has helped companies reach consumers in more than 215 countries around the globe.

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