Cretan olive oil competition winners posing at the front of a room full of chairs

In the 8th edition of the Cretan Olive Oil Competition, 56 companies submitted 84 extra virgin olive oils from all over the Greek island of Crete. In the past, many winners have gone on to claim awards in international olive oil contests, so the results of this strict regional competition – with only three awards per category – are considered noteworthy.

The competition’s panel of eight experienced Greek judges was led by the internationally recognized Greek olive oil expert Efi Christopoulou. Responsible for introducing the official olive oil tasting method to Greece decades ago, Christopoulou is a pioneering Greek chemist, olive oil taster, and judge who has worked with the European Union and the International Olive Council.

The Cretan Olive Oil Competition (COOC) is a collaboration among the Region of Crete, the Agri-Food Partnership of the Region of Crete, and the Sensory Evaluation Laboratory of the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives of Rethymno, Crete, where the judging took place. The laboratory’s supervisor, international olive oil competition judge Eleftheria Germanaki, told Greek Liquid Gold this year’s edition of the COOC “was a great success” in terms of both the number of entries and their “overall quality, considering the difficult harvest season we had on the island.”

“For first time this year,” Germanaki revealed, “the competition had two extra categories: a special distinction for all samples above 85 points, and a ‘best of’ per region.” Germanaki explained that most of the entries came from Koroneiki variety olives, with five from Tsounati olives, and one from Throubolia.

Germanaki emphasizes an especially important benefit for the olive oil producers and companies that enter the COOC: they “can benefit from a free personal consultation on the samples they have submitted.” This individualized advice and discussion can help producers understand what the flavor and aroma of their EVOO – its organoleptic profile – can tell them about its quality, and how they can make even better extra virgin olive oil.

 

Top Winners at the 8th Cretan Olive Oil Competition, 2022

Company – Brand name – Olive variety – Origin – Points – Award

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Produced with Conventional Farming

  1. Terra Creta SA – Terra Creta Grand Cru Koroneiki EVOO – Koroneiki – Chania – 92.2 – Gold
  2. Titaki Elisavet – Eliama D.V. Premium EVOO – Koroneiki – Heraklion – 90.8 – Silver
  3. Meletaki Ioanna – Perielaion EVOO – Koroneiki – Heraklion – 88.8 – Bronze

Extra Virgin Olive Oil with PDO or PGI Certification

  1. Renieris – Renieris Estate – Koroneiki – Chania – 90.2 – Gold
  2. Kidonakis Bros. – Oleum Crete PDO Messara – Koroneiki – Heraklion – 89.7 – Silver
  3. Bio Cretan Olive Oil Ltd. Critida – PDO Messara Extra Virgin Olive Oil 0.2 –  Koroneiki – Heraklion – 87.4 – Bronze

Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  1. Stavgianoudakis George – Plakias Premium – Koroneiki – Rethymno – 91.2 – Gold
  2. Terra Creta SA – Terra Creta Organic EVOO – Koroneiki – Chania – 90.7 – Silver
  3. Biositia SA – Theion Elaion Organic PDO Sitia, Lasithi, Crete – Koroneiki – Lasithi – 89.1 – Bronze  

Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil Per Region

  • Chania: Terra Creta Grand Cru
  • Rethymno: Plakias Premium
  • Heraklion: Eliama D.V. Premium
  • Lasithi: Theion Elaion Organic PDO Sitia, Lasithi, Crete

The scores of all EVOOs that received 80 or above can be found in Greek here


Thanks to Eleftheria Germanaki for the photos that appear with this article.

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 consider 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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