Terra Creta's olive mill, surrounded by olive groves, with hills and mountains in the background

With 736 olive oils from 26 countries competing at the EVO International Olive Oil Contest (EVO IOOC) in Italy, Greek olive oils from both new and established companies took home 78 awards. Judged by 23 expert tasters from 11 countries, Greek extra virgin olive oils received 53 awards, while Greek flavored olive oils claimed 25 medals at this competition.

Adding to a long line of “Best of Class” awards from various international olive oil competitions, Terra Creta captured the Best of Greece distinction and a gold medal for Terra Creta Platinum 0.3 extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). Terra Creta Grand Cru Koroneiki EVOO and Terra Creta BIO Infusions olive oil with lemon earned additional gold medals for this highly successful, well-established company that exports large quantities of extra virgin olive oil around the world.

Arising from the famously healthy cuisine of the Greek island of Crete, Terra Creta’s extra virgin olive oil merges a long tradition of olive cultivation in Crete with some of the latest technological developments in olive growing and olive oil production. Working closely with dedicated teams of farmers, Terra Creta’s agronomists show olive growers how to follow sustainable farming practices that benefit both the environment and the final product, extra virgin olive oil. The company’s mottos, “life in balance” and “our strength, our people” reflect a philosophy focused on appreciation for the land and for the people who work together to make authentic products that appeal to countless consumers.

A younger company, ootopia, added to their substantial list of prizes this year with three gold medals at the EVO IOOC for their Organic Single Estate Iliokastro (Koroneiki variety), ootopia Manaki, and ootopia Blend Koroneiki & Manaki EVOOs. Thrasivoulos Anastasiadis attributes their success to “sustainable growing practices to support the environment and minimize our carbon footprint,” as well as a team of people who are “passionate about olive oil, with proven professional track records.”

With roots in both Greece and Italy, ootopia cultivates Greek, Italian and Spanish olive varieties on their estate in the hills of Ermioni, Peloponnese. There, they plan to build their own olive mill in the coming year to “welcome our friends, further and deepen our knowledge of the earth and its treasures, and train a community of connoisseurs.” As Anastasiadis told Greek Liquid Gold, they are “so proud of our product but more so of our people, our dedication, our dream, our vision!”

Laconiko, another proud company with olive groves in Peloponnese, captured an impressive 4 gold medals and 5 silvers, including a gold for their extra virgin olive oil and 3 more for their flavored oils. The olives for these oils are grown in a sandy grove near the sea in Trinisa, Laconia in southeastern Peloponnese. As Dino Pierrakos explained, today “Laconians are very proud people, like the ancient Spartans” who lived in the area long ago. “This mindset, along with our father’s teachings of hard work, honesty, and dedication to the craft, is what drives the Laconiko family to always strive for excellence.”

As Pierrakos informed Greek Liquid Gold, “none of our achievements would be possible without the support of our customers, who give us the courage to continue the hard work required to attain excellence; the amazing family of Jimmy Tsaconis, who help maintain the Laconiko olive groves when we are traveling back and forth from Greece to the United States; and our mother and father, with their love and everything they instilled in us.”

Sakellaropoulos Organic Farms, another family business in the area of Sparta, Laconia, is celebrating 13 medals from EVO IOOC this year--3 golds and 10 silvers--for both their extra virgin olive oils and their creatively flavored olive oils. In addition to winning a gold medal, their Masterpiece Blend, which mixes the oil from three olive varieties (Koroneiki, Athinoelia and Koutsouroelia) with pimento, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon for a truly unique flavor, was a finalist for a Best in Class award.

Nikos Sakellaropoulos explained that their “specialized production comes from a single estate,” reflecting the “very specific terroir of our own organic olive groves. This provides our olive products and especially our gourmet and organic olive oils with the signature of the Laconian land and of our own terroir.” Sakellaropoulos credits his company’s record-breaking success at numerous international competitions (with 480 awards, and counting) to that terroir and their use of their “specialized expertise” in cultivation, production, and blending.  

Devoted solely to flavored olive oils, Pellas Nature added 4 gold medals to their long list of awards. Pellas Nature Oregano Olive Oil was also a finalist for a Best in Class award. As Ioanna Diamanti told Greek Liquid Gold, “we use premium EVOO in our products, carefully selected and tested,” a well as selecting aromatic plants with great care. “We collect the plants at their maximum bioactivity, and we process them fresh the same day.”

Diamanti adds that for the team at Pellas Nature, “learning never ends, as every year there is something new.” She attributes her company’s success to teamwork that spans the cultivation of olive trees and aromatic plants, the production process, and quality tests. “It is critical that all these people are committed to the company procedures and cooperate smoothly. This needs a certain work mentality and attentive management.” Pellas Nature has achieved this, and “we are grateful to each and every one” of the individuals behind the company’s award-winning products.

Although their names may not be known, it takes many dedicated people in various parts of Greece to produce and bottle the high quality Greek olive oils that win awards at international competitions, then brighten the meals of consumers across the planet.

Greek Gold Medal Winners at the 2022 Edition of the EVO IOOC

Best of Greece

Terra Creta Platinum 0.3 EVOO

Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oils with Gold Medals

  • ootopia Blend Koroneiki & Manaki
  • enKardia EVOO Ultra Premium 
  • One & Olive Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Terra Creta Koroneiki Grand Cru Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ootopia Organic Koroneiki Single Estate Iliokastro
  • LIÁ
  • Konos - Premium Edition
  • ootopia Manaki
  • Eleonas MONASTIC
  • OLIX OIL Koroneiki Premium
  • Skoutari
  • ena ena Ultra Superior PGI Olympia
  • Olvia Extra Virgin Organic Olive Oil
  • Mavroudis Monovarietal Lianelia Extra virgin olive oil
  • Konos - Filoso
  • Liokareas Early Harvest
  • Laconiko
  • Oilove limited EVOO
  • Terra Creta Platinum 0.3 EVOO

Greek Flavored Olive Oils with Gold Medals

  • Laconiko Lime 
  • MASTERPIECE Blend - Flavored with Pimento, Cloves, Nutmeg and Cinnamon
  • GEMSTONE Blend - Flavored with Ginger, Lime and Basil
  • Pellas Nature Basil Olive Oil
  • Mavroudis Gourmet Chilli
  • Terra Creta BIO Infusion with lemon
  • Pellas Nature Oregano Olive Oil
  • Laconiko Blood Orange
  • Laconiko Lemon
  • SYLLEKTIKON Gourmet – Flavored with Orange, Lemon and Thyme
  • Pellas Nature Green Chili Olive Oil
  • Mavroudis Gourmet Lemon
  • Pellas Nature Lemon Olive Oil
  • Olive Breeze Herbs and Spices

For the Greek silver medal winners see the EVO IOOC Results page, and search by country, then by EVOO or flavored olive oil.

Thanks to Terra Creta 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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