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New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards

12 October, 2004

New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards, 2004

Wairarapa's Molive Gold olive oil took the Best In Show award at this year's New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards held in Napier last weekend.

The fifty-five oils from around New Zealand won between them, 25 gold medals, 29 silver and two bronze, across Boutique and Commercial classes. Regionally, Marlborough led with 16 medals from 10 groves, then Nelson with 12 medals from 8 groves and Wairarapa with 11 medals from 5 groves.

On the judging panel was internationally recognised and professional olive oil taster Roberto Zecca. Zecca grows and produces oil both in Tuscany and in California. This was his third year judging the New Zealand Awards.

Zecca said New Zealand growers were producing truly world class extra virgin olive oils.

"New Zealand must do everything possible to protect and develop this young industry," he said. "Having made such a spectacular start over the last several years and with the right development strategies, this industry will continue to produce high quality product, gain more and more recognition and dramatically increase its economic value."

NZ Benchmarked Against the Best

Head of the judging panel and Leader of the ONZ Sensory Panel, Margaret Edwards said Olives New Zealand was lucky to have access to someone of Zecca's judging here.

"He has for many years judged the very best olive oils in the world" and is so keen to come here", she said. "This allows us to benchmark our oils against international oils and be judged on the same terms"

The Annual New Zealand olive oil awards were the highlight of the Olives New Zealand Conference held in Napier last weekend. 24 gold, 29 silver and 2 bronze medals were awarded to extra virgin olive oils entered from all around the country.

Thorough Pre-Show Screening

All the oils entered were first certified by the Olives NZ Sensory Taste Panel based at the department of Sensory Science at HortResearch in Auckland. Certification involves a chemical analysis and a sensory test by the panel that is trained to International Olive Oil Council standards. Oils that were certified as extra virgin were then entered into the Awards.

The judging, by eight trained judges was done strictly in accordance to International Olive Oil Council (IOOC) standards - so the results confirm that New Zealand olive oil is of a standard that reaches the very top in the world. Sponsorship by HortResearch allowed the judging to be carried out in their sensory science facility, ideal for holding this type of event.

Earlier this year at the "Olive Oils of the World"competition in Los Angeles, the world's foremost contest, 17 New Zealand oils were entered and all won medals. This was doubly impressive because olive oil is at its very best when totally fresh. However at the L.A. competition, timed to suit northern hemisphere countries, our oils were from the previous season and already 10 months old. NZ was the only country in the world where all the entries won medals.

Full List of Winners from 2004 New Zealand Awards

Boutique Class

GOLD MEDAL Molive Gold Wairarapa (Best in Show) Kerner Estate Marlborough Stone Valley (2) Wairarapa Frogs End (2) Nelson Antipode Marlborough Pahoia Estate Bay of Plenty Mataitai Grove Waiheke Mt Heslington Olives Nelson Stone Valley Wairarapa Cairnmuir Central Otago Echo Valley (2) Northland

SILVER MEDAL Kilrae (3) Wairarapa Kowhai Close Waiheke San Dona Canterbury Creekside Marlborough Echo Olives (2) Marlborough Ellsgrove Hawkes Bay Liberty Ridge Marlborough Lot 8 (2) Wairarapa Matiatia Grove Waiheke Vigarano Estate Marlborough Villagrove Nelson Frogs End Nelson Green Ridge Estate Marlborough Stone Valley Wairarapa

BRONZE MEDAL Landfall Estate Marlborough

Commercial Class

GOLD MEDAL Awatere River (2)Marlborough Oriwa Nelson Tussock Marlborough Matapiro (2) Hawkes Bay Waimata Gisborne Serendipity (2) Marlborough Elovi Nelson Supplejack Estate Nelson

SILVER MEDAL Kapiti Olives Kapiti Awatere River Marlborough Elovi (2) Nelson Mahana Nelson Moutere Grove Nelson SIMU Auckland Te Arai Oliveti Matapiro (2) Hawkes Bay Tussock Marlborough

BRONZE MEDAL Olivo Wairarapa

ENDS

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