New Zealand’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards
New Zealand’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards – Top Honours Announced
Winners in New Zealand’s most prestigious competition for olive oil were announced last night at a formal dinner at Parliament, Wellington.
Loopline Olives from Masterton took out the 2014 Best in Show as well as Best in Class in the Commercial Medium Single Varietal Class at the New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Awards, run by Olives New Zealand, the national organisation for olive oil growers.
Old French Road Olive Grove from Akaroa won the Best in Boutique Category for growers who produce less than 250 litres of certified extra virgin olive oil as well as Best in Class in the Boutique Intense Blends Class with their Old French Road Blend. They also won Best in Class in the Boutique Intense Single Varietal Class with their Old French Road Frantoio Medals were spread across New Zealand’s growing regions with 30 going to Wairarapa, 13 to Kapiti, 10 to Auckland, 5 each to Canterbury and Northland, 4 to Nelson, 2 each to Bay of Plenty, Marlborough and Waiheke Island and 1 to Hawke’s Bay. This equated to 11 Gold Medals, 57 Silver Medals and 6 Bronze Medals, a total of 74 medals.
The judging panel of six trained and experienced international and New Zealand olive oil tasters praised both of the top winning oils. They said “Loopline Olives Picholine has a striking grassy and herbaceous aroma while Old French Road Blend also has the grassy and herbs aroma but with a sweet fruit and caramel finish. Both oils are well balanced on nose and palate.”
Loopline Olives is owned by Mark and Kate Bunny. It is a medium sized grove of around 900 trees established in 2001 and comprises three varieties. Mark and Kate are first time entrants into the New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards.
Old French Road Olive Grove is owned by Jan Whyte and Niall Holland. It is of similar size and was established in 2002, with half table olive and half oil varieties. Old French Road has been a consistent top medal winner in previous Awards and took out the supreme award of Best in Show in 2009.
The chief international judge, Franca Camurati from Italy, commented on the quality of the oils entered in New Zealand’s top olive oil awards, and expressed admiration at the way in which the awards judging was conducted at Massey University’s Albany Campus.
As a condition of entry all entrants must have been formally assessed as Extra Virgin Olive Oil and carry the OliveMark. Consumers can thus be assured that New Zealand olive oil displaying the red OliveMark has met the strict standards for Olives New Zealand Certification; it is certified as extra virgin, is packaged and labelled appropriately and an authentic New Zealand product. A further mark of excellence is a medal from the Olives New Zealand Awards.