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NZ Olive Oil Makers Notch Up Top Awards In International Olive Oil Competition

Once again six Extra Virgin Olive Oils made by New Zealand growers have taken out top awards at the 2022 New York International Olive Oil Competition. From Wairarapa; Loopline Olives have won two Gold Medals, Blue Earth has won one Gold medal and Dali Olives a Silver. From Kapiti, Totara Tunnel won one Gold and Kapiti Olives won Silver.

With a record of more than 1200 entries from 28 countries the New York competition is considered to be the most prestigious in the world. For six weeks, the results have unfolded in real-time as the judges’ findings were verified progressively. It was the largest olive oil competition ever conducted, thanks to a team of 21 expert tasters in eleven countries who adhered to a remote-judging protocol developed by the NYIOOC. A total of 543 Gold medals and 258 Silver medals were awarded, making a grand total of 801 medals.

Since 2017 Olives New Zealand has selected the top winning entries from the New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards to enter in The New York Competition. Additionally, some producers chose to enter independently. Each year Gold medals have been awarded. Of particular note, Loopline Olives and Blue Earth are multiple Gold winners, Kapiti Olives and Dali Olives have also previously won Gold. For the second time a New Zealand Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil was entered, this time from Totara Tunnel Kapiti. A boutique grove of approximately 550 trees, registered as organic and committed to sustainable growing principles. Of special note is that all of the 2022 NYIOOC Gold medal winners were produced by The Olive Press, New Zealand’s top olive mill for the past eight years.

“The fact that once again the top winning oils from the New Zealand Awards have won Gold medals at the New York Competition is a huge tribute to the calibre of the New Zealand olive oil judging panel. They have been trained to international standard and most have judged internationally. Their outstanding competency is evidenced by their top winners consistently winning in competitions like New York,” said Gayle Sheridan, Executive Officer for Olives New Zealand.

Most of the New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil produced is boutique by nature, with limited quantities available and typically not sold in supermarkets. Gayle Sheridan wants to encourage people to seek out our locally made, world-beating oils; buying directly from growers online, at speciality retail stores, or at farmers markets, where they can meet the grower and taste their superb oils.

“New Zealand has a maritime climate and a different environment from traditional olive-growing countries. Like the New Zealand wine industry, we produce distinctive and complex tasting oils that are suited to a variety of uses. Our olive oil is fresh, and fresh tastes best. We would encourage Kiwis, if they don’t buy New Zealand olive oil already, to try something new, and support our world-class local growers,” says Gayle Sheridan.

She added “People should look for the red OliveMark to ensure they are buying the authentic New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil product. Imported products are not required to meet the same stringent standards, and some New Zealand brands are imported oil that is packaged in New Zealand.”

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