Italy and Brazil shine at the 7th EVO-IOOC in Campi Flegrei
The awards ceremony for the seventh EVO International Olive Oil Competition (EVO-IOOC) took place in the enchanting setting of the Aragonese Castle of Baia in Bacoli last month.
Several olive oil producers from around the world traveled to the heart of Campi Flegrei, west of Naples, to attend the event that concluded this year’s edition of the competition led by Antonio G. Lauro .
Comments from our experienced tasters have been quite unanimous: in recent years, the quality of the oils has generally improved.
“Not only is the number of participants increasing, but the quality of extra virgin olive oils has improved,” said Lauro, president of the competition, before introducing all the finalists and announcing the winners of the main prizes: best of country, best in class, and best international 2022 for the northern and southern hemispheres.
A total of 516 distinctions were awarded, including gold and silver medals.
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During the week leading up to the event, an international panel of 23 judges evaluated 736 samples, including 676 extra virgin olive oils and 60 flavored olive oils, from 26 countries.
Most entries come from Italy, which accounted for 25% of the total. It was followed by Greece (16%), Turkey (15%), Spain (9%) and Brazil (8%).
“Some countries participated in EVO-IOOC this year for the first time,” said Managing Director Stefania Reggio. “We have to say that the producers in these emerging production areas are doing a very good job in terms of quality.
According to data collected by the organizers, more than half of the extra virgin olive oils submitted are monovarietal, while blends represent 46% of the total.
Olive oils with a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) or Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) from the European Union account for 15% of total submissions, and just over 23% are certified organic.
“Evaluating so many great products was not an easy task,” Lauro said. “Comments from our experienced tasters have been quite unanimous: in recent years, the quality of the oils has generally improved.
“I think this is a sign that international competitions have raised the bar higher and higher, contributing strongly to pushing producers globally towards excellence,” he added.
Among the big winners was Superbo, a blend of Itrana and Moraiolo olives produced in Lazio by Americo Quattrociocchi, which took home the top international prize for the northern hemisphere.
The Brazilian farm, Azeite Milonga, has conquered the southern hemisphere with its monovarietal Arbequina.
“I am so happy for this recognition,” said owner Christian Vogt at the awards ceremony. “It was a big surprise since the creation of our company in 2019, and it was our first participation in a contest.
Upon receiving the award, he recalled his first encounter with Lauro a few years ago at the Olive Oil Times sommelier course in New York.
“He was our teacher, I told him about the difficulties of the Brazilian soil and our work in the grove, and he told me, ‘Go ahead, what you’re doing is right and will yield great results,” Vogt said. “These words of encouragement have materialized in this success.
The full list of winners can be viewed on the EVO-IOOC website. The EVO-IOOC Edition 2022/23 paper guide will soon be published and available for buyers, consumers and lovers of extra virgin olive oil.