Greek Olive Oils Listed Among Best in the World for 2019

The EVOO World Ranking (EVOOWR) for 2019 reported that Greeks earned 447 awards at 21 international olive oil competitions, capturing 34 classifications as “EVOOs of the Year.” Ranking third after Italy and Spain in the number of awards (and in the average amount of olive oil produced), Greece was particularly notable for its Koroneiki and flavored olive oils.

By Lisa Radinovsky
Greek extra virgin olive oils (EVOOs) dominate the EVOOWR’s list of Best Koroneiki olive oils, claiming all but eight of the top 30 listings and the majority of spots on the list. The Koroneiki olive variety is the type most commonly used to make olive oil in Greece. Greece also claimed eight of the top ten spots for flavored olive oils.

The EVOO World Ranking (EVOOWR) is a classification by the World Association of Journalists and Writers of Wines, Liquors and others (WAWWJ), which ranks award-winning olive oils based on the prizes they win at international olive oil competitions. The WAWWJ rates competitions according to their judgment of the contests’ “importance in the world and area, number of samples, number of countries and impact in major consuming areas of the world.” This judgment determines the weight given to each award, affecting the number of points and the ranking assigned to each olive oil and company.

Classifying the results of 31 of the international olive oil competitions that took place in 2019, the EVOOWR considered 4,965 awarded samples out of the 12,092 samples submitted to international olive oil contests worldwide.

EVOOWR ranked Papadopoulos – Mediterre & Co (previously Papadopoulos Olive Oil) one of the Top Ten olive oil producing organizations in the world and the Best Society from Greece, with 36 awards in nine of the contests considered. EVOOWR’s list of the Top 100 EVOOs of the World for 2019 includes their Mythocia Early Harvest Olympia PGI Organic, Mythocia Omphacium Organic, and Mediterre Alea Organic, with the latter also ranked the Best Koroneiki Worldwide for 2019. Eva Papadopoulou told Greek Liquid Gold that the “passion and devotion” that enable their team to create such premium Greek EVOOs will continue.

Kyklopas Early Harvest, a Makri monovarietal, is the EVOOWR’s top ranked EVOO from Greece and 18th ranked EVOO in the world. According to an “ecstatic” Valia Kelidou, this “is the first time a Greek extra virgin olive oil has been in the top 20 worldwide, and we feel blessed that our hard work is being rewarded!” Kyklopas won 15 awards in 13 contests, placing it among the top ten societies from Greece and the Top 100 in the world. At this family business, says Kelidou, “we have full control of every single stage of the production process – from cultivating the olive grove and extracting the oil at our own mill to bottling on our premises. This way, we are able to guarantee the consistent quality of our oil.”

Another family business, Sakellaropoulos Organic Farming, was ranked the 17th olive oil producing society in the world and the 2nd in Greece, with 23 awards from eight competitions. Their Agourelaio Organic EVOO is among the Top 100 EVOOs (that is, the top 2% of competing olive oils) and the six Best Koroneiki EVOOs in the world. Sakellaropoulos also enabled Greece to dominate the top ten in the list of Best Flavored Olive Oils worldwide, with four of their unique oils listed there, including Gemstone Flavored Aromatic Olive Oil at the very top of the list. As Nikos Sakellaropoulos points out, this is the second year that a Greek olive oil—and one of theirs—earned this prestigious position.

Olympian Green is also listed among the Top 100 olive oil societies in the world, and ranked 4th in Greece, with 19 awards from eight competitions. Their Ktima Louiza Koroneiki Premium Organic and Olympian Green Oly Oil Traditional are among the Top 100 olive oils and the ten Best Koroneikis in the world. As Lefteris Mandrakas told Greek Liquid Gold, using selected olives from Peloponnese, “the production of our excellent EVOO will continue,” offering a large quantity to consumers.

According to EVOOWR, Liokareas is another of the world’s Top 100 societies, ranking 5th in Greece with 14 awards from five competitions. Their Liokareas Wild, Liokareas Early Harvest, and Liokareas Estate Grown Orange are listed among the EVOOs of the Year, with Liokareas Late Harvest Lemon and Estate Grown Orange helping Greece dominate the top ten on the list of the world’s Best Flavored Olive Oils. Based in the USA, but relying on family olive groves in Mani, Peloponnese for five generations, Peter Liokareas explained that they “have a strong passion to continue to improve our process year after year.”

Also one of the world’s Top 100 societies, Terra Creta is among the ten best in Greece, with 17 awards in ten competitions. Terra Creta’s Grand Cru EVOO is one of the Top 100 EVOOs and one of the three Best Koroneiki EVOOs in the world; Terra Creta Estate Organic and Terra Creta Estate PDO Kolymvari are also EVOOs of the Year. Emmanouil Karpadakis reports that their Grand Cru “is the result of a totally new approach to the cultivation, harvesting, and extraction of Koroneiki variety olives. Collaborating closely with farmers and implementing new techniques from the tree to the bottle, we managed to produce a Koroneiki monovarietal EVOO beyond expectation.”

Eftychios Androulakis’s small company Pamako has also exceeded expectations as another Top 100 society worldwide, and among the top ten in Greece. Pamako EVOOs captured 16 awards in eight competitions, with Pamako Premium Mountain Bio Blend and Pamako Premium Mountain Tsounati Bio designated EVOOs of the year, the latter among the world’s 100 best. Androulakis said he is “obsessed with high organoleptic and high phenolic organic EVOO” – extra flavorful, healthy olive oil. He is proud of the results of his years of hard work with ancient trees of the rare Tsounati variety in the mountains of Crete and his continuous “experimentation with inventions from the olive groves to the olive mill and the bottling plant.”

Ziro Early Harvest Organic was ranked a Top 100 EVOO, the world’s 2nd Best Koroneiki, and the 4th best EVOO in Greece. George Proestakis attributes Ziro olive oil’s consistently high quality to hard work and persistence, up-to-date techniques and equipment, and continuing education. As Proestakis noted, “we produce a pure product free of anything harmful to humans and nature, like what you would feed a baby. There is no trace of chemicals at any stage of production,” and “no plastic of any type comes into contact with the final product.” He and his team are committed to offering customers “nothing less than what we’d offer our children.”

Laconiko is one more of the Top 100 societies in the world and top ten in Greece, with 12 awards from eight competitions. Laconiko Koroneiki EVOO is among the Top 100 EVOOs and top four Koroneikis worldwide, and the top six EVOOs in Greece, while Laconiko Olio Nuovo is another EVOO of the Year. As Dino Pierrakos explained to Greek Liquid Gold, “we are grateful for the recognition, but we owe everything to our customers, who have given us their trust and loyalty!” In return, “we invest the time to produce what we promise,” working with Koroneiki olives grown “on the sandy beaches of the southern Peloponnese. We absolutely love what we do!”


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