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Named “Athena International Olive Oil Competition”, the event will take place in Athens on March 21 and 22, 2016 and is the first international olive oil contest in Greece!

Some of the best known authorities in the field worldwide from Italy, Spain, the USA, Germany, Israel, Turkey, Portugal and Tunisia have agreed to participate in the panel of judges. Among them Antonio Lauro, a top international judge, and Alexandra Kicenik Devarenne, an olive oil expert and co-founder of the Extra Virgin Alliance, expressed their support for the initiative to host in Greece a major olive oil competition on a par with those held in New York, Tokyo and Verona.

Open only to branded extra virgin olive oils, the Athena competition is international in terms of both judges and participants. As many as two thirds of the judges will come from abroad, while the organizers expect that non-native producers will account for over 30% of total entries.

The competition was named after the goddess Athena, who, according to myth, gave the city the sacred olive. The venue for the event, the 5-star Electra Palace Hotel in the historic Plaka district of Athens, was chosen so that the judges will have a magnificent view of the Acropolis while assessing entry samples.
acropolis_kariatidesGreece, one of the world’s leading olive oil producers, is by far first in terms of per capita consumption. These facts alone suffice to justify a “Greek” olive oil competition. However, there’s an extra dimension that should be taken into consideration: Greece was the first country in the world to uplift the olive and olive oil into cultural products as well as internationally recognized symbols of its unique cultural heritage.

The competition organizers expect that like great actors who dream of performing at the ancient theater of Epidaurus or top long distance runners who aspire to participate in the classic Marathon run, dedicated olive oil producers dream of the opportunity to compete in the land where everything started.

A widely recognized international competition held annually in Greece can only benefit Greek olive oil:

1. It will effectively contribute towards improving the quality of Greek olive oil production. Awarded olive oils become benchmarks, setting specific quality standards for all olive oil producers. Moreover, a product’s assessment and rating offer producers valuable data to help them evaluate the quality strategy they have adopted.

2. It will decisively contribute towards upgrading the image of Greek olive oil and promoting it globally, not only through the competition’s communication initiatives but also through the judges themselves, who are opinion leaders both in their native lands and the international stage.

3. It will help boost sales of all awarded olive oil brands both in Greece and abroad. Especially in the Greek market, where the consumption of premium olive oils is still at a nascent stage, the competition is expected to play a pivotal role, as was the case with the Thessaloniki International Wine and Spirits competition.

The Athena competition will also include various original and innovative culinary initiatives aimed at establishing a solid brand name and further developing the domestic market for premium olive oils. These initiatives will be announced shortly.

athnaThe 1st Athena International Olive Oil Competition is organized by Vinetum Event Management, a company with considerable experience in handling prestigious exhibitions, conferences, contests and other high profile events. The competition is chaired by Dinos Stergidis, principal owner and CEO of Vinetum, and directed by Maria Katsouli, accredited olive oil connoisseur and first olive oil sommelier in Greece. The panel of judges will be headed by internationally recognized olive oil expert Aliki Gali.

For further information visit our site at or call +30 210 766 0560.
Vinetum Event Management 41 Kareas Ave. GR-16233 Athens | Tel.: +30 210 766 0560 | Email:

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