In terms of winning percentages, 52 percent of Portugal’s entries won awards; 50 percent from Spain; 47 percent from Italy; and 45 percent from the United States.
Greece had 128 entries, but won awards for about 15 percent of its entries. Three olive oils from Mexico won gold medals, out of six entries, while all of Slovenia’s entries were awarded.
Parlaying awards from an international olive oil competition is one way small producers who are producing excellent high quality oils can set themselves apart from mass-produced olive oils.
Some producers in the competition have been in business for a long time, for example Badia a Coltibuono, which was the first Tuscan extra-virgin olive oil to be introduced to the U.S. market, over 30 years ago.
Others are relative newcomers, such as Casa 3 Danesi, from Tuscany, which is in its second year of production and first year of selling. Owners Henrik and Gioanna Brorson, who won a gold medal for the oil, produced about 150 liters, or about 33 cases, last year.
Though based in Miami, they fell in love with Tuscany some years ago, she said, and decided to purchase a farm whose small-scale olive oil production goes back to 1790.
They have aimed their sales at restaurants and high-end retailers, currently selling their olive oil in Denmark, where they are from, and two Italian restaurants in Miami.
“This is our passion, we love to do this and it is not only a way of making money,” said Gioanna.Italy won the most Best in Class Olive Oil awards, followed by Spain and Australia,