New Zealand’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards

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Winners in New Zealand’s most prestigious competition for olive oil were announced last night at a formal dinner held at Parliament in Wellington and hosted by MP Paul Foster-Bell.

Robinsons Bay Olives from Akaroa took out the 2016 Best in Show as well as Best in Class in the Commercial Medium Blends Class at the New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Awards, run by Olives New Zealand, the national organisation for olive oil growers.

The Old N’Olive Grove Partnership from Wairarapa won the Best in Boutique Category for growers who produce less than 250 litres of certified extra virgin olive oil, as well as Best in Class in the Boutique Intense Single Varietal Class with their Rockbottom Grove Picual.

Best Flavoured Oil was won By Juno Olives, for the second year running, this year with their Juno Blood Orange Olive Oil.

Medals were spread across New Zealand’s growing regions with 55 going to Wairarapa, 16 to Kapiti, 12 to Canterbury, 11 to Hawke’s Bay, 9 to Nelson, 8 each to Auckland and Northland, 4 each to Waiheke Island and Bay of Plenty and 1 to Central Otago. This equated to 17 Gold Medals, 62 Silver Medals and 49 Bronze Medals, a total of 128 medals.

The judging panel of six trained and experienced international and New Zealand olive oil tasters praised both of the top winning oils. They said “Robinsons Bay RB2 is a delightfully fruity oil, well balanced on the nose and palate. A highly complex yet harmonious oil. Rockbottom Grove Picual was also fresh and fruity and well balanced. ”

Robinsons Bay Olives is owned by Chris and Annette Moore. It is a medium sized grove of approximately 1,000 trees established in 1994. This is the 4th occasion in 5 years that Robinsons Bay has won the supreme award, an outstanding result. They have been consistent medal winners at other previous Awards.

The Head Judge, Reni Hildenbrand from South Africa commented on the quality of the oils entered in New Zealand’s top olive oil awards. She said “I have been involved in the assessment of olive oils at international competitions this year, as well as the national competition in South Africa. The oils entered in the New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards are some of the best Extra Virgin Olive Oils I have tasted this season.”

As a condition of entry all entrants must have been formally assessed as Extra Virgin Olive Oil and carry the OliveMark. Consumers can thus be assured that New Zealand olive oil displaying the red OliveMark has met the strict standards for Olives New Zealand Certification; it is certified as extra virgin, is packaged and labelled appropriately and an authentic New Zealand product. A further mark of excellence is a medal from the Olives New Zealand Awards.

For a full list of results see http://www.olivesnz.org.nz/awards/
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