Last week, the International Olive Council (COI) hosted the 2013 Mario Solinas Quality Awards ceremony at its headquarters in Madrid to celebrate the winners and runners-up.
These awards recognize efforts by producers, bottlers and distributors to obtain extra virgin olive oils with harmonious qualities and to raise awareness among consumers about the oils' gustatory quality.
At the ceremony, it was announced that the next edition would include a new category, Light Green Fruitiness, and Jean-Louis Barjol, Executive Director of the COI, highlighted that the awards seek to underline the oils’ organoleptic quality and recognize producers' progress in achieving outstanding extra virgin olive oils.
Spanish extra virgin olive oils were the main winners in the competition. In terms of contestant numbers, Spain had 110, Portugal 41, Greece 15, France 4, Tunisia 4, Israel 1, Italy 1 and Uruguay 1. Barjol expects competition to continue to increase in the future.
The COI classified oils according to median intensity of fruitiness (intense green, medium green, and ripe) as established by the panel, which issued a certificate of sensorial analysis.
In the Intense Green Fruitiness category, first prize went to Muela-Olives, by Priego de Córdoba (Córdoba), second prize to S.C.A. Ntra. Sra. de los Remedios, in Jimena (Jaén), and third prize to Venchipa, in Acula (Granada).
In the Medium Green Fruitiness category, the winner was La Inmaculada Concepción, by S.C.A. Oleoestepa, in La Roda de Andalucía (Sevilla). Second place went to Explotaciones Jame, from Villargordo (Jaén) and third place to Agrícola Roda, by S.C.A. Oleoestepa, in La Roda de Andalucía (Sevilla).
In the Ripe Fruitiness category, first prize went to Hacienda Queiles, in Tudela (Navarra), second prize to Camino de Aníbal-Olivar del Azaraque, S.L., in Valencia, and third prize to Sociedade Agrícola Colinas de S. Lourenço, Lda., in Lourenço do Bairro (Portugal).
The winners in each category received gold, silver and bronze medals and certificates were presented to the winners and to the runners-up.
According to the COI, winners are invited to announce the prize on the labels of extra virgin olive oils from the same batch as the winning sample.