While many people are only pleased to see 2016 behind us, for the husband and wife team of Rio Largo Olive Estate, this past year marked an extremely successful year filled with international recognition from all corners of the globe.
Taking home the Best in Class award for their robust Premium Blend in the 2016 New York International Olive Oil Competition is no small feat, competing with 800 other oils from around the world, Rio Largo’s oil came in the top 15! Being one of only two South African producers to receive an award in this prestigious competition, Rio Largo has proved their standard of quality is among the best in the world.
Although receiving the Best in Class award is a huge accomplishment, it was just the tip of the iceberg of the 2016 accolades for the Rio Largo brand.
Olive Japan International Olive Oil Competition is the largest olive oil competition in Asia and is considered one of the most quality orientated olive oil competitions in the world. Rio Largo made its mark here too, receiving a Gold for their Premium Blend olive oil and being the only South African producer to receive an award.
From East to West, Rio Largo went on to receive another Gold award in the Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition. Now in its 17th year, this competition is the top ranking EVOO competition in the United States and fifth worldwide.
Most olive oil enthusiasts are well aware of the Sol d’Oro olive oil competition and most producers would be proud to make a name for their oils here. Often described as the most important international olive oil competition in the world, held in Verona, Italy, the competition aims to promote the world’s best extra virgin olive oils and encourage improvements in production and quality.
In 2014 Veronafiere organized the first edition of Sol d’Oro Southern Hemisphere dedicated to extra virgin olive oils produced in countries south of the Equator. Of course Rio Largo would not miss out on this opportunity and entered their oil last year and walked away with a Bronze award.
Another great feat by the Rio Largo team was their score of 95 and being named as one of the ‘Top Olive Oils of the World’ in the 2016 edition of Flos Olei. This publication is an extensive international guide to the world of olive oil, available in both English and Italian, it aims to inform and educate olive oil lovers and producers about the best farms and producers from around the world.
Locally, Rio Largo is a much appreciated brand, winning 3 Gold awards in the SA Olive Awards last year, the name has become synonymous with local foodies and olive oil aficionados. To have receive the international recognition that they deserve has proved that the standards of our local olive industry are up there with many of the most prestigious international brands and Rio Largo can most certainly hold their own against these producers.
We know what we produce at Rio Largo and are extremely proud of the oil we share with our consumers. We only share oil from olives grown, picked, processed and bottled to order from our estate- a sure indication that the quality will remain consistent throughout the harvest. – Brenda Wilkinson, Rio Largo co-owner.
We wish Rio Largo all the best for the year ahead and have no doubt that they will continue to thrive in the local and international olive oil industry.