Leading South African producer Willow Creek Olive Estate has been singled out for excellence at two major international competitions: Olivinus and Sol d’Oro (Southern Hemisphere).
At the Olivinus international competition for extra virgin olive oils, which was announced this month, Willow Creek Olive Estate excelled in no less than nine categories. To add splendour to the quality awards, it was also crowned with the title for Best Design, which acknowledges the packaging of every product in the Willow Creek portfolio.
The achievement was rapidly followed this week when its Willow Creek Privé and Directors’ Reserve extra virgin olive oils received Grand Mention at the Sol d’Oro, held in Osaka, Japan. In order to compare extra virgin olive oils of the same freshness or age, the Sol d’Oro competition separates the judging of the Northern and the Southern hemispheres as olive oil from one half of the globe will always have a six month freshness margin on oils from the other half. Modern olive oil-producing countries like Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile and Argentina have carved out a reputation of high quality for themselves and does not stand back when it when contending with such olive oil giants as Italy and Spain.
The amount of entries and expertise of the panel of judges makes Olivinus widely regarded as one of the most significant championships for olive oils. Held annually, its aim is to award the world’s best quality extra virgin olive oils and promote the health benefits and advantages of this value product to consumers.
In addition to winning Best Design, Willow Creek olive oils won three of the highest accolades – Grand Prestige Gold medals – for Willow Creek Privé, Willow Creek Director’s Reserve, and Willow Creek Jalapeño Flavoured.
They were followed by the Willow Creek Estate Blend, which won Gold and a Premier Design Award; Willow Creek Blood Orange Flavoured, Prestige Gold; and, two oils among children’s favourites. Recognising the popularity of olive oil with youngsters, Olivinus is the only event of its kind with a separate panel of young judges, who are trained for a year. It awarded Children’s Selection Awards to the Willow Creek Directors’ Reserve and Willow Creek Privé – indicating that these olive oils already fit the trend of the future.
Willow Creek olive oil is produced to the highest standards, which is why we’re grateful for the recognition this international panel of specialists has given us. These latest awards again highlight how quality is a hallmark of everything we do, from the way we farm right through to the quality of the design and packaging. – Willow Creek brand manager Louise Rabie
Olivinus’ five tasting panels assessed 350 entries from 17 countries this year, while the children’s category comprised four panels of up to six judges each. The Olivinus design award contenders were evaluated by a panel that included designers, retailers and industry leaders.
Willow Creek Olive Estate’s achievements at Olivinus is the latest in a series of regular appearances it has made among the winners of the world’s most distinguished championships. Earlier this year, Willow Creek Estate Blend was named overall winner of the medium category at the L’Orciolo D’Oro, where its Privé and Directors’ Reserve received distinctions; while it was the only South African producer to win medals at the Terra Olivo Mediterranean International Extra Virgin Olive Oil competition, where its Directors’ Reserve won Grand Prestige Gold and Privé, Prestige Gold. It was also included in the Extra Virgin Olive Oil World Rankings (EVOOWR) of top 100 producers – the only South African producer to have achieved this and an achievement it has maintained for the third consecutive year.
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