Held in Osaka, Japan, the 4th competition launched by the Fair of Verona, Sol d’Oro, dedicated to olive oil production in the Southern Hemisphere, brought lustre to the South African producers. The competition has existed for decades, but, because the Northern Hemisphere has the advantage of the competition having been held close to olive harvesting, the competition was split four years ago and Southern Hemisphere olive oils are on an even footing with those north of the equator. In 2015, the competition was held in Cape Town, last year in Melbourne and this year Japan hosted the participants.
The Sol d’Oro competition is the the most important in the world thanks to strict assessment standards applied by the jury through the blind tasting method.
The event has always sought to promote, through competition and comparison, production improvements in the main producing countries. Over the years Sol d’Oro has witnessed growing involvement of producers based in the Southern Hemisphere, hence the special competition for those South of the equator at the most suitable time for evaluating oils produced there.
The 2017 (4th) edition saw Chile emerging with 5 medals of the nine accorded, but a nice balance emerging with South Africa, Argentina, Uruguay and Australia sharing honours.
This edition was a tight photo finish with South africa and Chile neck and neck. The quality of these olive oils was very good with battles going on to the final tasting session. – The head of the jury, Marino Georgetti
Sol d’Oro offers winners prominent exposure at the Olive Oil Kansai International show and they will be included in the “Sol d’Oro Stars”published simuktaneously with the Sol&Agrifood show in Verona (15-18 April 2018). Medal winners will also receive a quality seal which is assigned not only to medal winners but also to Special Mentions.
The South African winners:
Gold, Morgenster Estate, Morgenster label
Special Mentions: Willow Creek Olive Estate, Privé label
Oakhurst Olive Farming Ltd, Oakhust Delicate label
Special Mentions, Morgenster Estate, Don Carlo label
Wildekrans, Keerweer label
Rio Largo, Rio Largo label
Porterville Olives, Andante intense label
Gabriëlskloof, Gabriëlskloof label
Special Mentions, Rio Largo, Rio Largo label
De Rustica Estate, Estate Collection Coratina label
Wildekrans, Field Blend Selection label
Willow Creek, Willow Creek Director’s Reserve