12 October, 2004
New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards, 2004
Wairarapa's Molive Gold olive oil took the Best In Show award at this year's New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards
held in Napier last weekend.
The fifty-five oils from around New Zealand won between them, 25 gold medals, 29 silver and two bronze, across Boutique
and Commercial classes. Regionally, Marlborough led with 16 medals from 10 groves, then Nelson with 12 medals from 8
groves and Wairarapa with 11 medals from 5 groves.
On the judging panel was internationally recognised and professional olive oil taster Roberto Zecca. Zecca grows and
produces oil both in Tuscany and in California. This was his third year judging the New Zealand Awards.
Zecca said New Zealand growers were producing truly world class extra virgin olive oils.
"New Zealand must do everything possible to protect and develop this young industry," he said. "Having made such a
spectacular start over the last several years and with the right development strategies, this industry will continue to
produce high quality product, gain more and more recognition and dramatically increase its economic value."
NZ Benchmarked Against the Best
Head of the judging panel and Leader of the ONZ Sensory Panel, Margaret Edwards said Olives New Zealand was lucky to
have access to someone of Zecca's judging here.
"He has for many years judged the very best olive oils in the world" and is so keen to come here", she said. "This
allows us to benchmark our oils against international oils and be judged on the same terms"
The Annual New Zealand olive oil awards were the highlight of the Olives New Zealand Conference held in Napier last
weekend. 24 gold, 29 silver and 2 bronze medals were awarded to extra virgin olive oils entered from all around the
Thorough Pre-Show Screening
All the oils entered were first certified by the Olives NZ Sensory Taste Panel based at the department of Sensory
Science at HortResearch in Auckland. Certification involves a chemical analysis and a sensory test by the panel that is
trained to International Olive Oil Council standards. Oils that were certified as extra virgin were then entered into
The judging, by eight trained judges was done strictly in accordance to International Olive Oil Council (IOOC) standards
- so the results confirm that New Zealand olive oil is of a standard that reaches the very top in the world. Sponsorship
by HortResearch allowed the judging to be carried out in their sensory science facility, ideal for holding this type of
Earlier this year at the "Olive Oils of the World"competition in Los Angeles, the world's foremost contest, 17 New
Zealand oils were entered and all won medals. This was doubly impressive because olive oil is at its very best when
totally fresh. However at the L.A. competition, timed to suit northern hemisphere countries, our oils were from the
previous season and already 10 months old. NZ was the only country in the world where all the entries won medals.
Full List of Winners from 2004 New Zealand Awards
GOLD MEDAL Molive Gold Wairarapa (Best in Show) Kerner Estate Marlborough Stone Valley (2)
Wairarapa Frogs End (2) Nelson Antipode Marlborough Pahoia Estate Bay of Plenty Mataitai Grove
Waiheke Mt Heslington Olives Nelson Stone Valley Wairarapa Cairnmuir Central Otago Echo
Valley (2) Northland
SILVER MEDAL Kilrae (3) Wairarapa Kowhai Close Waiheke San Dona Canterbury Creekside
Marlborough Echo Olives (2) Marlborough Ellsgrove Hawkes Bay Liberty Ridge Marlborough Lot
8 (2) Wairarapa Matiatia Grove Waiheke Vigarano Estate Marlborough Villagrove Nelson Frogs End
Nelson Green Ridge Estate Marlborough Stone Valley Wairarapa
BRONZE MEDAL Landfall Estate Marlborough
GOLD MEDAL Awatere River (2)Marlborough Oriwa Nelson Tussock Marlborough Matapiro (2)
Hawkes Bay Waimata Gisborne Serendipity (2) Marlborough Elovi Nelson Supplejack Estate
SILVER MEDAL Kapiti Olives Kapiti Awatere River Marlborough Elovi (2) Nelson Mahana
Nelson Moutere Grove Nelson SIMU Auckland Te Arai Oliveti Matapiro (2) Hawkes
Bay Tussock Marlborough
BRONZE MEDAL Olivo Wairarapa