2018 New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards
Press Release 14th October 2018
New Zealand’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards – Top Honours Announced
Winners in New Zealand’s most prestigious competition for olive oil were announced last night at a formal dinner held in
Masterton. The New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Awards are run by Olives New Zealand, the national organisation for olive
Loopline Olives from Wairarapa took out the 2018 Best in Show as well as Best in Class in the Commercial Medium Single
Varietal Class with their Loopline Picholene. Loopline also took out Reserve Best in Show with their Loopline Picual
which was Best in Class in the Commercial Intense Single Varietal Class.
Juno Olives from Wairarapa also did the double. They won the Best in Boutique Category for growers who produce less than
250 litres of certified extra virgin olive oil, as well as Best in Class in the Boutique Intense Single Varietal Class
with their Juno Picual. Plus they also won Reserve Best Boutique with their Juno Koroneiki. Juno Olives also won Beat in
Boutique in 2017 with their Picual.
Best Flavoured Oil was won by The Olive Press, Wairarapa with their Pressed Gold – Lime Infused. This is the second year
running that The Olive Press have won this award.
Medals were spread across New Zealand’s growing regions with 46 going to Wairarapa, 12 to Canterbury,11 to Kapiti, 9 to
Auckland, 8 to Nelson, 6 each to Hawke’s Bay and Northland, 5 to Waiheke Island, 3 to Marlborough, 2 to Central Otago
and 1 to Bay of Plenty. This equated to 28 Gold Medals, 77 Silver Medals and 4 Bronze Medals, a total of 109 medals.
The judging panel of six trained and experienced international and New Zealand olive oil tasters praised both of the top
winning oils. They said “Loopline Picholene has delicious aromas of green herbs and salad leaves on the nose, rocket
leaves and artichoke on the palate, a clean and light mouthfeel with excellent flavour transfer. There is a hint of
mustard and chilli overtone with a warm lingering finish. Overall an excellent oil.” Of the Juno Picual the judges said
“Ripe guava and pear on the nose, and on the palate beautiful tropical exotic fruits at optimum maturity, with hints of
cloves and zesty grapefruit. Excellent flavour transfer with a warm lingering finish. Another excellent oil.”
Loopline Olives is owned by Mark and Kate Bunny. It is a medium sized grove of approximately 900 trees established in
2001. This is the 3rd occasion that Loopline Olives has won the supreme award, having taken out the top award also in
2014 and 2017. They have been consistent medal winners at other previous Awards. .
The Head Judge, Esteban Santipolio from Argentina commented on the quality of the oils entered in New Zealand’s top
olive oil awards. He said “I have been involved in the assessment of olive oils at international competitions this year,
including the prestigious New York International. The oils entered in the New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards are
some of the best Extra Virgin Olive Oils I have tasted this season. They have been a delight to judge”
As a condition of entry all entrants must have been formally assessed as Extra Virgin Olive Oil and carry the OliveMark.
Consumers can thus be assured that New Zealand olive oil displaying the red OliveMark has met the strict standards for
Olives New Zealand Certification; it is certified as extra virgin, is packaged and labelled appropriately and an
authentic New Zealand product. A further mark of excellence is a medal from the Olives New Zealand Awards.