Italian extra virgin olive oil confirms its leadership, although the high overall quality of samples from seven countries involved the panel of judges in play-offs before awarding medals in three out of five categories.
Apulia is the region winning the most medals (5); 2 medals for Sardinia and Calabria, with one each for Latium, Tuscany, Abruzzo and Campania. Apulia (10), Latium (8), Campania (7) and Sicily (6) took the lion's share of special mentions but from north to south as many as 13 regions earned at least one award.
The complete list of winners of Gold, Silver and Bronze medals and Special Mentions.
Verona, 11 February 2020. The Sol d'Oro Northern Hemisphere Competition came to an end yesterday at Veronafiere. It proved to be a truly memorable edition, given the overall calibre of the 310 samples entered from seven countries, which made the work of the 15 international panellists to select the winners even more demanding.
Out of 18 medals awarded overall (Sol d'Oro, Sol d'Argento and Sol di Bronzo) in five categories - intense, medium and delicate fruit, single variety and organic extra virgin olive oils - Italy took an impressive 15 medals, leaving only 1 each for Spain, Greece and Slovenia. Italy also dominated the Special Mentions assigned to olive oils achieving scores equal to or higher than 70/90ths, where Croatia and Portugal also received awards alongside Spain, Greece and Slovenia.
Azienda Masoni Becciu based in Deidda Valentina came to the fore this year, claiming two Sol d'Oro medals, taking its olive oils and Sardinia to victory in the first edition of the special Sol d'Oro Challenge Award set up to acknowledge the company achieving the highest score with three oils presented.
“The quality was so impressive that we are hugely disappointed that it was not possible to reward all the olive oils deserving such recognition. We even had to start again from scratch for the final assessments in three categories because there were still equal scores," said Marino Giorgetti, Panel Leader of the Competition. "However, it is rewarding to be able to say that after 18 editions, Sol d'Oro is increasingly the driving force behind this improvement in quality," Giorgetti concluded.
"Veronafiere's determination to improve and promote quality extra virgin olive oil began in the 1990s and over time, by highlighting Sol&Agrifood, we have created an authentic system at the service of small-medium producers that is active all year round through the Sol d'Oro Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere competitions, Evoo Days - that culminate today with the major guided preview tasting of the olive oils winning medals at Sol d'Oro - and Sol Int'l," said Giovanni Mantovani, CEO of Veronafiere.
Samples entered for this edition of Sol d'Oro came from Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Slovenia, Croatia and Chile; the latter, although located in the southern hemisphere, did not miss out on the chance to compete with northern hemisphere producers in accordance with the regulations of sister event that takes place every year in September in the southern hemisphere).
Visibility among buyers and consumers is the special feature that makes taking part in the Sol d'Oro Competition so appealing, since it has become over time a full-scale marketing tool for olive oils winning medals and special mentions. The merit lies not only in the acknowledgements expressed by international buyers but also in the close relationship with Sol&Agrifood.
Olive oils winning medals and those earning Special Mentions are entitled to include the wording "Sol d'Oro Northern Hemisphere 2020 International Competition" on their labels with different colours and annotations depending on the prize awarded (Sol d'Oro - Sol d'Argento - Sol di Bronze - Sol d'Oro - Special Mention).
A great many promotional activities are also dedicated to olive oils winning awards at the two editions of Sol d'Oro (Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere) during Sol&Agrifood scheduled 19-22 April (www.solagrifood.com): these include the development and distribution to Italian and international buyers and journalists of the "Sol d'Oro Stars" guide in four languages (Italian, English, Chinese and Japanese); the presentation of award-winning oils in the Self Tasting area; a major walk-around tasting, in addition to the two guided tastings targeting specialist operators attending from 130 countries.
And, lastly, thanks to Sol Int'l, medal winning oils are promoted on Asian markets by the Sol Int'l Evo Oil Show during the International Wine & Spirit Fair in Hong Kong and Olive Oil Kansai in Osaka, Japan.
The winners 2020 at this link