The 10th anniversary of the Marco Zichella Awards for the best olive oils produced on Oliomio olive oil extraction equipment was a fitting tribute to quality – quality of olive oil, quality of camaraderie and quality of friendship.
The judging panel for the competition were overwhelmed by the exceptional quality of the entries this year. For this reason and to commemorate the 10th year of the competition, extra prizes were awarded, much to the delight of all present.
The blind tasting took place a week earlier, with particular attention paid to adhering to accepted international standards. The judging panel consisted of Reni Hildenbrand, Gerrie Duvenage, Carlo Costa, Anne-Marie Ferreira, Leonard Arangies, Benedetta Lami, Elena Dalla Cia, and Linda Costa.
On Friday evening (16th September) everyone who attended the function was able to taste the 15 best oils, and could place their votes for the ‘Consumers Choice’. This participative event honours all the producers involved, affords transparency and nurtures healthy competitiveness.
Then came the best surprise of the evening – due to the quality of the entries, it was decided that 3 oils deserved the top accolade – the judges were unanimous. These were Andante from Porterville, Rio Largo and Riverbend from Eilandia in Robertson.
Second place was awarded to Olyven Houdt from Still Bay and third place went to Hemelrand from the Hemel and Aarde Valley, on their maiden vintage.
Oils that received a special recommendation were: Saailand, Miramonti, Mesco and Hillcrest.
The ‘Consumers Choice’ first prize went to Andante, followed by Riverbend Farm and Waterfall River.