Written by The Business Journal Staff
The Big Fresno Fair has announced the winners of the 2nd Annual San Joaquin Valley Olive Oil Competition (SJVOOC), including several Central Valley companies.
Entries were received in two classes, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and flavored olive oil, with nine subcategories. In total, there were 39 EVOO and 22 flavored olive oil entries that were judged by a panel of seven judges from the California Olive Oil Council Taste Panel on March 8 in Pleasanton.
“We were very pleased with the amount of entries for last year’s San Joaquin Valley Olive Oil Competition and we are very excited that this year we have surpassed last year’s entry totals,” said Stacy Rianda, deputy manager II at The Big Fresno Fair. “Competitions like this are important as they not only showcase California’s great products, but instill in all of us a sense of pride as we are reminded of all of the wonderful resources our state as a whole and the various communities have to offer.”
The Olive Press in Sonoma and Lodi’s Coldani Olive Ranch both won Best of Show awards for their “Picual” and “Calivirgin Bountiful Basil” oils.
Gold Medal Winners for the this year’s EVOO category are:
• Spanish blends: Enzo Olive Oil Company’s “Tyler Florence Test Kitchen EVOO” out of Clovis and Rosenthal Olive Ranch’s “Arbosana” from Madera.
• Spanish singles: Coldani Olive Ranch’s “Calivirgin Premium EVOO” from Lodi, Calolea Olive Ranch’s “Calolea Mission” from Marysville and The Olive Press’ “Picual” from Sonoma.
• Italian Blends: Winter Creek Olive Oil’s “Winter Creek Olive Oil” and “Ruscello d’inferno” from Winter Creek, Coldani Olive Ranch’s “Lodi Olive Growers Blend” from Lodi, The Olive Press’s “Italian Blend” from Sonoma, Coppetti Olive Oil’s “Harvest Blend” from Modesto, Bava Family Grove’s “Bava Monticelli Estate Napa Valley” from Escalon and San Miguel Olive Farm’s “Tuscan Nectar of the Gods” and “Tuscan Gold” from San Miguel.
• Italian Singles: Coldani Olive Ranch’s “Lodi Olive Oil Ascolano” from Lodi.
• Other blends: Bozzano Olive Ranch’s “A2” from Stockton.
Gold Medal Winners for the flavored olive oil category are:
• Citrus: The Olive Press’ “Lime” and “Limonata” from Sonoma.
• Herbal: Coldani Olive Ranch’s “Calivirgin Boutiful Basil” from Lodi.
• Other Flavors: Coldani Olive Ranch’s “Calivirgin Jalapeño Garlic” and “Calivirgin Extreme Heat Serrano” from Lodi.
Participating producers had the opportunity to submit multiple entries under one category but could not submit a particular entry to more than one category. For each entry, producers had to submit two, 250 ml bottles of their olive oil with retail labels and a $60 non-refundable fee, per entry.
Additionally, each entry had to be available for commercial sale at the time of submittal. Submissions were accepted starting mid-January through February 26.
Gold Medal and Best of Show winners will have the opportunity to have a booth one day in the Wells Fargo Agriculture Building on any Saturday or Sunday during the 2016 Big Fresno Fair, which runs from Oct. 5-16.