Olivaia's OLA Block X Heirloom of Lindsay was rated Best of the Valley in the Big Fresno Fair's 6th annual Olive Oil Competition.
Despite a challenging harvesting season there were 55 entries from across the state in the competition which returned this year after being canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
All olive oil producers in the state with products made from their 2020 olive harvest were eligible to enter and 55 entries were received from 17 olive oil producers from throughout the state.
Entries were received in two categories, extra virgin olive oil and flavored olive oil with 10 classes in total. Gold and silver medals were awarded as well as Best of Show and Best of the Valley being selected. There were 42 EVOO entries and 13 flavored oil entries.
The Olive Press Sevilland of Sonoma and Yolo County was rated as Best of Show. Calivirgin Serrano of San Joaquin County was honored as Best of Show Flavored. Olivaia's OLA Block X Blend also received a silver medal.
“Despite a challenging 2020 harvest due to worker shortages caused by COVID-19 restrictions and an extremely hot and dry year in California, we could not be more pleased with the showing of these amazing olive oil producers,” said Stacy Rianda, Deputy Manager II at The Big Fresno Fair. “It’s such an exciting feeling to bring back the San Joaquin Valley Olive Oil Competition that recognizes and rewards some of the best olive oil producers throughout California.”
Gold Medal and Best of Show winners will have the chance to have a booth in the Wells Fargo Agriculture Building on one day during a weekend at the 2021 Big Fresno Fair or have a booth at the Fair’s Beer and Wine Festival on Saturday, October 9. At either location, they will have the chance to display and sell their award-winning product. Additionally, educational information will be set up so fairgoers can learn more about the art of making olive oil, its health benefits and recipes.
After extensive judging gold medals were awarded to those who had a score between 86 and 100 points. Silver medals were awarded to those with a score between 76 and 85.99 points.
As Best of the Valley, Olivaia's OLA Block X Heirloom was rated the best out of entries from Kern Tulare, Kings, Fresno, Madera, Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties.
Details about the 2022 competition and its entry application will be posted in February 2022.