20 California counties competed in the International competition 

NEW YORK — The New York International Olive Oil Competition (NYIOOC) is a worldwide competition. Producers from 20 California counties competed, and the Central Coast brought their A-Game.

“The competition provides an honest, objective evaluation of our olive oil on the international stage, and it means a lot to our customers,” said Lynn Israelit of Spanish Oaks Ranch. “It gives them confidence that they are buying superior olive oils that are some of the best in the world! “

Gold medals were awarded to these Central Coast producers: San Miguel Olive Farm, Barton Olive Oil Company, Pasolivo, Tofino Estate, Spanish Oaks Ranch, Rancho Azul y Oro Olive Farm, Boccabella Farms, Enzo Olive Oil, Belle Farms, and The Groves on 41. To the milliners who pour everything into producing the best, winning the gold is a big deal.


“We feel truly honored to win a Gold Medal from the NYIOOC, as it is considered the largest and most prestigious olive oil competition in the world,” said Kathryn Keeler of Rancho Azul y Oro Olive Oil Farm.

“It is another great endorsement from the elite of the olive oil world that we are getting it right,” said Karen Tallent of The Groves on 41.

“Receiving a Gold award from the NYIOOC for our 2020 EVOO was extremely rewarding,” said Aaron Barton of Bartol Olive Oil Company. “Being recognized by such a reputable organization in a worldwide competition was validation that our EVOO is as great as we always believed it to be, and also brings recognition to California EVOO producers in a world stage.”

“The foundation of our business is built on hard work and awards,” said Richard Miesler of San Miguel Olive Farm. “Each award has been a stepping stone to our success. Competing in a competition of 26 countries and 1,100 entries is a great feat.”

According to the NYIOOC, their judging panel is made up of “a team of leading experts who follow a rigorous technical protocol to analyze each oil for its sensory characteristics and qualities… The NYIOOC is by far the world’s largest and most inclusive review of olive oils from every corner of the world. The results of the competition are followed by producers, importers, distributors, chefs, food service professionals, and journalists everywhere.”

California producers had an excellent showing at NYIOOC this year, but the highest concentration of California Gold Medal winners are produced right here on our Central Coast.

“The superior quality of our olive oil comes from the unique microclimate and soil of our area, along with lots of patience and attention to detail!” said Marguerite Remde of Belle Farms.

Producers attributed the Central Coast’s superior olive oils partially to our unique climate and partially to a love for knowledge, community, and collaboration between local producers.

“The olive producers on the Central Coast take a tremendous amount of pride in producing quality extra virgin olive oil,” said Shaana A. Rahman of Boccabella Farms. “We are a collaborative community, and we share knowledge, resources, and time with each other to ensure that what comes from our Central Coast is the best. “

“The best weather and soils for wine grapes, of course very popular here, are the perfect combination for growing olives, too,” said Tallent. “Beyond this natural environment exists a wonderful collaboration of us small scale olive farmers readily sharing experiences, assisting our small community, and collectively encouraging us to stand out in such a crowded field.”

“I think the reason the Central Coast region produces such excellent olive oil is partly due to the perfect Mediterranean climate we all enjoy,” said Israelit, “but also because we focus on industry-leading practices to grow, harvest, and store our oils. We have a long-standing history of local grower organizations in our area that focus on education and collaboration. SLO [San Luis Obispo] county producers learn about best practices together and support one another in achieving them.”

“The Central Coast of California is the best place to live and grow in the world,” said Barton, “and that includes the agricultural products produced here. We believe our climate, exceptional soil, and dedication to producing quality is why Central Coast producers fared so well at the NYIOOC this year and in years past.”

“Many of the producers from this region are now much more seasoned,” said Keeler, “experienced producers and their farms and trees are more mature. With all of these factors combined, I believe the time has come for the Central Coast olive oil producers to shine on the world stage.”