Portuguese producers reap benefits of record harvest at world competition

After entering their highest number of brands for the 2022 NYIOOC, Portuguese producers have won 35 of the most coveted quality awards in the industry.


Part of our continuing special coverage of the 2022 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.


Portuguese producers won 17 gold and 18 silver awards at the 2022 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition after producing a record-breaking yield of about 200 million litres of olive oil in the 2021/22 crop year.


Mariana Matos, secretary general of Casa do Azeite, the Portuguese Olive Oil Association, said she was not surprised by the great results.


Part of our continuing special coverage of the 2022 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.


Portuguese producers won 17 gold and 18 silver awards at the 2022 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition after producing a record-breaking yield of about 200 million litres of olive oil in the 2021/22 crop year.


Mariana Matos, secretary general of Casa do Azeite, the Portuguese Olive Oil Association, said she was not surprised by the great results.


"In recent years, Portuguese production has increased by about 500 percent thanks to huge public and private investments," she told Olive Oil Times. "More important than the increase in quantity is the excellent quality, with about 95 per cent extra virgin olive oil currently produced in the country."


Tras-os-Montes Prime from northern Portugal was awarded a Gold for its medium blend and two Silver Awards for its medium Cobrancosa blends.


"These awards are a recognition of our work and a huge motivation to keep trying to produce the best possible extra virgin olive oil with every harvest," said co-owner António Pavão.


Pavão cited his family's passion, their indigenous olive tree cultivars, the terroir of the region, the dedication of their staff and the expertise of his brother - who makes the final blends - as factors that set their product apart.


He said it was a challenge to maintain the quality of the previous harvests. "The most worrying thing is the huge increase in production and material costs," Pavão said.


Also from Trás-os-Montes, Casa Agricola Roboredo Madeira earned a Gold and Silver Award for its organic delicate blends.


The company's commercial director, Miguel Azevedo Remédio, called the awards a great honour. "It means we are on the right track in terms of what we want for our olive oil: always the best quality," he said.


"We are in the unique Douro Superior region and benefit from the good care of very old olive groves," Remédio added.


The company blends its oils, as they do with their wines, until they reach the desired profiles.


He said labour shortages were a problem during the previous harvest, and they expect the lack of rain to affect the next harvest, but they will focus on their milling process to maintain their quality.


Mercorural, another producer from Trás-os-Montes, took home a Gold Award for its medium organic blend.


The company's marketing manager, Eduardo Casas, said the award gave the brand prestige and global visibility. In addition, he said the terroir and unique cultivars of the region set their oils apart.


For Mercorural, the 2021/22 harvest was a success both qualitatively and quantitatively, but lower yields are expected this year.


Family-owned Quinta dos Olmais in the north of the country received a Silver Award for its organic Cobrancosa of medium intensity.


The company's co-owner Julio Alves said the only challenge during their previous record-breaking harvest was the usual lack of workers. He also expressed concern about the upcoming harvest due to the high temperatures during the flowering season and the dry winter.


Segredos Do Coa from the country's northern Duoro region earned a Silver for its organic medium blend.


Anibal Soares, the company's director and producer, said that the olives for their unfiltered field blend are hand-picked from their centuries-old trees that grow on clay soils on high slopes, and that their olives are harvested early, before they fully ripen.


He added that it was a challenge to find qualified workers during the harvesting season. Wind and low rainfall may hinder high yields this autumn, but that remains to be seen.


Meanwhile, offshoot, in the southern region of Alentejo, received a Gold Award for its delicate Cordovil and a Silver Award for its medium Cobrancosa blend.


Ana Carrilho, the company's chief oleologist, said it was a "tremendous honour" to receive the awards which confirmed the quality of their oils, produced from indigenous Portuguese cultivars.


"Our mission is to make the best products that nature offers us in a responsible and inspiring way," she said.


Carrilho said Esporão's sustainable extra virgin olive oil expresses the Alentejo region.


The 2021/22 harvest was Esporão's best, but Carrilho also said she expects a difficult harvest due to current weather conditions.


From the Eastern Algarve region in the south, producer Viveiros Monterosa was awarded a gold for its medium Cobrancosa and two silvers for its delicate Macanilha de Tavira and its delicate blend. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)



The original published article can be read in its entirety here (Dutch): https://nl.oliveoiltimes.com/production/portuguese-producers-reap-benefits-of-record-harvest-at-world-competition/110352



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