South Australian Rio Vista Olives has taken out fifteen medals and three Best in Show awards at the coveted Golden Olive Awards held in Rutherglen last weekend.
Rio Vista Olives, based in the Adelaide Hills, won seven gold medals, eight silver medals and three Best in Show awards, winning out over competition from Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia and the ACT.
“This was our first year experimenting with agrumato oils,” says Jared Bettio, General Manager and Head Miller at Rio Vista Olives.
“We were inspired to create a premium agrumato style olive oil after our trips to Italy and visiting producers there, where they press citrus fruits with the olives to create zesty, brightly flavoured oils that add amazing flavor to a dish. We wanted to experiment with Australian produce and palates and our relationship with local growers gave us access to first grade local produce to use.”
“This is an amazing achievement to show that Australia can compete on a world stage in agrumato and extra virgin olive oil production.”
Rio Vista’s awards included of Best Agrumato/Flavoured Oil in Show for their Basil Pressed Cold Extracted Olive Oil, andBest in Agrumato/Flavoured Oil for their Garlic Pressed Cold Extracted Olive Oil and Chilli Pressed Cold Extracted Olive Oil. Rio Vista Olives was also acknowledged as Best in Small Volume Production for their premium EVOO single variety Koronieki and Signore varieties.
Gold medals were awarded to Rio Vista Olives for their Extra Virgin Olive Oils and Agrumato. These included their Single Variety Koronieki and Singore, Vintage Range Gigi and Il Misto and their Artisinal Agrumato Oils of Chilli, Garlic and Basil.
Silver medals were awarded for their Single Variety Nevadillo and Frantoio, Vintage Range Augusto, Nothin’ But Olives Mild, Classic and Robust and their Agrumato Turmeric and Merchant Spiced Olive Oil.
In an Australian first, the Golden Olive Awards this year was a virtual event due to Victoria’s COVID-19 restrictions.
“It has been an incredibly difficult year for all South Australian growers. We were personally affected by the Adelaide Hills bushfires and then low yields,” said Mr Bettio. “We were glad to see the awards proceed this year despite the challenges of COVID-19.”
“These awards are important for us to benchmark our products against the best producers in the country and to demonstrate to Australian consumers the high quality of Australian extra virgin olive oil we are producing.”
They are excited by the growing interest in their products locally and globally, with talks of export opportunities taking place in in SE Asia, USA and Europe.