After an extensive judging of quality California-produced olive oils, The Big Fresno Fair is excited to reveal the winners of the 7th Annual San Joaquin Valley Olive Oil Competition (SJVOOC). This competition, open to all olive oil producers in California with products made from their 2021 olive harvest, received a total of 69 entries from 25 olive oil producers from throughout the State.
Entries were received in two categories, Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) and Flavored Olive Oil, with 10 classes in total. Gold and Silver Medals were awarded, as well as an overall “Best of Show” and “Best of the Valley” selected from all of the highest scoring gold medal entries in both categories. In total there were 50 EVOO and 19 Flavored Olive Oil entries that were entered for judging.
“We could not be more pleased with the number of entries submitted by these amazing California olive oil producers – making this year’s entries tied for the most entries received since 2017!” said Stacy Rianda, Deputy Manager II at The Big Fresno Fair. “This year the competition saw new submissions by students at Fresno State and then our first San Diego County entry, Toothacre Ranch – with both producers winning Gold! It’s a rewarding feeling to be able to showcase these new and returning California-produced olive oils through this competition highlighting the incredible olive oil made right here in the State of California.”
Gold Medal and Best of Show winners will have the opportunity to have a booth in the Agriculture Building on one day during a weekend at the 2022 Big Fresno Fair or have a booth at the Fair’s Beer and Wine Festival on Saturday, October 8. At either location, they will have the opportunity to display and sell their award-winning product. Additionally, educational information will be set up so that Fairgoers can learn more about the art of making olive oil, its health benefits, recipes and more.
Participants in the 2022 SJVOOC were evaluated and scored on the following criteria:
- Gold Medal: Awarded to an oil that demonstrates its type and/or varietal character, balance, structure and complexities to the highest standards. Gold Medals will be awarded to those oils receiving scores between 86 – 100 points.
- Silver Medal: Awarded to an oil reflecting the correct distribution of balance and character of its type or variety; an oil deemed to be well crafted and of excellent quality. Silver Medals will be awarded to those oils receiving scores between 76- 85.99 points.
- Best of Show: Awarded to an oil recognized to possess special characteristics of the highest quality overall. All Gold medal winners will be eligible to compete for Best of Show in their division.
- Best of the Valley: Awarded to the oil that scored the highest with the ranch or office located in the San Joaquin Valley. Medals will be awarded for both EVOO and flavored oils. (Kern, Tulare, Kings, Fresno, Madera, Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties eligible).
Details about the 2023 SJVOOC and its entry application will be posted in February 2023.