The California State Fair is pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 California Commercial Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition. A panel of 12 certified sensory analyst judges gathered at the Cal Expo Fairgrounds, in Sacramento on May 18, to swirl, sniff, sip and analyze samples of olive oil from producers all over California. The annual competition celebrates the olive-growing and olive oil producing industries in California, and is open only to Extra Virgin and Flavored Olive Oils made from 100% olives which are grown, pressed and packaged in California.
This year 468 shining, new bottles of olive oil lined the cellar shelves of Cal Expo. Each of the 117 entries arrived with the hope of their producers that their care, expertise and hard work would result in a coveted Best of Show Golden Bear Trophy.
Competition Head Judge Orietta Gianjorio enlisted the talents of an exceptional group of skilled and experienced judges, some with over 20 years of experience in the industry. Gianjorio commented on the judging event, “It is always an honor to participate in the California State Fair Olive Oil Competition. All judges are incredibly talented and gifted tasters, deeply committed to the industry and high quality. The excitement in the room is palpable. After a couple of years of absence, we are all very happy to finally taste together and share our passion for California Extra Virgin Olive Oil. We are all thrilled to share our comments and taste amazing oils produced from this wonderful state of California.”
The 2022 Best of Show Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the Tuscan Blend by Olive Truck of San Francisco, California. Sam Bayraktar’s personal initiative, Olive Truck, started operation in 2019 which he describes as “the most exciting food project of all time.” This mobile mill combines Sam’s own experience with a state of the art vacuum-milling technology. The Olive Truck can take production straight to the groves which allows manufacturing of high-quality, extra-fresh olive oil right from the source.
The Best of Show Flavored Olive Oil is Kaffir Lime by IL Fiorello Olive Oil Company of Fairfield, California. IL Fiorello is a family-owned company dedicated to growing and milling the finest quality artisan olive oil. Owners Ann and Mark Sievers produce oil from their own certified organic groves.
This competition honors Olive Oil producers at all production levels. The Best California Extra Virgin Olive Oil by a Micro-producer (Less than 500 gallons annually) was awarded to “Elegante” Certified Organic Arbequina by Fandango Olive Oil of Paso Robles, California. The Best of California Extra Virgin Olive Oil by an Artisan Producer (between 500 and 5,000 gallons annually) was awarded to Kaffir Lime by IL Fiorello Olive Oil Company of Fairfield, California. The Best California Extra Virgin Olive Oil by a Large Producer (more than 5,000 gallons annually) went to Arbequina by Wild Groves of Newcastle, California.
During the 2022 California State Fair, July 15 – July 31, fair guests will enjoy an exhibit featuring award-winning extra virgin olive oils, free tastings, and the opportunity to purchase olive oil directly from award-winning California olive oil producers.
Complete results and competition information can be found on the California State Fair website at CalExpoStateFair.com/California-Commercial-Extra-Virgin-Olive-Oil
About the California State Fair
The California State Fair is an international award-winning fair, receiving top honors at the International Association of Fairs and Expositions out of more than 1,100 fairs world-wide. The California State Fair is dedicated as a place to celebrate the best the state has to offer in agriculture, technology, and the diversity of its people, traditions, and trends that shape the Golden State’s future. The 2022 State Fair will include a comprehensive list of competitions, including California’s best commercial wines, cheeses, olive oils, and fine arts, among others.