1) Purpose of the competition

  • 1.1) Description Open or Close

    The Athena International Olive Oil Competition (AΤΗIOOC) is an international olive oil competition that is held annually in Greece. The competition is international in terms of both judges and participants.

    A majority of the judges are foreign nationals, while sample entries from abroad must account for at least 40% of the total number of samples submitted.

    The competition’s name comes from the ancient Greek goddess Athena, who bestowed the olive tree on the city οf Athens, which was then named after her.

    Greece ranks third in the world in olive oil production and is by far the leader in terms of per capita consumption. These facts alone suffice to justify a Greek olive oil competition. However, an extra dimension should be taken into consideration: Greece was the first country in the world to cultivate the wild olive tree and produce written records and art works about olive trees and olive oil, thus contributing to the eventual establishment of the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, where olive oil plays a leading role as one of the best foods for people to eat.

    The Athena competition will also sponsor various original, innovative culinary initiatives aimed at establishing solid brand names for winners and further developing the market for premium olive oils. These initiatives will be announced after specific arrangements are made.

  • 1.2) Organization Open or Close

    The Athena International Olive Oil Competition is organized by Vinetum Event Management, a company with considerable experience handling prestigious exhibitions, conferences, contests and other high profile events. The competition is chaired by Dinos Stergidis, principal owner and CEO of Vinetum, and directed by Maria Katsouli, accredited olive oil connoisseur and the first Olive Oil Sommelier in Greece.

2) Entry procedure

  • 2.1) Participating Olive Oils Open or Close

    The Athena International Olive Oil Competition is international and open to all olive oil producing countries of the world, from both the northern and southern hemispheres, provided that the participating entries are extra virgin olive oils. Flavored and infused olive oils are also eligible to compete.

    Entries to the competition can be submitted by individual producers, olive oil mills, producer cooperatives and cooperative associations, bottlers, export companies and any type of business enterprise that produces, bottles and trades in branded extra virgin olive oil.

    All of the following criteria must be met to participate in the competition:

    A) All submitted samples must contain olive oil produced in the crop year of the competition.
    B) All samples must be submitted in their normal retail packaging and brand labels, and their packaging must be for purely commercial purposes.
    C) All submitted samples must bear an official brand label compliant with the laws of the country of origin or the country they were bottled in.
    D) The largest eligible sample size is 1liter.
    E) Every brand sample participating in the contest must be from a single homogeneous batch of at least 500 kilograms.
    F) The entry form for this year’s competition must be submitted to the organizers no later than March 16, 2020.

    * The evaluation of the olive oil will be performed with an indication of the hemisphere where it was produced (northern or southern), and the results of the competition will be determined and announced with respect to these two separate groups.

    ** A special evaluation form is used for aromatic olive oils.

  • 2.2) Entry Form Open or Close

    A fully completed and signed entry form must be submitted to Vinetum, the event organizer, either by email or via fax.

    After the payment has been submitted, the participant will receive a receipt and an entry confirmation from the organizers.

    The entry form for each sample must be followed by the submission of a chemical analysis certificate issued by an accredited (ISO 17025 compliant) testing lab indicating free fatty acids, peroxides and absorption characteristics (Κ232nm, Κ270nm and ΔΚ) and dated no more than 120 days prior to submission. The chemical analysis certificate must be submitted to the organizers as soon as possible after the entry is submitted, and no later than the time and date when the samples are submitted.

  • 2.3) Entry Fees Open or Close

    The entry fee per sample is €190 plus VAT; however, based on the competition’s discount policy, the fee per sample can be reduced to 160 for participation of up to two samples and much more for a larger number of samples, in the case of “early bird” registration and payment (see below).

    Discount policy:



    A 15% discount is granted for the 3rd sample.

    From the 4th sample onwards, a 20% discount is granted per sample and the final sample is accepted free of charge (e.g. 5 samples: the 3rd has a 15% discount, the 4th a 20% discount and the 5th is free; 6 samples: the 3rd has a discount of 15%, 4th and 5th a 20% discount and 6th is for free, etc).

    Specifically, for entries submitted after 08/02/2020 (the expiration date for the "early bird") discount, for which THERE WILL BE NO EXTENSION), the following apply:
    Participation with 1 sample: € 190.00 + 24% VAT = € 235,60
    Participation with 2 samples: € 380.00 + 24% VAT = € 471,20
    Participation with 3 samples: € 541.50 + 24% VAT = € 671,46
    Participation with 4 samples: € 693.50 + 24% VAT = €859,94
    Participation with 5 samples: € 693.50 + 24% VAT = €859,94
    Participation with 6 samples: € 845.50 + 24% VAT = €1.048,42


    Β) TIME BASED - "early bird"

    For those who register within approximately one and a half months of the beginning of the registration period, an "early bird" policy applies. The early bird entry fee per sample for entry forms and payment received by 08/02/2020 is €160. This discount can be combined with the above-mentioned discounts that depend on the number of samples, as follows:

    Specifically, for entries submitted by 08/02/2020:
    1 Sample: €160.00 + 24% VAT = €198.40
    2 Samples: €320.00 + 24% VAT = €396.80
    3 Samples: €456.00 + 24% VAT = €565.44
    4 Samples: €584.00 + 24% VAT = €724.16
    5 Samples: €584.00 + 24% VAT = €724.16
    6 Samples: €712.00 + 24% VAT = €882.88



  • 2.4) Payment Methods Open or Close

    Α) By direct bank deposit:

    – NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE (IBAN): GR0601106140000061447038391 SWIFT: ETHNGRAA
    – EUROBANK (IBAN): GR0502600360000650200340705 SWIFT: ERBKGRAA
    PLEASE NOTE: If payment is submitted through a direct bank deposit or via wire transfer, the name of the depositor must be included on the deposit slip or transfer order, and a copy of the relevant document must be faxed to Vinetum at (30) 210 766 0680.

    B) By check issued to VINETUM LTD (only Greek companies, we do not accept checks from abroad).

    C) By credit card using Paypal.

  • 2.5) Number of Samples that Must Be Submitted Open or Close

    Depending on the bottle size, this is the required number of samples for every entry submitted:
    A) 3 samples for 500ml, 750ml or 1liter bottles
    B) 4 samples for 350ml bottles
    C) 5 samples for 250ml or smaller bottles

  • 2.6) Sample Shipping Open or Close

    Samples must be shipped “door to door,” and the use of a freight forwarder or courier company is recommended. Participants are responsible for all shipping costs and any customs duties. The competition organizer cannot be held responsible for the condition of the samples or any breakage prior to their receipt. Moreover, the organizer bears no responsibility for late shipments or delays by the shipping/forwarding company. Once samples are received by the competition organizer, however, the organizer guarantees the secure warehousing of all samples in a climate controlled facility and their safe transfer to the event venue.

    All sample packaging must be clearly labeled “SAMPLE WITH NO COMMERCIAL VALUE – NOT FOR SALE” or be accompanied by an invoice with a nominal value of €1.00.

    All competition participants must submit a copy of the shipping manifest for their samples to the competition organizer.

    All samples should be shipped to the following address:
    VINETUM Ltd., 41 Kareas Ave, 162 33 Kareas, Athens, Greece 

    Telephone: (30) 210 766 0560

  • 2.7) Deadline Open or Close


    All samples must be received by the competition organizer no later than 20/03/2020. The organizer cannot guarantee the evaluation of samples that are received after that date. Late sample entries will not be assessed or returned. Entry fees are not refundable.


3) Sample Receipt

  • 3.1) Entry Committee Open or Close

    The entry committee is responsible for the receipt of submitted samples, the review of all associated documents and legal compliance of all brand labels submitted, and the recording, classification and encoding of samples, as well as the formation of the panel of judges.

    Upon receipt of samples, the entry committee will review all submitted and accompanying documents and notify participants as to their adequacy.

4) Sample Evaluation

  • 4.1) Panel of Judges Open or Close

    The panel consists of judges with years of experience in the organoleptic assessment of olive oil, judges accredited by the International Olive Council (IOC) or by other international or national bodies. These bodies are in turn accredited either by the IOC or by other recognized educational institutions offering relevant training according to IOC standards. The total number of judges will depend on the total number of samples submitted to the competition. In any case, two thirds (2/3) of the judges will be foreign nationals. Judges will be assigned to panels comprised of 5 to 7 members. Each panel will have a president  who will be responsible for the panel’s compliance with the appropriate organoleptic assessment procedures and the competition’s rules. The evaluation procedure will take place in the morning, and each panel will assess a maximum of 35 samples each day. All entries will be sampled in the opaque cobalt blue tasting glasses that have been certified by the IOC as the official vessels for the organoleptic assessment of olive oil. Jose Maria Penco from Spain is the Panel Leader for all committees.

  • 4.2) Sample assessment procedure Open or Close

    Samples are assessed using the blind tasting method, with each entry identified only by a random code number. Sample classification – that is, the order in which samples are assessed -- ensures that all samples will be judged on a fair and equal basis. Each panel of judges will clearly identify on the assessment sheet the organoleptic qualities of the olive oils as well as any negative qualities.


5) Awards

  • 5.1) Awards – Medals Open or Close

    All olive oil entries are assessed using a scoring system with a maximum score of 100. Awards are based on the following table:

    65/100 to 75/100: bronze medal
    75.50/100 to 85/100: silver medal
    85.50/100 to 95/100: gold medal
    95.50/100 to 100/100: double gold medal

  • 5.2) Special Awards Open or Close

    To further reward specific efforts, the Athena International Olive Oil Competition will present the following special awards based on the scores of all samples:

    1) Highest score
    2) Best olive oil per country of origin (minimum of 5 entries required)
    3) Best single varietal olive oil
    4) Best entry per variety (minimum of 5 entries required)
    5) Best blended (multi-varietal) olive oil
    6) Best olive oil from the Koroneiki variety worldwide
    7) Best Greek olive oil from the Koroneiki variety
    8) Best organic extra virgin olive oil worldwide
    9) Best Greek organic extra virgin olive oil
    10) Best olive oil produced by a winemaker
    11) Best Greek olive oil per region: Crete, the Peloponnese, Central Greece, Thessaly, Epirus, Macedonia, Thrace, Ionian Islands, Aegean Islands (except Crete)
    12) Best flavored or infused olive oil

  • 5.3) Publicity Open or Close

    The results and awards will be posted on the Vinetum website www.athenaoliveoil.gr on 10/04/2020 at 12:00 noon.
    All participants will be separately notified via discreet email of the judges’ assessment and scoring of their samples.

    The medals and diplomas certifying their awards will be shipped to the winners within 30 days of the end of the competition. Winners may also order adhesive award labels for their awarded entries exclusively from the organizer.

  • 5.4) Confirmation of the validity of the samples Open or Close

    The organizers of the Athena International Olive Oil Competition trust that all the participants will provide accurate declarations about their olive oil, both on the registration form and in the chemical analysis they send. However, they also retain the right to re-evaluate any award-winning olive oil in the competition through chemical analysis and organoleptic testing with the appropriate procedures and means. This reassessment will compare the sample sent to the competition with the same olive oil acquired directly from the producer, in order to be sure their properties are identical. In any case, for sampling and statistical purposes, a re-evaluation of 10% of the awarded samples will be carried out by comparing the sample sent to the competition with the same olive oil acquired directly from the producer, in order to be sure their properties are identical.


  • 5.5) Awards Ceremony Open or Close

    The ATHIOOC also includes a special awards ceremony for all competition winners, attended by official representatives of major organizations from the olive oil industry and the media, olive oil and food professionals, and olive oil aficionados. The ceremony is preceded by a day-long tasting event featuring the winning entries which is open to all ATHIOOC competitors, HORECA professionals and food editors. It will take place on May 16, 2020, at the Hotel Grande Bretagne, Athens.

6) Important Dates

  • 6.1) Important Dates Open or Close


    02/12/2019: Competition officially open for registration. Samples can be shipped to Vinetum.
    08/02/2020: Last day for early bird registration
    16/03/2020: Last day for all registration
    20/03/2020: Final deadline for samples to reach Vinetum
    10/04/2020: Announcement of results
    16/05/2020: Presentation of award winning olive oils and awards ceremony, Hotel Grande Bretagne, Athens




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