For the 3rd edition of the Athena International Olive Oil Competition (ATHENAIOOC) in 2018 (March 26-28), Delphi was selected. This choice highlighted the historic olive grove of Amfissa and enhanced the image of the ATHENAIOOC by identifying it with the world-famous archaeological site. Among other things, the judges had the opportunity to hike along the ancient footpath that connects Delphi with the seaside village of Kirra, passing through the uniquely beautiful Delphic landscape. On their last day there, under the auspices of the Municipality of Delphi, each judge planted an olive tree in the garden of the house of the poet Angelos Sikelianos.
The number of olive oil samples entered in ATHENAIOOC 2018 reached 359 (a 22% increase compared to 2017), with the number of foreign olive oils surpassing the number of Greek ones for the first time. This confirmed not only the international nature of the competition, which is considered a given, but also its dynamically growing prestige in the olive oil world.
ATHENAIOOC 2018 judges awarded 13 double gold medals, 100 golds, 89 silvers and 40 bronze medals. Overall, the international twenty-judge jury awarded a total of 242 medals to olive oils from several olive oil producing countries, with the best of show award going to the Spanish Palacio de los Olivos from Andalusia.
The higher quality of the participating olive oil samples led to a 35% increase in medals compared with last year, mainly in the gold and silver categories. There was an even greater improvement with the Greek participants, with a 46% increase in prizes, confirming expectations that the 2017/18 harvest would produce high quality oils. More specifically, out of the 171 Greek olive oils that participated in ATHENAIOOC 2018 (10% more than in 2017), 107 earned medals: 30 bronze, 53 silver, 23 gold and 1 double gold for Papadopoulos Olive Oil’s Omphacium Organic from Ilia and the rare Nemoutiana olive variety.
The curtain fell on the Athena 2018 competition on Saturday, April 28 at the Zappeion Megaron Conference & Exhibitions Hall in Athens with the awards ceremony for medals and special prizes, which was preceded by an important, highly successful public tasting presentation of all the awarded olive oils. As with the similar ceremonies accompanying the first two editions of the competition, Greek and foreign award winning olive oil producers came to Athens to receive their honors, thereby honoring Athena and its organizers with their presence.