SOL D’ ORO International Olive Oil competition – Southern Hemisphere

OSAKA / JAPAN   11. September – 16.September 2017

Reni Hildenbrand, South African olive oil producer and international judge, recently served on the tasting panel for the SOL D’ ORO International Olive oil competition for olive oils from the Southern Hemisphere held in Osaka, Japan. “Perfect planning and organisation characterised the competition,” Reni says. “The best competition I have come across so far.”

A total of nine tasters (Italy x3, Japan x2 and 1 each from SA, Chile, Greece and Spain) was led by Marino Giorgetti with Antonella Capriotti at his side.

A total of 43 entries were received (SA x18, Chile x15, Australia x5, Uruguay x3 and Argentina x2) and each of these individually blind tasted. “On the first morning the panel tasted all the participating oils to place them in the relevant categories of delicate, medium and intense. Oils with obvious defects were set aside.”


“Most of the gold, silver and bronze medals went to Chile. They produce EVOO with green fruit – most in the medium and intense class – and all really well balanced. I brought some oils back for a tasting.”

In this competition, only one gold, one silver and one bronze medal are awarded for each category. South Africa’s Morgenster Olive Estate succeeded in winning Gold, while 11 other olive oils received the Grande Menzione certificate for being awarded a certain number of points by the judges.

Lodgings & tourism

“It was very convenient that our tasting facilities were right next to our hotel and every evening a new Japanese surprise awaited us,” says Reni. “This included a day trip to the ancient city of Kyoto with a bit of free time and time for shopping.”

Flying the SA flag

On the last day before the award ceremony, the organisers invited the media, farmers and interested parties to join the seminar. Here each country represented on the tasting panel had the opportunity to give a presentation showcasing their respective olive industries. “I did my very best to shine the spotlight on the South African olive industry and was later asked by the President of OLIVE JAPAN to use my presentation for their olive farmers.”

A consequent meeting with Marino Giorgetti, Antonella Capriotti and Jose from Chile culminated in the prospects of hosting SOL D’ORO in South Africa in 2018.

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