LA International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition

L.A. International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition

Setting the Standard

Celebrating 21st year, the Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition is one of the top ranking Olive Oil competition's in the United States and fifth worldwide, bringing together the highest standards of integrity and professionalism in awarding medals to the best oils from around the globe.

News & Publicity

Rated one of the Top Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition's in the US & Fifth in the World!

About Competition

For eight decades the Los Angeles International Wine Competition has bestowed gold medals to the best wines from around the globe. Sixty years after the wine competition’s conception, the addition of the Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition was a perfect fit.

The extra virgin olive oil competition celebrates its 21st anniversary in 2020. Back in 2000, wine competition organizers were looking for a way to expand the competition. The marriage of extra virgin olive oil and wine was natural. Both require a distinguished palate, both have distinctive varietals, both are important to serving the perfect meal. At its inception, the Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition enlisted an impressive list of judges to taste the finest domestic extra virgin olive oils. The competition was eventually opened to international oils, with oils coming from Northern and Southern Hemisphere.

The wine and extra virgin olive oil competitions are the foundation for an extensive education program that’s available to nearly 1.2 million visitors to the Los Angeles County Fair. Public wine tasting began in 1968; in 1998 a wine education center opened, complete with consumer-driven classes, tastings and a display of the award-winning wines. Extra virgin olive oil was added to the program in 2000 and spirits in 2007. The Los Angeles International Wine and Extra Virgin Olive Oil competitions are committed to educating the public about wine and extra virgin olive oil, featuring industry experts with extensive knowledge about selection, tasting and food pairings.

Traditional Categories

2020 Olive Oil Judges

Darrell Corti of Sacramento, Calif., is a wine merchant/grocer, President of Corti Brothers, Sacramento. He is a long-time judge at the Los Angeles County Fair beginning in the early 1970s. He is Chairman of the Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition.

Margaret Edwards enjoyed a career as a dietitian, university lecturer (part time), and management roles with leading New Zealand companies. She retired in 2003 to concentrate on olive oil. She was the leader of the now disbanded IOC recognized New Zealand tasting panel for olive oil. Margaret is an international olive oil judge, a consultant to the olive industry. She runs olive oil workshops and lectures about New Zealand extra virgin olive oil. She is the author of numerous publications about food, nutrition and olive oil. Margaret and her husband own a boutique olive grove and olive mill on Waiheke Island, New Zealand where they produce their award winning extra virgin olive oil.

Richard Gawel is a consultant taster and blender for a number of Australian olive oil companies. He was the inaugural head of Australia’s first recognized tasting panel and has been a long time appointee as presiding judge of most of the major Australian Olive Oil shows including the Australian National.

Orietta Gianjorio is a certified 3rd level Advanced Sommelier and a certified olive oil taster part of the Italian Registry of Olive Oil Tasters and Experts. She holds a 2nd level certificate as a Qualified Chocolate Taster from the Istituto Internazionale Chocolier, and a 2nd level certificate as an Expert in Honey Sensory Analysis from the Italian Registry of Experts in Honey Sensory Analysis. With only one test remaining, she is on her way to becoming one of only two people in the USA to be certified as an expert in honey sensory analysis. She collaborates with the California Olive Oil Council Taste Panel and the Applied Sensory Taste Panel, the Honey and Pollination Center and Mars Chocolate UC Davis Chocolate Taste Panel. Orietta is the owner of ORIETTA LLC, a consulting company on sensory evaluation and descriptive analysis to the wine, olive oil, chocolate and honey industries that also offers Consumer Education, Gourmet Tastings and Cooking Classes for adults and children. Orietta is the Delegate in Sacramento for the Italian Academy of Cuisine. She is the author of A guide to Olive Oil and Olive Oil Tasting and two children’s books about olive oil and tasting, Coratina and Come Visit The Teeny Tiny Town of Taste. Orietta was born and raised in Rome, and now resides in California. Orietta has judged in different wine, olive oil, honey, chocolate and cheese competitions including the Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition, Biol (Puglia, Italy), Sol D’Oro (Verona, Italy), and The California State Fair Cheese Competition. She has written, produced and hosted several TV shows in Italy and America and is a regular guest on many TV stations as a food and wine taster and expert.

Jean-Xavier Guinard is Professor of Sensory Science at the University of California, Davis. His research investigates the sensory and non-sensory determinants of food preferences, choice, purchase and intake and optimizes the sensory and nutritional quality and consumer acceptance of foods, beverages and other consumer products. Jean-Xavier has conducted extensive sensory and consumer research on olive oil and he created and directed the UC Davis Olive Oil Taste Panel for several years.

Maria Luz Hurtado is an Agricultural Engineer, PhD, graduated from the University of Chile. She began her studies and specialization in the area of olive oil in 2003, in different countries like Spain and Italy. In 2004 she took over as Director of Oil Production and received her diploma in the aforementioned university. She became an expert as a Tester in Olive Oil and has been working for more than 14 years in olive oil research at the University of Chile.

Sue Langstaff has a Master’s degree in Food Science from the University of California at Davis where she studied Sensory Science, Enology and Brewing. Sue has judged wine, beer and olive oil at numerous competitions and her research in Sensory Science has been published in several technical journals. Sue is co-editor of the book Olive Oil Sensory Science (Wiley/Blackwell, 2014) and is the creator of The Defects Wheel for wine, beer and olive oil. Currently, Sue works as a sensory scientist for her own consulting company, Applied Sensory, LLC which provides sensory consulting to the food, wine and beer industries. Sue is also the North American Global Sensory Manager for FlavorActiV, a company which provides sensory taste panel training and reference standards.

Julie Menge began her tasting career as an in-house taster for Dole Packaged Foods, evaluating pineapple, fruit, and packaged food products while she was employed as an R&D chemist. Her background includes biochemical and field research at Texas A&M Department of Soil and Crop Sciences/Texas Ag Extension Service. In the late 90’s she began tasting olive oil with UC Davis to improve the quality and standards of US produced olive oil. She was a founding member of all California internationally certified olive oil taste panels and currently serves as a panel member, judge in olive oil competitions, and teaches olive oil tasting classes.

Marino Uceda Investigator Titular of the Andalusian Institute of Investigation, Panel Chairperson and the Technical Director of the Proper Title of the University of Jaen. Marino is the University expert in Tasting of Extra Virgin Olive Oil Coordinator and a participant of 41 projects in the field of the extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Pablo Voitzuk is an olive oil maker and taster, he is currently working with Pacific Sun Farms in Gerber, Northern California. A native from Buenos Aires, he learned his skills in olive oil and table olives curing working with Apollo Olive Oil and studying in Tuscany with Dr. Marco Mugelli and in Sardinia with Pier Paolo Arca. He has judged in different olive oil competitions; Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition, California Olive Oil Council, Japan Olive Oil Prize, Sol D’Oro, Verona and BIOL, Puglia, Italy.

Paul Vossen has an MS degree from UC Davis in Horticulture (Tree Crops Production), a Certificate in Olive Oil Production from the U of Córdoba, Spain; Panel Head Certificate from the IOC; and a Certificate in Marketing from UC Berkeley. He recently retired as the UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Farm Advisor in Sonoma County after 36 years. His primary expertise is in the areas of fruit tree, berry, and specialty vegetable culture; pest control; and marketing of farm products. He helps farmers with the evaluation of their land, production costs, selection of appropriate specialty crops, cultural practices, pest control and advises on selling their produce. Over the years, he coordinated 15 California Olive Oil Production Short Courses and taught 28 Olive Oil Sensory Evaluation Courses in the US and internationally. He was a founder of the California Olive Oil Council, UC Davis Olive Center and he developed the first olive oil taste panel in the USA to become recognized by the International Olive Oil Council in 2001. Paul has been the panel leader for the UCCE olive oil taste panel in Santa Rosa, CA. He serves as an olive oil judge at several US and international competitions. In retirement, Paul now works as a private consultant helping producers all over the world to produce and market the best olive oil possible.

2020 Package Design Judges

Flori Cademartori is a graphic & fashion designer from Southern California. She studied at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, where she received her Associates of Arts degree in Fashion Design. She currently owns, designs and manages a mens’ clothing company named Anenberg.

Brad Markley is a self-taught artist and figurative painter. He has received numerous awards from the Pomona Valley Art Association and other organizations. He lives in Southern California and is a store artist at Trader Joe’s.

Jolie Ross is a printing consultant with an emphasis on label and packaging design and production. She has been in the printing trade for over 35 years, with a brand knowledge or print techniques and application. Jolie assists on company branding and design for product line re-vamps, marketing projects and brand launches.

Entry Forms

How to enter

  • Determine the oil(s) you wish to enter.

  • Note entry deadline and entry fee.

  • Determine Division and Categories.

  • Complete the entire entry form.


Shipping Deadline: January 17

Ship or deliver your oils with entry form and entry fees to:

Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition
1101 W. McKinley Ave.
Pomona, CA 91768

Download Shipping Label

2020 Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition Entry Form:




2020 Flavored Oil Competition Entry Form:




Competition Calendar

December 1 – January 18:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil deliveries will be accepted.
8am – 5pm, Monday – Friday

January 11:
Northern & Southern Hemisphere Competition Deadline.

February 5, 6, 7:
Judging of Northern & Southern Hemisphere extra virgin olive oil entries at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel

February 25:
Awards will be posted on website

June 22: Cheers!
A special public event celebrating the winners of the Los Angeles International Wine, Spirits, Beer and Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competitions.

Aug. 30 – Sept. 22: 2019 LA County Fair
Display of all award winning wines and extra virgin olive oils in the competition. The tasting of gold medal wines and extra virgin olive oil tasting. Education seminars featuring award-winning wines and extra virgin olive oil in the Los Angeles International Wine, Beer & Spirits Marketplace.

Cheers - L.A.'s Wine, Spirits, Beer & Food Festival

Drink. Eat. Experience.
Saturday, June 20th

Join us for the public unveiling – and tasting! – of the award-winning wines, spirits, beer and extra virgin olive oil of the Los Angeles International Competitions. Set at the Farm at Fairplex, the evening offers guests a casual romp through the world by way of glass or stein.

Visit Cheers website for more information

Extra Virgin Olive Oil at the LA County Fair

A display of all of the Olive Oil Competition Award Winners. We offer Best of Class and Gold Medal Extra Virgin Olive Oil Tasting daily from 12 pm – 10 pm and offer over 40 Gold Medal/Best of Class Extra Virgin Olive Oils and Flavored oils Available for purchase.

Award Winning Oils

2019 Awards

Thank you to all of the producers who participated in the 20th Anniversary Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition. The 2019 Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition received 530 extra virgin olive oils from 302 producers. There were a total of 7 Best of Show Awards, 20 Best of Class Awards, 136 Gold Medal Awards, 126 Silver Medal Awards, and 91 Bronze Medal Awards. Casas De Hualdo, Picual, Toledo, Spain received the Marco Mugelli Award. The 2019 competition received extra virgin olive oils from Argentina, Australia, Chile, China, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay and the United States.

2019 Awards of Excellence

Premio Mugelli - Mugelli Award

2019 LA International Olive Oil Mugelli Award

Best of Show - Domestic

2019 LA International Olive Oil Best of Show - Domestic

Best of Show - Flavored

2019 LA International Olive Oil Best of Show - Flavored

Best of Show - International

2019 LA International Olive Oil Best of Show - International

Gold Packaging - Art & Illlustration

2019 LA International Olive Oil Gold Packaging - Art & Illlustration

Gold Packaging - Color & Type

2019 LA International Olive Oil Gold Packaging - Color & Type

Gold Packaging - Contemporary

2019 LA International Olive Oil Gold Packaging - Contemporary

Gold Packaging - Design Standard

2019 LA International Olive Oil Gold Packaging - Design Standard

Gold Packaging - Traditional

2019 LA International Olive Oil Gold Packaging - Traditional

Gold Packaging Design

2019 LA International Olive Oil Gold Packaging Design

Gold Packaging

2019 LA International Olive Oil Gold Packaging

Thanks to all of the participating Olive Oil Producers

An Oil to Remember

The publicity value of winning an award at the Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition is hard to overstate. Don't miss your chance to be a success story.

The Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition will offer award seals for purchase for Best of Class, Gold, Silver or Bronze Medals awarded as well as marketing opportunities such as public tastings and Extra Virgin Olive Oil classes. A selection of the Gold Medal Extra Virgin Olive Oils are available for purchase in the Los Angeles International Wine & Beer Marketplace, during the LA County Fair.

Competition Benefits:
Public tastings and seminars during the LA County Fair, which hosts 1.2 million guests annually
Retail opportunities during LA County Fair for Gold Medal Winners
Exposure on our websites and social media platforms
Use of Award Logos and ability to purchase Award Seals

2019 Olive Oil Competition Downloadable Materials

Contact Us

If you have any questions or require additional information please contact:

Leah Duran
Phone: (909) 865-4260
Fax: (909) 865-4160