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ATHENA International Olive Oil Competition Taking Place in Sitia, Crete

The coastal city of Sitia on the island of Crete during April 7-9 will host the ATHENA International Olive Oil Competition 2022.

In its seventh edition, the ATHENA competition aims to recognize and award some the world’s best olive oil producers.

The competition features a panel of 30 judges with many years of experience in the organoleptic assessment of olive oil. They come from 12 countries, namely Argentina, Australia, Brazil, the US, Spain, Israel, Italy, Croatia, Great Britain, Portugal, Tunisia, Chile and Greece.

The judging committee will evaluate over 550 samples of olive oil from 24 countries including China, Chile, Argentina, South Africa and Australia.

Olive oil production in Sitia

Sitia, Crete. Photo © Anilah/Shutterstock

The city of Sitia has a long tradition in olive oil production. It has given its name to one of Greece’s most renowned Protected Designation of Origin products, the Sitia Lasithi olive oil.

It is estimated that over 10,000 families in Sitia work in the production of olive, which is cultivated in the region since the Minoan times. The area includes some 2.5 million olive trees producing 10,000 to 15,000 tons of olive oil on an annual basis.

Parallel events

Apart from the competition, ATHENA will also host parallel events such as guided tours for the judges to areas of historical interest such as the Minoan palace in Kato Zakros, the Toplou Monastery and more.

A street party will also take place in the center of Sitia on April 8, with renowned  DJs, local delicacies based on olive oil, a special selfie spot for photos and many surprises for all.

The ATHENA International Olive Oil Competition is organized by Vinetum in collaboration with the Sitia Municipality, the Sitia Chamber and other organizations, under the auspices of the Greek Shipping Ministry.

Since its inception in 2016, the ATHENA competition has also taken place in Pylos, Delphi, Nafplion, Spata and Lesvos.

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