Friday, 31 December 2021

Croatian Brist Olive: Vodnjan Family Business Sees Oil Shipped to USA

December the 31st, 2021 - The Croatian Brist Olive oils, made by a family business located in Vodnjan in Istria, have made their way across the pond to the United States of America, placing Croatian products firmly on the radar there once again.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes, one family business from Vodnjan is busy diversifying all of its activities, but the basis of everything they engage in is authentic products which are then exported to a number of countries across the globe. On the eve of the festive period at Br00m44 on Zagreb's famous Dolac market, a presentation of extra virgin olive oils of the new vintage Brist Olive brand from Vodnjan was held.

Lena Puhar O’Grady, who leads the presentations, education and marketing on Brist’s team, presented her family business, told the story of their brand development and guided guests through three of the six types of Brist Olive oil they currently produce. One monosort was tasted - Vodnjanska Buza oil, as well as two blends.

“Our olive grove is located in the vicinity of Vodnjan, it's beautifully positioned, overlooking the Brijuni islands and spreads over nine hectares where 2,500 olive trees grow, mostly indigenous Istrian varieties. We produce about 8,000 litres of oil per year, with the expectation of growth when all of the olives grow well and come to fruition,'' said Puhar O’Grady.

Demand is growing...

Each of their Brist Olive oils was then paired with a type of cheese from the Istrian Mljekara Latus from Zminj, with sourdough foccaccia from the Zagreb bakery Breadclub, and the tasting was then rounded off with a chocolate tart with olive oil, designed especially for the occasion by food blogger Janja Benic. The chocolate tart was served with a few drops of Brist’s Exclusive Selection olive oil, and as Puhar O’Grady explained, this is a form of olive oil made in a limited edition from selected olives from century-old buza and rozinjola trees.

As she claimed, the Brist Olive oil team process their olives in the Grubic oil mill in nearby Bale, with which they have a long-term cooperation, and their main customers are individuals, mostly foreign citizens paying visits to Istria. They realise their biggest sales directly in their store in the old town of Vodnjan and through online sales.

"Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, our online sales have quadrupled since before. A large part of our clients come after participating in our guided tours and tastings in the olive grove,'' she said.

In addition, Brist Olive oil is exported through 20 international partners within the EU, Norway and Switzerland, and from this year for the very first time to America. They also cooperate with specialised stores, mainly in Istria and Zagreb, as well as restaurants throughout Croatia and the Milenij Hotel chain in Opatija.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Friday, 12 November 2021

Flos Olei 2022: Istrian Extra Virgin Olive Oil Best in World for 7th Year!

November 12, 2021 - The new Flos Olei 2022 olive oil guide has arrived, and Istrian extra virgin olive oil is the best in the world for the 7th consecutive year!

Last week, the results of the world's only extra virgin olive oil guide, Flos Olei 2022, were announced to the public. And to no one's surprise, Flos Olei again brought great news to Istria and Istrian olive growers, reports HRTurizam.

Namely, 66 olive growers from Istria produced quality extra virgin olive oil that deserves to be included in the new, thirteenth edition of Flos Olei. Thus, in 2022, Istria will once again be adorned with the title of the world's best region for extra virgin olive oils for the seventh year in a row.

This is especially important considering that the publication contains oils from all over the world - from 55 olive-growing countries from 5 continents, and Istrian olive growers are among the 500 best, with a total of 13 percent. In the new edition of the 'extra virgin olive oil bible,' 67 oils from Croatia are included, of which 66 are from Istria and one from Dalmatia.

At the same time, several Istrian olive growers achieved better results than last year, which is proof of significant work on raising the quality and applying the latest scientific and technological achievements in olive growing.

The success of Istrian olive growers is not accidental, but with favorable agro-climatic conditions, the result of numerous agricultural policies of Istria in the past 25 years, such as intensive education of olive growers, distribution of seedlings, but most importantly, loans approved by the County Fund for Agriculture and Agrotourism. Thanks to education, the technology of olive growing and harvest time have entirely changed, and significant investments of Istrian olive growers with the support of the Istrian County have enabled more than 30 technologically advanced oil mills in Istria where hand-picked olives are processed into olive oil. 

Knowledge and funds are invested in preparing oils for the market, which have enabled Istrian extra virgin olive oil to be protected with a mark of origin at the EU level. The mark of authenticity guarantees each consumer that all phases of production, processing, storage, and bottling have taken place in Istria.

"It sounds unreal, and I would say pretentious, but Istria has been declared the best olive growing region in the world for the seventh year in a row," said Denis Ivošević, director of the Istria County Tourist Board, adding that since its first edition in 2010, Istria has and positioned itself as the second-best olive growing region, just behind Tuscany.

However, every year the advantage of Tuscany was smaller. At the end of 2016, Istria took the leading position it has maintained today, but with a far greater difference than Tuscany previously had about Istria.

"Tuscany has come very close to Istria in this issue, and it was uncertain how it will all end this year because last year's campaign in Istria was not memorable, unlike Tuscany, which had an outstanding campaign. However, how it looks this year is sufficiently shown that Istria has 66 olive growers and Tuscany 65, so one more ruled in favor of Istria. Also, excellent results were achieved by the region of Puglia, which in recent years has imposed itself as an olive oil region, and this year it had 51 olive growers included in the guide and came quite close to Tuscany and Istria. An even more important is that up to 1,000 samples from all over the world arrive for evaluation, that a professional panel of tested tasters tests all the received samples in organoleptic terms, that a selection of the 500 best in the world is made and that Istria has 66 among the 500 best, which is impressive," Ivošević added.

To highlight some essential facts from Flos Olei 2022:

- For the seventh year in a row, Istria is the first / best in the world;
- Franko Červar from Novigrad, the best in the category of medium-grade single-variety oil;
- For the first time, an Istrian oil received a grade of 99, Mate oil by Aleksandra Vekić;
- Of the 79 samples sent, 66 olive growers from Istria were included in this year's edition;
- Of the 500 best in the world, 66 are from Istria, which is an incredible 13%;
- Istria itself has more listed oils than the superpower of Spain, which is the world's largest producer and which, due to its size, is divided into 11 large olive-growing regions. Spain has a total of 59 olive growers listed;
- For the third time in a row, as many as two olive growers reached the grade of 98, namely Ipša and Olea BB;
- Seventeen Istrian olive growers were included in the extra class above 94 points.

"Although we have known this for many years, I think it is imperative to be aware of the fact that in no discipline, in any industry, in sport or any other important competition or simply in places where reputation is gained and confirmed, we do not have such a success as Istrian extra virgin olive oil has for seven years in a row," Ivošević points out and adds:

“We are very proud of this fact, but it seems that a lot of work is needed, especially in our country. It takes internal marketing and maturing our importance for this to gain full and true value. We must become aware of it first in Croatia and then for those who promote Croatian gastronomy to point it out proudly. Among other things, Franko Červar won in the category of monosort oil with medium fruitiness. Finally, in this edition, for the first time in history, we received a score of 99. It is Mate Aleksandra Vekić's oil, and I believe that the time has come and that it is seven years confirmation is enough proof to make us aware that we are the best in the world in something," concluded Ivošević.

The complete list of award-winning extra virgin olive oils Flos Olei 2022 can be viewed HERE.

For more on lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 1 July 2021

House of Istrian Olive Oil Has Been Reopened in Pula With New Address

July 1, 2021 - The House of Istrian Olive Oil now has a new address in Pula and its doors are once again open to all lovers of not only olive oil but, in particular, Istrian oil, which is considered one of the best in the world.

After a challenging year, the House of Istrian Olive Oil moved and continued to work in a new space in Istarska 30, only fifty meters from the Pula amphitheater, reports All fans of the history of olive growing and top Istrian olive oils, both domestic and foreign guests, will be able to continue to enjoy a unique cultural and tourist product.


As the initiator of the project and the owner of the House of Istrian Olive Oil Lorena Boljunčić explained, the concept of the House of Oil remains the same, but the new space gives it greater opportunities and new dynamics.

“The museum part has been expanded to include a number of interesting facts from the history of Istrian olive growing from the Roman period to the present day: how the Romans produced olive oil, where it was exported, how oil refining has changed over the centuries and a number of important facts about modern olive oil production. Through educational guided tastings, visitors can learn how to recognize quality extra virgin olive oils, to which aromas and flavors you should pay attention and taste different varietal oils from various Istrian producers. The entire space covers 560 square meters," said Boljuncic.

Let us remind you, the House of Istrian Olive Oil was opened in 2017 in Pula. Through many years of work, an innovative cultural and tourist product has been created to promote a part of the Istrian culture: top Istrian oils with international awards as well as other valuable and Istrian products. Wanting to be a responsible member of the local community, the Oil House has participated in many events in the Istrian County, and more than 25,000 foreign guests from all continents and over 50 countries have passed through the museum and education/tasting.

The House of Istrian Olive Oil has entered the renowned tourist guides and has won awards and recognitions. Thus, in 2017, it received the Golden Goat Award of the Istria County Tourist Board, and a year later the Council of Europe received the House of Oil in the European organization of Cultural Routes with an emphasis on the route "Olive Routes".

Also in 2019, the House received the international BIG SEE award for interior design for public use and was nominated for the best Slavic museum Živa award.

For more information about the museum and guiding packages prices, be sure to check their website.

When it comes to olive oil, Croatia is one of the leading countries in the industry. From Istria to Dalmatia, you can find all the information you need to know about the origins, processes, and where to buy Croatian olive oil on the Total Croatia page, now in your language!

Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Denis Ivošević of Istria Tourist Board: We Want to Achieve Even Better Flos Olei Results

February 9, 2021 - Denis Ivošević of the Istria County Tourist Board revealed that olive oil producers in the region have prepared earlier than ever to achieve even better results in the 2022 Flos Olei guide, and that their work with olives won't stop there. 

Glas Istre reports that at the end of January, the Istria County Tourist Board launched a campaign and sent an invitation to all producers to apply for and deliver extra virgin olive oil for the new edition of the 2022 Flos Olei guide.

According to the Istria Tourist Board director, Denis Ivošević, they began collecting Istrian extra virgin olive oils much earlier this year to reserve the first spot at the tastings. He adds that it may sound unusual, but the order of evaluation is already significant for the outcome and maintaining the reputation of Istria as an international olive oil destination.

"The fact is that every year, more and more is invested in knowledge, but also the acquisition of new skills, so we believe that we will collect a record number of samples that will allow us to approach new records - not only in the number of listed Istrian olive growers but also that for the first time, one of the Istrian olive growers reaches the prestigious 99 points. This is the result we hope for, which would mean a lot to all of us and bring additional momentum to the development of olive growing and confirm the top reputation of Istria as an olive growing destination," says Ivošević.

Recall that Istria has been part of this unique guide since 2005, when only two Istrian producers from the region were included. The Ipša family from Ipši and the Beletić family from Novigrad had the honor of being the first. The guide was then published under the name L'Extravergine, and from 2010 it changed its name and publisher to a new, today recognizable name, Flos Olei. Since the first edition of the guide under this new name in 2010, Istria has taken an important role and positioned itself as the second-best olive growing region, just behind Tuscany. However, every year the advantage of Tuscany was smaller. Finally, in 2016, Istria took the top spot that it has maintained to this day, but with a far greater advantage than Tuscany previously had on Istria. 

"It sounds unreal, and I would say pretentious, but Istria has been declared the best olive growing region in the world for the sixth year in a row. How it looked last year is sufficiently shown by the fact that Istria had 71 olive growers and Tuscany 43. However, it is even more important that more than a thousand samples from all over the world arrive for evaluation, that a professional panel of verified tasters in the organoleptic sense tastes all the received samples, that after that, a selection of the 500 best in the world is made, which is impressive," the director of the regional Tourist Board proudly points out.

The flattering accolades should be taken as motivation for further investment and growth.

"During the corona crisis, I would say the most challenging year in recent history, when there were almost no investments and those planned were stopped in time, only the field of olive growing, among the few, achieved what was intended. Thus, the largest investments were made to raise the quality of processing, storage, and the presentation and sale of Istrian extra virgin olive oils. Total investments exceed HRK 50 million, which is an extremely great achievement for such a specific, niche product. On the one hand, investments have been made in new modern and technologically advanced processing plants. On the other hand, investments have been made in architecturally interesting building solutions with designer-equipped new tasting rooms and boutiques. So last year, the Chiavalon family opened a new olive growing center in Vodnjan, a modern building that includes a special line of Mori olive processing, with a new cellar, tasting room, sales point, storage space. The Ipša family also continued with investments, which also opened an attractive olive growing center in Ipši near Oprtalj. It is a renovated and revalued traditional building where there is a new line of Mori olive processing, with a new cellar, tasting room, point of sale, Istrian tavern, and warehouse. The interim director of the Fund for the Reconstruction of Earthquake-Affected Zagreb, Damir Vanđelić, and his family have opened a new olive grove and center along the road from Bale to Rovinj. The new oil mill is also a refurbished and revalued traditional building housing the new Mori olive processing line, with a new cellar, tasting room, and sales outlet, combined with fruit and vegetable production, given that the olive grove center is located on a 67-hectare-large family farm.

We should also mention the significant investments of the Galić family, which opened a new cellar for extra virgin olive oils in Kostanjica near Grožnjan, a tasting room, and a sales point and a panoramic terrace, as well as Oleum Maris, where a new olive center opened along the road between Vodnjan and Pula. It is a modern building with a new basement and sales point and continues with a new tasting room and projections and a panoramic terrace. Finally, thanks to an investment by the Beletić family from Novigrad, a new, modern Pieralisi olive processing line was opened.

This list is only part, or the most significant investments of Istrian olive growers, with a handful of smaller ones that complete the picture of how much importance is attached to raising new olive groves, acquiring new knowledge and skills, improving production and the technological process, but also new models of presentation and sales of the final product - extra virgin olive oil of premium quality.

"In Istria, olive growing has become the ultimate question of identity and national pride!" says Ivošević.

"Olive growing in the broadest sense of the word is not just producing extra virgin olive oil. If we have proven that we are capable of producing high-quality extra virgin olive oil, that we know how to promote, brand, advertise, and sell it, we must certainly try in other disciplines that come from the basic product - olives," says Ivošević, and delves into the areas where there is potential for further growth. He says it is the production of table olives, which is rarely used commercially on the Peninsula today.

"We have almost no serious producers who have found their niche or specialization in this area, and that is the part we definitely miss, especially since the demand for such a product is extremely high, especially given the developed gastronomy in Istria and Croatia. The use of table olives can definitely be used in a wide range of Istrian gastronomy presentation. For example, it can be used in various forms and techniques of preparation as an introductory greeting from the kitchen, as a separate snack, or in combination with other products as a supplement to various tastings. It can also be used as an appetizer, hot or cold, as an addition to the main course, and why not as part of a dessert? But, most importantly, we would avoid importing the worst quality of such olives, which we import almost without any quality criteria and health control," explains Ivošević.

One of the directions is certainly a stronger focus on niche cosmetic production of olive-based boutique cosmetics. In this part of dedicated production, he recalls, we have pioneers who began using extra virgin olive oil in cosmetics, not only through sales in specialty stores but also in increasing use in wellness, beauty, and health treatments.

It is unnecessary to explain that extra virgin olive oil, in the way it is produced in Istria, is a natural product and contains many qualities. It is naturally rich in unsaturated fatty acids. It has a high content of phenols that have a beneficial health effect because olive oil polyphenols help protect blood lipids from oxidative stress. Extra virgin olive oil is also a natural source of tocopherol, a precursor of vitamin E, which helps protect cells from oxidative stress when present in sufficient quantities. Tocopherols in the presence of phenols act synergistically, i.e., enhance their antioxidant effect.

"It has long been known that extra virgin olive oil is a natural remedy, and now the globally known Jennifer Lopez has launched a cosmetic line based on olive oil "JLo Beauty Olive Complex," which will certainly encourage some to try the same in that specific niche of cosmetics and natural remedies," says Ivošević.

In the end, he says, the waste generated by processing olives can be used wisely, by using firewood seeds. In this way, the potential of olives would be fully used, and the problem of disposing of that waste would be partially solved.

"With new directions, such as this, Istria will show that in addition to the prestige in the production of premium extra virgin olive oil, we turn to other disciplines that include an extensive range of opportunities - from the segment of health, nutrition, and psychophysical fitness, beauty treatment and rejuvenation, wellness treatment, in the broadest sense of the word, all the way to sustainable and responsible development in terms of waste management for heating," concludes Denis Ivošević.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 30 August 2020

Historical Mystery: Dinosaurs Secret to Top Istrian Wine and Olive Oil?

August 30, 2020 – Dinosaurs may have disappeared 65 million years ago, but before that, they lived, multiplied, and died here in Istria for a full 80 million years. Are they the secret to top Istrian wine and olive oil?

As Jutarnji list/Mladen Gerovac writes, it is not possible that dinosaurs haven't left any other, invisible traces in Istria apart from footprints and bones. Even though this has not been scientifically confirmed, the fact that these huge intriguing creatures have lived on this soil for millions of years raises questions as to how they lived and the traces they left.

There are numerous traces of dinosaurs in Istria: on Veli Brijun, Kamenjak, in the bay near Bale, on the islets of Fenoliga and Levan, on the Marlera peninsula... Therefore, educational trails have been set up, dinosaurs' bodies have been shaped, and exhibition and amusement parks have been designed with them as the main characters.

Dinosaurs have been treading this soil for millions of years, living here, breeding, turning the local forests and glades of that time into their pastures, hunting grounds, nests, and promenades. But why right here on the coast of Istria? How did they live and how did they disappear?

Did they leave some more traces on this land where we walk, sail, host tourists from all over the world, and enjoy beautiful landscapes? And especially the fruits of this specific Istrian land: in the best olive oil, in top wines, fruits, vegetables, prosciutto, cheese, truffles...?



Dinosaur's fossilized feet on Brijuni, Istria / Copyright Romulić and Stojčić


Herbivores and carnivores

Paleontologists have registered more than 10,000 dinosaur remains worldwide: bones, skulls, teeth, coprolite (fossil feces), and fossilized feet. True, not a single coprolite was found in Istria, but according to the Istrian flora in Cretaceous, it is quite clear that herbivores have fed well with rich plants of that time: tall and lush ferns, flowering plants, coniferous and deciduous treetops.

Carnivores have fed on everything that moved. And altogether, they richly fertilized the soil of their habitat so that it would respond with an even richer "table".



Istria / Copyright Romulić and Stojčić


Among Istrian dinosaurs, scientists mention herbivorous sauropods and carnivorous theropods. The herbivore brachiosaurus is especially impressive. It is 27 meters long and 12 meters high, and weighing about 70 tons.

Certainly, numerous dinosaurs with their huge bodies, appetite, and rich remains have ennobled this Istrian land over millions of years, be it red, black, gray, or white. Hardworking Istrians grow olives, vines, vegetables, fruits here today. They extract the best olive oil, the finest Malvasia, Merlot, Teran, Cabernet Sauvignon from the fruits of the earth.

The autochthonous Istrian Boškarin has been grazing here for two and a half thousand years, together with cows, sheep, and goats. Thousands of guests of this beautiful region enjoy it all today. But it must not be forgotten – in the beginning, there were dinosaurs here.



Vineyard in Istria / Copyright Romulić and Stojčić


So, let’s leave room for some unscientific, but simple conclusions. Can so much biomass go unnoticed? Aren't dinosaurs responsible for the exceptional Istrian wine terroir? For the top quality local olive oil?

Dinosaurs may have disappeared 65 million years ago, but before that, they lived, multiplied, and died here in Istria for a full 80 million years.


For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

Read the Croatian Travel Update in your language - now available in 24 languages

Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community.

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Flos Olei 2020: Istrian Olive Oil Makes Up 15% of 500 Best Olive Oils in World

December 11, 2019 - The eleventh edition of the most influential guide to the world's top extra virgin olive oils, Flos Olei 2020, was officially promoted in Rome last week. Istrian olive oil was once again in the international spotlight. 

Namely, HRTurizam writes that Istria has once again been awarded the title of the highest-quality extra virgin olive oil region in the world, for the fifth consecutive time. This is especially important given the fact that the publication contains oils from around the world, that is, from 53 olive-growing countries. Better yet, Istrian olive oil makes up as much as 15 percent among the top 500 olive oils in the world.


Thus, in the new edition of this olive oil bible, 79 oils from the territory of Croatia are included, 77 of which are from Istria. There is also one oil listed from the island of Krk and one from Dalmatia. At the same time, most olive growers achieved better results than last year, which is proof of significant work on raising the quality and application of the latest scientific and technological developments in olive growing.

Such worldwide success certainly contributes to the branding of Croatia, and especially of Istria as a gastronomic destination, since extra virgin olive oil is a major food supplement and a staple of the Mediterranean diet, and is valued almost everywhere in the world for its organoleptic and medicinal properties.

"It sounds unreal and I would say pretentious, but for the fifth year in a row, Istria has been named the best olive oil region in the world. Since its first release in 2010, Istria has immediately taken on an important role and positioned itself as the second-best olive oil region, just behind Tuscany. But each year, Tuscany's advantage has diminished, and at the end of 2016, it has occupied the leading position it retained to this day, but with a far greater difference than Tuscany previously had compared to Istria. It’s enough to say that Istria has 77 listed olive oils this year, and Tuscany 53. Even more important is the fact that more than 1,500 samples from all over the world arrive for evaluation, that a professional panel of tested tasters organoleptically test all received samples, that afterward, the best 500 in the world are selected and that within the top 500 Istria has 77, which is truly impressive,” says Denis Ivošević, director of the Istria County Tourist Board.

Ivošević also touched on one important topic, which is that Croatia must start respecting themselves, as others would start recognizing Croatia, and pointed out that it is of utmost importance that Croatia become aware of the fact that in no discipline, in any industry, in sports or any other significant competition, or simply in places where reputation is gained and confirmed, does Croatia have such success as the Istrian olive oil region.

"We are very proud of this fact, but it seems that there is still a lot of work to be done both in our country and abroad, that this primacy bears full and true value, that we become aware of it first in Croatia, and that all those who promote Croatian gastronomy proudly point it out. I believe that the time has come and that five years of validation is proof enough to make us aware that we are in the best of something in the world,” concluded Ivošević.

You can find the Flos Olei 2020 guide here

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Flos Olei Names Istria the World's Best Olive Oil Region, Again!

October 15, 2019 - Flos Olei, the world's most influential and extensive guide to the world of olive oil, has declared Istria the world's best olive oil region, again! 

Namely, the northern Croatia region of Istria has once again been recognized for its olive oil, further establishing Croatia and this region as a relevant destination for international gastronomy. 

HRTurizam writes that the popular Flos Olei 2020 publication, considered the bible of olive oil, lists as many as 79 oils from Croatia among the top 500 olive oils in the world. Of the total, 77 olive growers are from Istria, with one each from Dalmatia and Primorje-Gorski Kotar County. 

For five years in a row, Istria has boasted the most olive oils in the Flos Olei publication.


Out of the maximum 100 points, three olive oils from Istria (Ipša, Mate and Olea B. B.) scored an impressive 98 points.

This is once again an immeasurable success for Istria, where the tradition of olive growing has lasted more than two millennia. 

Plava Kamenica writes that Istrian oils are the base of the triangle that must form Croatia’s international gastronomic identity. The other two elements of that identity are, as they say, white truffles and Kvarner shrimp. Based on this triangle, which has an unconditional international gastronomic value, other elements of Croatia’s gastronomic identity can be affirmed: from tuna and other fish to cheeses, black Slavonian pigs and more.

Plava Kamenica continues that the truly sensational success of Istrian olive oils is as essential for the international affirmation of Croatian gastronomy as Michelin stars.

Now, this fantastic result should be promoted by all possible channels - not just in gastronomy and tourism. They add that it is high time for Istrian oils to become part of Croatia's diplomatic legitimacy; whoever officially represents Croatia in the world should also serve it with Istrian oils.

You can see the Flos Olei 2020 guide of the 500 best olive oils in the world here

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

Friday, 7 June 2019

Grubić Family Produce 6000 Bottles of Istrian Olive Oil Per Year

Croatian olive oil, particularly that from Istria, is known and respected worldwide as among the best on the planet. Having received numerous awards and recognitions, any lover of this golden liquid (the type that isn't beer, that is), should make sure to pay this stunning region of Croatia a visit.

As Lucija Spiljak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 6th of June, 2019, in the very heart of olive oil heaven, also known as Istria, lies a sort of elixir of life - virgin olive oil. The Grubić family has been manufacturing and processing such olive oil for several decades and continues to introduce yet more new trends in this competitive industry.

The story of the olive oil made in Bale, Istria, dates back to 1927, as Emanuel Grubić, owner of the oil mill, told Poslovni Dnevnik, describing the date when the first "modern" oil mill was built, which remained in operation for a further 38 years.

It was eventually closed back in 1965, but the Grubić family halted its decay and dilapidation, purchased it and renewed it during the 1990's, and so preserved the rest of the line. There was no complete restoration, but the past and the future of Istrian olive oil and olive growing as a whole can be looked into further within the building's museum, which showcases old exhibits with stone mills, presses, hydraulic pumps and more.

There is also the modern Pieralisi olive processing plant. The museum and the new part are divided by a glass door, behind which lies the ''new'' olive oil experience.

Today, the family from Bale, Istria, deals exclusively with olive oil and cold processing, and they currently work to produce three different olive oil varieties.

"We haven't got large plants and industrial halls, we cultivate two varieties and we concentrate on the quality rather than on the quantity. On our eight hectares [of land], about 1,700 olive trees have been planted, from which ten farmers harvest up to 200 kilograms per day, manually, so that the fruits aren't damaged, as is the case with mechanical harvesting. We produce and sell up to 6,000 bottles a year. These are olives that are over 400 years old,'' Grubić stated, adding that they're also engaged in service activities and therefore process olive oil for their partners, too.

The taste and the top quality of their olive oil has been recognised abroad as well as here in Croatia; having been placed among the best extra virgin olive oils in the entire world, as well as earning other similar titles, numerous times.

Make sure to follow our dedicated Made in Croatia page for much more. 

Saturday, 9 March 2019

What Does it Take for Istrian Olive Oil to be Rated Best Year after Year?

The region of Istria once again wears the proud title of the best olive oil region in the world, but what does it take for Istrian olive oil to prevail?

Monday, 31 December 2018

Best of Istria: Extra Virgin Olive Oil

December 31, 2018 — In the second article of the Best of Istria series find out more about Istrian olive oil and why it is ranked among the best in the world.

While Croatia has been growing olives for centuries, it has only recently been gaining global recognition as a producer of high-quality extra virgin olive oil.

This year, however, was marked by another recognition from Flos Olei, the world's most comprehensive guide to the world's best extra virgin olive oils with certified quality which contributes to the branding of Croatia as a gourmet destination.

The numbers speak for themselves: of the total of 500 olive oil producers from 51 countries that were reviewed in the Flos Olei 2018 guide, 77 producers come from Croatia, 75 of which are Istrian, and in the 2018 guide, which is Flos Olei's 9th edition, Istria was named "Best Olive Oil Region in World" for the 4th consecutive year.

Among the highest ranked producers are Klaudio Ipša of Livade, Agrofin's Mate Vekić of Savudrija, Olea BB's Duilio Belić of Rabac, and OPG Enio Zubin of Umag, all of which have scored a remarkable 97/99 points. And with scoring only one point less, notable mentions go to Istrian producers OPG Matteo Belci of Vodnjan, OPG Buršić of Brtonigla, Meneghetti of Bale, Tonin of Vodnjan, and OPG Giancarlo Zigante of Buje.

In addition, Istria's status as world's best olive oil region was sealed by a prize in Flos Olei's ranking "The Best 20" which was awarded to Enio Zubin whose Oio de Buščina made with the local variety Črnica earned the title of "The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil" in the "Medium Fruity Monovarietal" category.

So once again, Istria has surpassed some of the world's most famous olive oil regions like Italy's Tuscany and Spain's Andalusia, and the secret to Istria's success in the global olive oil production scene is the combination of the region's exceptional terroir and indigenous olive varieties.

"Istria has managed to make this great leap forward because the producers have had the intuition to focus on the peculiar characteristics of the rich palette of native cultivars," said Laura Marinelli, expert taster and the editor of Flos Olei's guide.

Istrian olive oils are exported worldwide so don't miss out on trying them, and for more related content, make sure to follow TCN's gourmet page.


Page 1 of 2