Best of Istria: Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Total Croatia News

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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.



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