Croatian Ag Minister Applauds Country’s Most Awarded Producer

With four more honors at the 2024 World Olive Oil Competition, Avistria is Croatia's most decorated producer.
Beatrix and Rudolf Nemetschke
By Nedjeljko Jusup
Apr. 18, 2024 00:05 UTC

With the noti­fi­ca­tion of its four awards ear­lier this week, Avistria became the most dec­o­rated Croatian pro­ducer in the World Olive Oil Rankings and this year’s NYIOOC.

Based in the north­west­ern region of Istria, the pro­duc­ers earned three Gold Awards and a Silver Award at the 2024 World Competition, bring­ing their total to 24 since 2018.

We are proud of our suc­cesses,” own­ers Beatrix and Rudolf Nemetschke told Olive Oil Times. We cel­e­brated each award with friends in Istria and Austria.”

See Also:2024 NYIOOC Coverage

The cou­ple reside in Sankt Wolfgang in north­ern Austria but have grown olives for nearly a decade in Sveti Lovreč. This for­mer seat of the Venetian bishop has the ideal loca­tion and soil for olive cul­ti­va­tion.

Nine years ago, the cou­ple bought about 85 hectares of land with 400 aban­doned olive trees, which they have since restored.

They have planted 1,600 trees, mainly of Istrian and selected Italian vari­eties. The olive grove cur­rently cov­ers 35 hectares, and they intend to expand. Our goal is to have 15,000 trees and grow them organ­i­cally,” Rudolf Nemetschke said.

The couple’s pri­mary focus is on typ­i­cal Istrian vari­eties such as Buža, Storta, Karbonazza, Rožignola or Istarska Bijelica, and they pre­fer Italian vari­eties such as Leccino, Frantoio, Pendolino, Itrana and Amaurino.

Nemetschke said the secret to the company’s suc­cess is the agrotech­ni­cal mea­sures car­ried out dur­ing the year, includ­ing dur­ing the har­vest, and the team behind those mea­sures.

We have a team of experts and work­ers who have been work­ing together for years,” Nemetschke said. I also try to take part in all the work.”

The com­pany focuses on qual­ity over quan­tity, under­tak­ing an early har­vest each sea­son. In the 2023/24 crop year, Avistria pro­duced 1,242 liters of extra vir­gin olive oil, cit­ing adverse cli­matic con­di­tions and the olive fruit fly as major chal­lenges.

We har­vest in the early stage of ripen­ing when the fruits are of the best qual­ity,” Nemetschke said. From them, we pro­duce green, espe­cially spicy, appro­pri­ately bit­ter but har­mo­nious oils with accen­tu­ated fruit fla­vors.”

He added, The oils are mostly mono­va­ri­etals, and we also pro­duce a top-qual­ity cuvee Istrian blend.”

The cou­ple har­vests the olives using hand rakes and trans­ports them to the mill within hours. We exclu­sively pro­duce extra vir­gin olive oil,” Nemetschke said. Immediately after pick­ing, we process the fruits in a state-of-the-art Pieralissi oil mill.”

According to World Olive Oil Rankings data, Avistria is the most awarded Croatian pro­ducer at the NYIOOC and ranked sev­enth world­wide for the most awards earned.

Al Torcio is the sec­ond most-awarded Croatian pro­ducer with 16 awards, fol­lowed by OPG Ivica Vlatkovic, which has 15.

We won the first NYIOOC award in 2018,” Nemetschke said. Since then, Avistria has par­tic­i­pated in every edi­tion of the com­pe­ti­tion.

It’s a great feel­ing to win NYIOOC awards for all the oils we pro­duce,” Nemetschke said. Also, for the first time, gold for our Cuvee Istrian Blend, which has won sil­ver in recent years.”

The company’s sus­tained suc­cess has not gone unno­ticed. When news of their lat­est recog­ni­tion broke, Marija Vučković, Croatia’s agri­cul­ture min­is­ter, con­grat­u­lated the cou­ple.

As Austrians who grow olive groves in Istria, we are par­tic­u­larly proud,” the cou­ple said.

Nemetschke said the awards and recog­ni­tion that come with it have helped the com­pany mar­ket its extra vir­gin olive oils.

Avistria sells most of its oils in Austria but has local cus­tomers in Istria. Its mar­ket­ing strat­egy is based on the tar­get pop­u­la­tion of con­sumers, pri­vate clients, restau­rants, hotels and cer­tain spe­cial­ized stores.

The cou­ple also plans to build a new coun­try house on their Istrian estate with a tast­ing room and a small oil mill to process their olives.

We are sat­is­fied,” Nemetschke said. This is a new moti­va­tion for the upcom­ing olive grow­ing year.”


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