Slovenian Producers Celebrate Award-Winning Finish to Challenging Harvest

While Slovenia's production fell 20 percent below average, two producers overcame inclement weather and pests to produce award-winning extra virgin olive oil.

Harvest at Morgan
By Nedjeljko Jusup
Apr. 9, 2024 12:35 UTC
Harvest at Morgan

Two Slovenian pro­duc­ers have rea­son to cel­e­brate after a slightly below-aver­age har­vest in the 2023/24 crop year.

In the first three weeks of the 2024 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition, the pro­duc­ers behind Morgan earned a Gold Award, while Villa Eva took home a Silver Award.

We have no prob­lems with sales. The awards at the NYIOOC increase our recog­ni­tion at the local and global level and help pro­mote our region.- Franc Morgan, award-win­ning pro­ducer

Overall, the NYIOOC, which will con­tinue to announce win­ners through May, received six entries from the European Union’s small­est olive oil pro­ducer.

European Commission data show that Slovenia pro­duced 500 tons of olive oil in 2023/24, 20 per­cent below the five-year aver­age.

See Also:2024 NYIOOC Updates

It is a great honor for our fam­ily,” said Franc Morgan, one the country’s most suc­cess­ful pro­duc­ers at the World Competition.

The company’s Cuvvee brand, a medium-inten­sity blend of organic Istrska Belica, Leccino, Maurino, Moraiolo and Rosciola olives, won its sev­enth Gold Award at the com­pe­ti­tion since 2017.

Our oils are har­mo­nious. They are char­ac­ter­ized by their fresh­ness, fruiti­ness and intense taste,” Morgan said.

The almost ideal fruit-grow­ing loca­tion also con­tributes to the qual­ity. The Morgan family’s olive grove com­prises 1,200 trees located 230 meters above sea level in the pris­tine nat­ural envi­ron­ment sur­round­ing Grintovec, in the south­west­ern cor­ner of Slovenia, near the Adriatic Sea.

The whole fam­ily is involved in all the work, with Morgan’s wife, Silvana, his daugh­ters, Jenny and Ariana, and their hus­bands and chil­dren all par­tic­i­pat­ing in the har­vest.

Olives are har­vested by hand at opti­mal ripeness and imme­di­ately processed at the Santomas oil mill in Šmarje,” Jenny Morgan said.

Immediately after milling, the oil is stored in stain­less steel tanks under inert gas to main­tain the max­i­mum qual­ity of the oil through­out the year,” Morgan said.

The Gold Award has given the Morgan fam­ily a chance to breathe a sigh of relief after over­com­ing a demand­ing year marked by bad weather, includ­ing rain, wind and hail, fol­lowed by extreme sum­mer heat and the emer­gence of pests, includ­ing the olive fruit fly.

While the fam­ily main­tained qual­ity, they said that quan­tity had suf­fered, pro­duc­ing about 30 per­cent less than in pre­vi­ous years.

On aver­age, we pro­duce between 4,000 and 4,500 liters,” Franc Morgan said. We have no prob­lems with sales. The awards at the NYIOOC increase our recog­ni­tion at the local and global level and help pro­mote our region.”

Recently, they started export­ing their oils to Austria, Germany, Japan and the United States. They are con­vinced that their busi­ness can only go for­ward because, as Jenny Morgan said, they do what they love, and they love what they do.”

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