Olive Oil Sommelier Program Heads to Croatia

The Olive Oil Times Education Lab's flagship five-day sommelier program will be presented in Postira, Croatia coinciding with the fourth annual World Championship of Olive Picking and the local olive harvest this October.

Postira, Croatia
Jun. 17, 2021
By Olive Oil Times Staff
Postira, Croatia

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UPDATE: The October 2021 Postira course has been post­poned. Read more here.

The Olive Oil Times Education Lab’s flag­ship five-day som­me­lier pro­gram will be pre­sented in Postira, Croatia coin­cid­ing with the fourth annual World Championship of Olive Picking and the local olive har­vest this October.

I am so happy and so proud that this world-renowned pro­gram will be held in our small town.- Siniša Marović, Mayor of Postira, Croatia

It will be the first course offered since February 2020, when it was held in London — before the Covid pan­demic shut down travel and group gath­er­ings.

Curtis Cord, the direc­tor of the pro­gram, said the munic­i­pal­ity of Postira pro­posed the idea of bring­ing the course to the coastal vil­lage dur­ing its unique olive pick­ing con­test.

I imme­di­ately like the idea of pro­vid­ing our atten­dees with an oppor­tu­nity to expe­ri­ence a one-of-a-kind har­vest-time event while they mas­ter tast­ing tech­niques and qual­ity assess­ment,” he said.

Croatia has been in the news lately after the coun­try’s pro­duc­ers — and espe­cially those from Dalmatia, where Postira sits — achieved astound­ing suc­cess at the 2021 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.

1,171 extra vir­gin olive oils from 28 coun­tries were sub­mit­ted to the NYIOOC, with 105 from Croatia. Of these, 53 came from Dalmatia – one of Croatia’s four his­toric regions that stretches along the south­west­ern coast.

Eighty-seven of the Croatian brands sub­mit­ted to the pres­ti­gious com­pe­ti­tion were awarded — the high­est suc­cess rate of any coun­try that sub­mit­ted over 20 entries.

Attendees will be able to wit­ness pro­duc­tion at an award-win­ning farm and taste fresh oils at the moment of extrac­tion dur­ing field trips planned dur­ing the week-long immer­sive expe­ri­ence.

The five-day olive oil som­me­lier pro­gram is designed to empower a new gen­er­a­tion of olive oil experts and edu­ca­tors. The fast-paced cur­ricu­lum spans top­ics rang­ing from har­vest­ing and pro­duc­tion to health, culi­nary appli­ca­tions and advanced sen­sory assess­ment.

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Postira, Croatia

Leaders in Postira said the som­me­lier pro­gram, which has been held in New York, London and San Francisco, would be good for the town, as well as all of Croatia, by call­ing atten­tion to its beau­ti­ful land­scape, rich olive oil cul­ture and friendly locals.

I am so happy and so proud that this world-renowned pro­gram will be held in our small town,” the mayor of Postira, Siniša Marović told Olive Oil Times, We may be small com­pared to other world cities where these courses are held, but we will have some­thing spe­cial to show and pro­vide to the atten­dees.”

Ivana Jelinčić, the direc­tor of the Postira Tourist Board, said: The train­ing will take place at the same time as our World Championship in Olive Picking, which will com­plete a spe­cial story that Postira and Dol have. I believe that the pro­gram par­tic­i­pants will take back fond mem­o­ries.”

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