Elementary Schoolers Helped Produce One of Croatia's Best Extra Virgin Olive Oils

OPG Uroda earned a Gold Award at the 2023 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition with help from local students.
By Nedjeljko Jusup
Apr. 6, 2023 00:51 UTC

Part of our con­tin­u­ing spe­cial cov­er­age of the 2023 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.

With 32 awards in the 2023 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition’s early results, Croatian pro­duc­ers have earned the third-high­est award tally, behind Italy and the United States. 

Contributing to the small European coun­try’s suc­cess was OPG Uroda, which gar­nered a Gold Award for its medium blend. What I promised, I did,” Krešimir Uroda, owner of the Dalmatian com­pany, told Olive Oil Times. 

It’s an incred­i­ble feel­ing. It’s like win­ning the UEFA Champions League or climb­ing Mount Everest.- Krešimir Uroda, owner, OPG Uroda

This year, Uroda sub­mit­ted an extra vir­gin olive oil to the com­pe­ti­tion made from olives har­vested by stu­dents from the International Elementary School Matija Gubec from Zagreb, the Croatian cap­i­tal.

As part of their lessons about nature, the stu­dents vis­ited Uroda’s olive grove 329 kilo­me­ters away in the hin­ter­land of Pirovac, a pic­turesque town in Dalmatia. 

See Also:Best Croatian Extra Virgin Olive Oils

When he told the stu­dents that he would send the oil made with their help to the world’s largest olive oil qual­ity com­pe­ti­tion, there was no end to the enthu­si­asm.

If this oil wins the prize, the whole world will know that our school and we helped,” one of the stu­dents said. 

The school – known to be attended by the chil­dren of diplo­mats, elite ath­letes, busi­ness peo­ple and enter­tain­ers – is located in Zagreb’s Srednjaci dis­trict, near the United States embassy, which is why they call it the American school.”


Krešimir Uroda with his fiancee Đurđica Reljić

The award-win­ning blend is crafted from Oblica, Leccino and Levantinka olives. In the olive grove, sur­rounded by dry­wall, Uroda har­vested about two tons of fruit from 354 trees and obtained 500 liters of oil. Part of the prop­erty has been devel­oped for tourism.

We built it for our­selves, for our fam­ily, and then, two years ago, when we got the nec­es­sary approvals, we offered it to tourists through Airbnb,” Uroda said. The response was beyond expec­ta­tions.”

He said the guests are attracted by the olive grove, the prox­im­ity to the sea and the nat­ural beauty of the coun­try­side out­side Pirovac.

In its first year of oper­a­tion, OPG Uroda achieved 75 overnight stays and, based on guests’ eval­u­a­tions, received the cov­eted Superhost dis­tinc­tion. 

Last year, the num­ber of guests dou­bled, and this year Uroda and his fiancee Đurđica Reljić expect even bet­ter results.

We believe that our busi­ness in olive grow­ing will only go for­ward,” the cou­ple said. 

When asked how it felt to win a Gold Award at the NYIOOC, Uroda said the same thing he told the stu­dents who vis­ited last autumn: It’s an incred­i­ble feel­ing. It’s like win­ning the UEFA Champions League or climb­ing Mount Everest.”


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