Master Miller in Istria Explains His Sustained Success at World Competition

Edi Druzetić says a state-of-the-art mill, quick harvest and carefully balanced blends are the secrets to Uljara Vodnjan’s success at the NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.

Olive oil producers from Istria, Croatia’s most famous olive-growing region, continue to win awards at the 2023 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.

Among the Istrian winners of the world’s largest olive oil quality competition are the producers at Uljara Vodnjan, who earned two Gold Awards for their Salvela Aurom and Punta Cisana brands.

“It was to be expected,” production technician and agronomist Edi Druzetić told Olive Oil Times. “We have top-quality oils, but the awards are always a pleasant surprise.”

The mill at Uljara Vodnjan is thought to be the oldest in Istria – possibly Croatia – but also equipped with state-of-the-art technology. The mill was built over 100 years ago and thoroughly renovated and modernized last year.

Uljara Vodnjan produced 33,000 liters of extra virgin olive oil from the fruits of their olive groves using the traditional extraction method and also transformed 1,100 tons of other Istrian olive growers’ crops.

He explained how Uljara Vodnjan produces its extra virgin olive oil, awarded 12 times by the NYIOOC since 2016.

“We take special care during harvesting and processing,” Druzetić said. “We strive to produce harmonious multi-varietal oils from domestic and imported varieties from our olive groves.”