We create high-quality olive oil in balance between man and nature.
Oio Vivo – “the oil that’s alive”, bears an ancient Roman name in honor of the Istro-Roman dialect still in use today in Vodnjan. The name represents millennia of tradition of olive oil production. The result of connecting an excellent geographical location for the cultivation of olive trees, with an innovative approach to the production of olive oil, results in the creation of our high-quality oil.
It is important that only mechanical procedures are used during milling through a cold process (under 27 ° C) with no refining. This is a typical production methodology for high quality extra virgin olive oil.
The quality of our oils is achieved through growing in clean varietal olive groves, using integrated farming methods with organic fertilizers, as well as incorporating innovations in farming.
Certain varieties have a higher amount of polyphenols such as varietal oil of the Istrian bjelica (more than 450mg / kg), which directly affects the quality of the oil. Level of polyphenols is elevated in other olive oils of indigenous Istrian varieties and ranges between 300-450 mg / kg.
Harvest time and the ripeness of the fruit significantly affects the level of polyphenols in the olive fruit. The oil is best when harvested early and full ripening has just begun.
Studies have shown that olive oils from southern Istrian region, with less water and more sunny days a year, have a larger share of polyphenols and thus a higher quality of the oil.
The Istrian region, a peninsula on the western coast of Croatia within a Mediterranean climate zone, is exceptionally suitable for growing olives. Even the ancient Romans were aware of that, producing in Istria significant quantities of highly valuable olive oil. The area of Vodnjan, in the south of the Istrian peninsula, with its sunny olive groves, red soil, stone walls and the warm sea air that connects the eastern and western coast of Istria, was known as the region where the most revered olive oil was produced.
Our olive grove of 56 hectares and 15,000 trees, is situated in a prime location for olive growing, at an altitude of 60-120 m above sea level and only 4.5 km away from the north Adriatic. Lying between Vodnjan in the north, and Pula in the south in the southern part of the Istrian peninsula, it enjoys the beneficial breezes of warm sea air from the Rasa Bay in the east and the Brijuni Islands in the west.
Olive grove is divided into a regular orthogonal grid, (recalling the Roman legacy of land centuriation – a method of land measurement), within which five native olive varieties, plus the the two Italian ones, are cultivated.
Leccino and pendolino as the main pollenizer in the olive grove.
When to harvest olives is a very important question. The timing of harvest will significantly affect the quality and taste of the oil. The most reveared oils in ancient Roman times were harvested early and displayed a green to green-yellow hue. These oils possessed beautiful fresh flavors and were given the name ex Albis ulivis. Phenolic compounds give olive oil its flavor and aroma, and their effected is reduced with the ripening of the olives, therefore it is very important to follow the process of ripening so that a timely decision on harvest can be made when the levels of polyphenols in fresh olive fruit are highest.
The processing of olives takes place in a few carefully regulated phases: cleaning and washing of the fruits, grinding, mixing the olive dough, separating solid from liquid parts, and separation of the oil mixture to oil and water. The ultimate goal of this procedure is to obtain oil from the olive fruit without cause significant changes in the chemical composition that could affect the oil quality and its biological and nutritional value. The process of mixing the olive dough should be given special attention as it is the very part of the process with a possible significant loss of polyphenols, which will ultimately affect the quality of the oil and its further protection from oxidation.
After the processing, the oil is stored in a fresh and airy space built within the olive grove at a constant temperature in stainless steel tanks which are attached to nitrogen gas that prevents any contact of the oil with air. In this way, oxidation is prevented and the oil keeps its good properties in a long term.
Natural olive oil is primarily a fat or a lipid ( 99 % ) insoluble in water and a representative of simple lipids : triglycerides , or esters of fatty acids and glycerols. From a nutritional point of view, lipids are divided into spare lipids that have an energy effect and are stored in the human tissues, and lipids involved in building a body cell. A share of a particular fatty acid in the oil is of particular importance for the assessment of its nutritional value.
It is the small components of olive oil (only 1%) that make a key difference in the biological nutritional value and quality of the oil, and of all the ingredients most important are the polyphenols. It is the fruit of the olive that is the richest in phenolic compounds – effective natural antioxidants that protect the olive oil from oxidation, thereby contributing to the stability of the oil, and the preservation of its quality and durability.
The share of phenolic compounds in the olive oil is an important parameter in assessing the quality of extra virgin olive oils. We can recognize the phenols by a spicy and bitter taste, the so-called ‘green’ feel and a specific smell. Trained oil tasters can generally detect the presence of phenolic substances and the harmony in olive oils.
Other highly valuable substances present in extra virgin olive oils are various antioxidants like squalene, tocopherols (vitamin E) and different types of phenolic substances, such as LDL, which protect the human body from oxidation processes, thereby preventing or slowing down the development of chronic degenerative processes that lead to blockage of the blood vessels and eventually the coronary, heart and neurological diseases.