Al Torcio Oil Mill, Novigrad, Strada Contessa 22a, Istria

Olive groves in Al Torcio, belonging to the Beletić family in Novigrad

Olive groves of the Beletić family from Novigrad

Al Torcio owns four olive groves across 4.78 hectares with 1,854 olive trees, all of which are used exclusively for olive oil production. These olive groves are located in the vicinity of the Strada Contessa settlement in Novigrad, Istria, not far from the sea.

Production of olive oil from eight monocultivars

The Al Torcio oil mill is unique to Croatia due to its production of single-variety olive oil from eight monocultivars, which means that they require separate processing, harvesting, storage and marketing.

The varieties that are produced are Leccino, Pendolino, Frantoio, Itrana, Rosinjola, Istrian Bjelica, Moraiolo and Ascolana, as well as a blend of selected varieties. Each of these varieties gives the oils specific characteristics and aromas, which determines their usage. The average annual harvest ranges between 20,000 and 30,000kg of olives, depending on the year and yield.

Exclusively hand-picked olives

In the olive groves of the Beletić family in Novigrad, olives are harvested exclusively by hand picking, which avoids damage both to the fruit and the olive tree. The harvested fruits are processed into oil on the very same day, thus obtaining the highest quality olive oil with a free fatty acid content of 0.17-0.23%. For the fertilisation of the olive groves, specially produced fertiliser is used, obtained from the fermented pomace which is a production waste of the olive mill.

The Al Torcio oil mill guarantees the highest quality olive oils, which contain 30% more polyphenols and the highest yields per unit weight.

How the olive tree was born

There are many stories of how the olive was created and why it possesses so much power, the most famous of which goes back to the time of Ancient Greece and the gods of Olympus. Legend has it that a city was founded in Greece, to which the gods were to give a name. Since Athena (the goddess of wisdom) and Poseidon (the god of the sea) failed to agree, the Supreme God Zeus himself intervened, and decided that the city would be named after whoever gave the most beautiful gift to its inhabitants.

Poseidon played it safe; he thrust his trident into the stone and a spring appeared. Water has always been considered precious, so this was his gift to the townspeople.

The olive is a symbol of wisdom, peace and prosperity

The wise Athena, goddess of wisdom, peace and prosperity, applied a different strategy; she struck a stick into the ground, and a modest but strong olive tree grew out of it. Residents agreed that they valued the olive tree more than the spring water. The city was thus named Athens, and the olive tree then became a symbol of wisdom, peace and prosperity.