Uljara Vodnjan, the olive mill
Along with wine, olive oil is an essential part of the Istrian terroir. Olive oil is under the very skin of the Istrian people!
The tradition of olive oil cultivation is more than 2,500 years old. This is evidenced by records and archaeological findings from Roman times. The Romans were the first to understand the exceptional climatic conditions of Istria, to transfer their methods of olive cultivation here, and to recognize the commercial potential of oil. Between the 1st and 3rd centuries, olive growing was the most important agricultural activity in Istria.
Today, we honor this heritage through the Uljara Vodnjan olive mill. We have been processing olives in one of the leading Istrian olive mills without interruption since it was founded in 1911.
The importance of local olive growing is also evidenced by the fact that the remains of the most representative example of a Roman oil mill in the European part of the Mediterranean, from the 1st century, are located in our olive groves in Barbariga. According to records, it was the most important oil mill in this part of the world, simultaneously operating as many as 20 olive presses, likely from up to 300 hectares of land. In comparison, most oil mills in the Roman Empire had between three and six presses on average.
Climactic conditions and knowledge passed down from generation to generation are now “paired” with leading new technologies. The outcome of this pairing is our extra virgin olive oil, a kind of Istrian trademark, and one of the most recognizable products of the peninsula.