Mediterranean and olive oil tasting
The Alps are appealing to me, but the Mediterranean has its own charm, too. Warmer weather, the salty aroma of the Adriatic Sea, and intriguing dining makes the body, soul, and taste buds very happy.
For six years in a row, the Istrian peninsula has been the #1 region in the world for olive oil quality (www.istra.hr/en/top-news/flos-olei-2021-istra-is-the-best-in-the-world)!
Since olive oil is exquisite on fresh foods (i.e. salad), I wanted to visit one of the premier producers of this oil. My family has a particular interest in cold-pressed oils for health and wellness.
At Gramona Farm in the small village of Seca, I learned a lot about olive oil production from “Grandfather” Pavel, who showed me how olives are carefully selected from his heirloom trees. Pavel came to this region from Upper Carniola in 1948 as a teenager. Then, he went to navy high school. Pavel was considered to be studying abroad since national borders were not yet finalized post-WWII.
Growing up in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, Pavel spoke Slovenian. During WWII, he learned German. At the seaside ports, he learned Italian. By the age of 18, Pavel was trilingual!
After he met his wife in Slovenia, Pavel decided to start a new life in the Mediterranean climate. He bought some land and built a house. When both of his daughters grew up, they started this farm, and today they have over 4000 olive trees!
Pavel’s granddaughter manages the farm. She and her husband (originally from Great Britan) carefully tend the olive, persimmon, and fig trees. They also host olive oil tastings, alongside other Mediterranean goods. From Gramona Farm, you can see the Secovlje Salt Pans, which were established in 804! In the days of antiquity, salt was one of the most precious exports from the region. It was very expensive and difficult to find.
The view to Sečovlje Salt Pans
On the trip to the costal port, we’ll stop by Gramona Farm to sample this award-winning olive oil!