Olive oil producers

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Query: It was a pleasant surprise to come across your article regarding olive oil making in Dalmatia. Me and my husband have taken it up as a serious hobby to be involved in the olive oil process in my own Mediterranean homeland.
As we will be on holiday in Dalmatia and Brač in a couple of days, I was wondering whether you can put me in touch with someone who has an olive grove and produces his/her own extra virgin olive oil. We are curious to know more of the indigenous olives of Dalmatia and see how it is done in Hvar and Brač, which, from what I've been told, are where most of the Olive  trees are present in Croatia,
I look forward to your reply whilst thanking you in advance.
V., 24th July 2014 (full name supplied)
 
 
 
Response: Thank you very much for your e-mail. 
 
 
I too produce olive oil, which is great fun and very rewarding, and I too am still in the learning stages, having started only a few years ago.
There are actually many fine olive-producing areas in Croatia, including several international prize-winners. They have managed to retain high standards, despite the problems of marketing best-quality olive oil in the face of competition from 'cheap imitations'.
 
 
Among the most respected olive oil producers on Hvar is Antun 'Božić' Balić in the village of Svirče, who owns a modern olive oil refinery. He and his son Božidar offer an excellent olive oil tasting experience, demonstrating expertly and clearly the different olive varieties and blends. If you contact me while you are here, I shall be happy to put you in touch. For the Božić Oil website (in Croatian) click here.
 
 
Antun Balić has won numerous prizes for his olive oils over the years. Two of his olive oils, 'Božić Oblica' (made from Hvar's traditional olive variety) and 'Božić Selection' (a blend of varieties) won gold medals in the Olive Oil World Championships held in New York in April this year.
 
 
It was the Balić family's first appearance at the Championships, where Croatia achieved notable successes, taking seven gold medals in all and two silvers for olive oils from different parts of the country.
 
If you are coming to Hvar first, I am sure our olive oil producers will be able to recommend you good contacts on Brač.
VG, Eco Hvar, 24th July 2014
 
A visit to the Balić oil-refinery was organized on July 30th, when Božidar Balić shared his expertise with the two guests and showed them round the oil refinery.
 
 
 
This was the guests' conclusion:
"I would like to take time to once again thank you for setting the oil-tasting. It was truly worth every second, and we were both impressed by the quality olive oil produced in Hvar. We will definitely be returning though at this point it is too early to know exactly when. 
We will be going back to our own island for the olive harvest in October and look forward to keeping you updated with developments on our project." V., e-mail August 21st 2014.

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