Olive growers in northern Dalmatia are adjusting to coronavirus! Although the Zadar 2020 Olive Days were held without the gathering of olive growers and olive oil lovers, awards for the best olive oils in Croatia were still distributed. This is the 22nd international event to be held in Zadar and the island of Pašman in mid-April. However, the organizing committee received enough olive oil samples that it decided to hold a competitive part of the event, so that the olive growers could receive the deserved awards and diplomas.
The samples came from Zadar, Istria, Split-Dalmatia, Dubrovnik-Neretva and Šibenik-Knin counties, and one sample came from Zagreb. Olive growers from neighbouring Herzegovina (Mostar, Ljubuški, Čitluk and Čapljina) and from Montenegrin Bar competed in the international part. By far the largest number of samples is extra virgin olive oil, while the remainder was virgin olive oil.
This year's champion is Nela Popović from Poreč, who received 99.80 out of 100 points for her extra virgin oil from OPG Popović. In the Top 5 open oils category, the first place went to Borislav Pedić from Zadar with 99, 65 points, the second was Renato Pinčić from Zemunik Donji (99.55), the third was Ante Vulin from Pakoštane (99.50), the fourth was OPG Škopić, Ugljan. (99.45) and fifth Kristijan Jukić of Zadar (99.40 points). In the packaging category the champion is Gianni Lubiana from Poreč who won 99.95 points for his multiracial oil. Lubiana is the first in the Top-5 packs, and the next three places belong to OPG Lupić oils from Bale, while the fifth OPG is Mate Dušević from Ljubač with 98.00 points.
After extremely high temperatures and drought, and the onset of olive fly and moth at the beginning of harvest in northern Dalmatia, it is a living wonder that oils of very high quality have been produced, which is only an indication that Croatian olive growers are becoming more skilled and educated in olive growing.