The Month of Olives
October and November are known as the quieter months in Hvar and for many the most beautiful time of year. When booking a holiday in Hvar, people now more often tend to choose this calm period instead of high season, as they know there are an abundance of different activities in the nature that are definitely worthwhile. For the locals, these months are dedicated to olive picking and olive oil making! On the island of Hvar, there are many different olive sorts and ways of making olive oil. Let us bring them closer to you…
This sort accounts for approximately 60% of the total olive cultivars in Croatia and is predominantly represented in Dalmatia, where accounts for almost 90%! Regarding quality, it is considered one of the best sorts, however the crop yield is different each year, resulting some years being high-yield and some low. Many harvesters result to planting other olive sorts (levatinke, lastovke) which serve as cross-pollinators. The oil content is around 21%.
The cultivation of Lastovka is limited to the area of southern and central Dalmatia. The largest population of this variety is in the area of the island of Korčula, however it is increasingly grown in Hvar. This increased interest in planting this variety has been evident in the last twenty years. Fruit is medium large and its oil bitter with an oil content of around 24%.
An autochthone sort and one of the most ancient that develops into a very mature tree, upright growth and high trunk. The fruit is small and average weight of around 2.5 g. The oil content in is around 20%, with the oil being of exceptionally good quality, with a well-expressed spicy flavor and fine bitterness.
The variety is most presented on the island of Šolta, known as the "beauty" of olive trees because of its grove. This is by many, one of the best indigenous olive varieties since it produces up to 70 kg per tree in the first five years of life. The fruit is medium large, with a moderately bitter taste and an oil content of around 19%.
Leccino is a variety of olives that have been most widely spread not only in Tuscany but also throughout the world and a very common type of olive variety here in Hvar. The oil is clear green color with a strong scent and a harmonious taste emphasizing its bitterness. It is very resistant and yields regularly each year, with an oil content of around 22%.
Nowadays, more often than before once the olives are picked they are immediately processed. This type of production is called cold-pressing, which keeps the delicate flavors, aromas and nutrients intact, producing extra virgin olive oil. However, there is also an alternative way of olive pressing, which goes in hand with the more traditional way used by previous generations. Once the olives are picked they are soaked in water and only after a few weeks they are pressed using a traditional way with grindstones.
Traditional vs. Modern
This year olive season has been great for Sunčani Hvar. Our people teamed up and picked our very own olive groves around the areas of hotel Pharos and hotel Amfora, but this is just the start. At the end of harvest, a total of around 4 tons of olives will be picked and cold-pressed which is equivalent to around 500 liters of extra virgin olive oil. Once the oil settles, it will be ready for next season, equipping all of our restaurants and venues with our very own product.