Olive Varieties

Our focus is on the two local varieties Istarska Bjelica (Bianchera) and Buža. Oblica and Leccino are also grown, as well as some other varieties of Italian origin.

The Istrian varieties make up almost 60% of all olive trees on VALENCANO:

  • This variety is common in Istria and the Kvarner Bay.
  • The tree is of medium growth with a dense canopy; it tends to grow tall. The branches are long and strong, the fruiting branches straight or slightly curved. The lush green leaves twisted in a spiral; the fruits are medium-sized and ovate. When this olive matures, it is light green, sometimes with a purple tinge. It tolerates low temperatures and wind (Bora).
  • High yielding, regularly high oil yields. However, it often takes a long time from the young plant to the wearing stage.
  • Excellent oil quality. You can recognize this oil by its strongly pronounced piquant and bitter taste. Natural properties as well as other aromas or an aftertaste are hardly noticeable.
  • This is the most common native variety in Istria.
  • The variety has several variants and is known under the names “Burgaca”, “Morgaca”, “the native” or “Gura”.
  • It is a rustic tree with vigorous and luxuriant growth; the canopy is dense and tends to grow broad in height. The leaves are medium-sized, elliptical and lanceolate, olive green in color with a gray underside. The fruits are medium to large, ovoid and slightly asymmetrical; when fully ripe, they are dark in color. The Buža Puntoža has a wart at the top of the fruit, to which the variety owes its name.
  • The quality of the oil is excellent, with two different flavors obtained depending on the stage of ripeness of the olive: if the olives are harvested when the fruit is turning yellowish, an oil of excellent quality is obtained, with a marked fresh smell, a pleasantly bitter taste and a characteristically piquant aroma ; if they are harvested when the fruits are darkening or changing color, you will obtain a sweet oil, with a rounded, fruity and spicy taste of olives without a particularly pronounced aroma.
  • Native variety, mostly grown in the southern part of Istria, in the areas around Vrsar, Rovinj and Vodnjan.
  • The olive tree only grows moderately luxuriantly, even with optimal soil conditions and friendly environmental conditions. The twigs are spreading and form wide and light layers. Many small twigs form a compact, round and leafy treetop. The leaves are dark green, bluntly rounded on fruiting branches, slightly acuminate on branches used for hydration, on woody branches and on mixed branches. The fruits are symmetrical, medium-sized (2.5 g) and ovoid; as they mature, they turn dark purple with numerous spots.
  • It is a good olive tree; the oil obtained has an intense smell, tastes very spicy and slightly bitter.

Other Croatian varieties:

  • It is the most widespread variety of olive tree in Croatia.
  • This variety is medium-sized with a rounded treetop. The twigs are straight, the small twigs are long, vertical and pliable. The fruits are large, weighing around 5 g. At the beginning of ripening, they are strongly reddish in colour, which turns into darker shades as they mature. The leaves are elliptic-lanceolate and dark green. This olive variety tolerates drought, wind and low temperatures. It is suitable for cultivation on poor soil.
  • Income not regular. They are good olive trees with large fruits, which is why they are often canned for eating.
  • The quality of the oil is good and it can be used in many ways. Smell and taste are those of ripe olives. It is slightly savory and bitter, with a distinctly sweet aroma.

Italian Varieties

  • This variety comes from Tuscany (Italy), cultivatied in Istria since 1940.
  • It is certainly one of the most widespread varieties in the world; this because of their excellent adaptability to different environmental conditions. The trunk is lush and wide. Growth and development of the trunk as well as the height and circumference of the tree crown are characteristic. The fruiting branches are small and pendulous. The crown of the tree has a round shape with strong and long branches, which is why this tree is also valued as an ornamental plant. The flowers are solitary and quite large compared to other varieties. The trees with low branching of the fruit-bearing branches grow like a bush. This variety ripens early (September – October) and tolerates low temperatures. It is suitable for intensive cultivation on poor or humus-rich soil
  • Good, regular yield, the fruit is fleshy, medium-sized (2-2.5 g) and elongated round.
  • Harvest when the fruit begins to darken. The result is an oil of excellent quality with a distinctly fresh smell and the fruity spiciness of olives. If harvested when the fruit has already darkened or when they have already changed color, the result is a mild oil, sweet, rounded, without a more pronounced aroma.
  • Oil yields are low.
  • It is a typical variety of olives, widespread in Tuscany and central Italy. It has been grown in Istria since 1940.
  • It is a moderately lush tree with a broad growth habit. The crown of the tree has an open shape, the small twigs grow sporadically, long and elastic. The wooden branches grow vertically and have many red leaves. It is a medium-late variety, the fruits of which ripen slowly and reach maturity from October to December. The trees yield early, often shortly after planting. They show great adaptability in all growing zones and are suitable for low temperatures.
  • Good regular yield. The fruits have an average weight of 1.5-2.5 g, are ovoid and elongated.
  • This type of olive is valued for the excellent quality of its oil. If the fruits are harvested when they are wine-red, this results in an oil that impresses with a fruity taste of olives with a subtle bitter and piquant aroma. The oil yield is good. The fruits of this variety are also often canned for eating.
  • The origin is Tuscany (Italy).
  • The tree is moderately lush. The branches are curved and grow hanging. The crown of the tree is densely leafy with lanceolate leaves. The fruits are oblong, slightly asymmetrical and medium-sized. The fruiting small branches are long, pendulous, elastic and grow arched towards the ground. Not much time passes from the young plant to the yield. The olive tree adapts to different soil conditions and sometimes tolerates low temperatures.
  • High yielding, with regularly high oil yield. It is an early variety whose fruits ripen gradually (September-October).
  • This variety is mainly grown to pollinate other varieties. However, one should not overlook the fact that its fruits produce an oil of excellent quality, characterized by its fruity spiciness.
  • The Maurino olive tree is of Tuscan origin.
  • The variety is very similar to Pendolino and has a graceful, hanging branch shape.
  • It is a good pollinator but is self-sterile so it needs another tree (often Frantoio, Leccino or Pendolino). Its fruit is small, but like the Pendolino variety, it is high-yielding.
  • Small fruit with a very small core. It has a surprising amount of pulp.
  • The oil is very sweet and aromatic.
  • This variety is originally from Marche (Italy), cultivated in Istria since 1945.
  • It is one of the most famous types of food. It can be found wherever olives are grown. The trunk is lush, the crown of the tree dense and spherical. The branches are firm and grow straight, the fruiting small branches are slightly curved. The leaves are elliptic, medium-sized, spiral-shaped and light green in color. The fruits are large (8-10 g), ovoid and sometimes slightly asymmetrical: at the beginning of fruiting they are green with a yellow tinge, but over time they change color from dark purple to black. It tolerates low temperatures well.
  • Average yield, productive in some years when irrigation has been adequate; early variety (harvest in September).
  • This oil is recommended as a table oil. If the olives are processed for canning for eating, the harvest should be done before the fruit turns yellowish in color. When processed into oil, the result is a fine oil with a fresh smell and a harmoniously pleasantly bitter and piquant taste. Low oil yield.
  • This variety comes from Puglia (Italy).
  • The trunk of this variety is lush and fast-growing, the crown of the tree is dense and compact and has a cylindrical shape. The branches grow upright and vertical. The fruit has an ovoid rounded shape and is medium-sized (2-3.5 g). It tolerates wind and salty drizzle well and bad weather in general.
  • Good consistent yield; the fruits ripen slowly. It is a relatively late variety; full maturity in November – December.
  • Produces an oil of fine, gentle intensity that tastes relatively sweet.

Valencano Awards

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