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Anyone passionate or interested in olive oil will be interested in the city of Verona, Italy – and the Salone Internazionale dell’Olio Extravergine di Qualità (SOL) – the annual event that guides the choices of oil buyers and influences throughout the world.
The SOL concluded a few days ago (11 April), and as always, it took place in conjunction with the renowned Vinitaly, one of the most important international events dedicated to wine.
Certain new trends in the oil sector are already clear from this latest edition. Chile, Argentina, South Africa and Australia are emerging regions, where olive trees are becoming more and more diffused and acquiring identity.
In Europe, experts consider Croatia to be an emerging territory for olive oil production. With over 16,000 hectares of planted terrain and more than 170 active oil mills, the quality of Croatian olive oil has undergone a significant improvement.
The Croatian climate favours the kind of cultivation that dates back to ancient Greece and was successfully adopted by the Romans, with today’s principal cultivators – according to the renowned trade publication Flos olei 2011 – being Istarska bjelica, Buza, Leccino, Slivnjaca and Carbonera.
Among these, Stancija Meneghetti di Bale, which produces the eponymous extra-virgin oil from Lecce olives, is distinguished by its refined scents of artichoke, rosemary and almond, and O.P.G. Sandi Chiavalon di Vodnjan, the producer of Ex Albis, uses a combination of different cultivation for a resulting bouquet of freshly-cut grass, chicory and lettuce, together with a balance of bitter and spicy notes.