Liquid gold: Chiavalon extra virgin olive oil

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Tasting the extra virgin olive oils of the Chiavalon family is on the TO DO list of everyone who comes on holiday to Istria and knows at least a little about our gastronomy.
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This friendly family comes from Vodnjan, a small town in the south of Istria. Sandi Chiavalon is the founder of this family business. At the age of 14, he started learning about olives, and later continued his education in that direction. Each member of the family has their own area in the company they are responsible for: Sandi’s wife Nikolina deals with the accounting, his brother Tedi with the marketing, and they also have several employees. They say that what is made with love cannot be bad, and so is this story that began in 1997.


Olive oil is one of the richest sources of unsaturated fatty acids, which have beneficial effects on heart and blood vessel health. Besides this, the benefits of olive oil on the body are manifested in good digestion, cardiovascular health, and the regulation of blood sugar. As a result, olive oil is often called ‘liquid gold’.

However, why is the olive oil that we are talking about today so special? For several reasons…

  • The entire production is under certified ecological supervision. This means that all extra virgin olive oils the family produces today have ecological certification, and certification of authenticity, which guarantees that this is an Istrian extra virgin olive oil from 100% organic cultivation.
  • Since the olive tree requires a long time before it starts bearing fruit, the results of what started in 1997 can only be seen today. To date, the Chiavalon family has planted about 7,500 olive trees, mostly indigenous varieties such as the Istrian Bjelica, Črnica, Oblica, Buža and Rošinjola.
  • There is almost no award in the world of olive growing that they have not won! For example, the very influential guide Der Feinschmeker regularly ranks them among the best producers of extra virgin olive oil in the German and Austrian markets, and according to Flos Olei, the world’s most famous guide to extra virgin olive oils, they are listed among the TOP 15 olive oils in the world.

We still haven’t convinced you to go to visit them?

We’re about to ?

Chiavalon Olive Oil Tasting

The latest blend in the Chiavalon family has come in the form of the first oil with two certificates, one on the authenticity of Istrian origin, and the other a certificate on organic agriculture. This blend of indigenous Istrian olive varieties captivates you with its aroma, balance of flavours, and its characteristic Istrian taste such as the Vodnjan Buža, Crnica, Istrian Bijelica, Rožinjola and Moražola.

They also offer the following oils:

Chiavalon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Ex Albis Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Romano Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Atilio Extra Virgin Olive Oil


If you are in Istria, you must visit their property for a tasting.

Chiavalon Tasting Room

The Chiavalon family offers three different programmes that will acquaint you with the production of extra virgin olive oil on their farm. In their specialised olive oil tasting room, you will learn how to properly taste and recognise genuine extra virgin olive oil. There are three options:


1. Taste Chiavalon, duration 45 minutes

  • History of olive growing in Istria
  • The stages of olive oil production on the family farm
  • Guided olive oil tasting in a specialised tasting room 

2. Taste Istria, duration 1 hour

  • History of olive growing in Istria
  • The stages of olive oil production on the family farm
  • Guided olive oil tasting in a specialised tasting room
  • Istrian platter

3. Grand Tasting, duration 2 hours

  • Welcome drink
  • History of olive growing in Istria
  • The stages of olive oil production on the family farm
  • Guided tasting of four different olive oil blends in a specialised tasting room
  • Istrian platter
  • Surprise dessert

(Reservations for tastings are available here)


Finally, we bring you a simple recipe with Chiavalon extra virgin olive oil as the main ingredient.


Bruschetta with grilled vegetables and Istrian dressing

Chiavalon Olive Oil


1 zucchini

1 eggplant

1 pepper

1-2 fresh tomatoes

Toasted bread


Istrian dressing:

2-4 cloves of garlic

1 spoon of honey

Teaspoon of dried parsley

Istra extra virgin olive oil, approx. 5-6 spoons

1 spoon of mustard



Toast the bread, cut the vegetables into strips and grill on both sides with a little olive oil.

Meanwhile, prepare the dressing by mixing all the ingredients together and adjusting the amount of olive oil to the other ingredients.

Chop the grilled vegetables with a knife, place on the toasted bread, and pour over the dressing.


Enjoy your meal!

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Bloggers, journalists, tourist guides, artists, entertainers and all kinds of hospitality experts and enthusiasts have gathered under the ValamArtists handle to lovingly bring you the best out of the Croatian holiday experience. Enjoy the ride!
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