Olive oil roads of the Zadar region will take you to the Vlatkovic estate.
High in the hills above Novigrad, nested in a secluded area away from traffic, noise and pollution, the Vlatkovic olive groves boast a sustainable approach to the traditional organic agriculture.
With more than 42 olive varieties, including the well-known local and imported cultivars: Oblica, Levantinka, Leccino, Pendolino, Coratina, Carolea and Frantoio, the four olive groves owned by the Vlatkovic family can produce around 500 litres of this extra virgin golden nectar of no lesser quality than the best Italian olive oils.
These sophisticated, intensely aromatic and mildly peppery olive oils have won a number of golden medals and other awards in the national olive oil competitions, and thus became a household name in this area. On this tour you will have a unique opportunity to taste them with locally made cheese and wine.
The tour also includes a guided visit to the olive groves and other facilities used in cultivation. The estate owner and manager will give you an insight into how the oldest trees ever harvested by man are cultivated in this region. He will explain the differences between fruit varieties, the areas in which they thrive and what the harvesting process looks like. You will learn about the grafting procedure used in cultivation and hybridization.
At the end of the tour you will be able to purchase bottled olive oil directly from the producer.
If you are lucky to be visiting the estate in late October or early November, you will be able to participate in the olive harvest. You will have a quick introductory course in olive picking and spend a couple of hours (or even the whole day, if you prefer) enjoying intense contact with nature and having fun with others. We know that olive harvest is a physically exhausting activity, hence we do not expect you to pick large quantities. Regardless of your performance, your effort will be rewarded with a gift bottle of olive oil (2.5 dcl).
Having finished the olive grove tour, you will be able to freshen up in a traditional Dalmatian tavern dating from 1915, and taste some good quality local wines made by the Vlatkovic winery: Fortica (a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon-Cabernet Franc –Syrah), Castrum Novum (a blend of Merlot-Syrah), Plavina and Svrdlovina (autochthonous grape varieties). The Vlatković winery boasts 43 medals awarded for their Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon wines, including several of gold medals for their Merlot and Syrah (in 2009, 2010 and 2011).
After wine tasting you will have lunch or dinner in another great Novigrad tavern, run by the Anzulović family, which prepares Dalmatian signature dishes with excellent local ingredients. Before you dig into a deliciously soft veal or octopus prepared under ‘peka’ or a divine grilled sea bream or bass, you will be offered a variety of aperitifs, one more amazing than another. The house recommendation is a grape brandy aged in mulberry barrels (they like to call it “better than whiskey but not as good as cognac”). For those who prefer fruit brandies, the house recommends the walnut or cherry brandy.