Brac is one of the biggest producers of olive oil in Croatia. With over 1,000,000 olive trees, Brac olive oil constitutes about 30% of total olive oil production in the country. Olives are picked by hand and pressed in local villages.
Brac Olive Harvest – from the fields to the table at Uje Oil Bar in Split
Under Venetian rule, olive production grew rapidly because there were severe penalties for damaging olive trees and a condition for marrying was to plant 100 olive trees. By the middle of the 18th century there were 3,000,000 olive trees on Brac. Today production is growing every year as Brac strives to recapture its peak production after World War II, when there were over 4,000,000 olive trees on the island.
All of October and November the roads are slick with olive oil and the world stops while everyone is out picking – it is still done by hand. Most villages still have their olive presses too.
The grandfather olive trees (many over 500 years old) can be seen entwined in the dry stone walls marking the fields. The interior of the orchards are generally younger trees (100 years old). Olive trees were used to mark the perimeter of family land. Thus the vineyards were surrounded by olive trees. After the wine blight at the turn of the 19th century, the vineyards all died and and were replaced by olive trees, thus the olive trees on the interior of the fields are younger.
On Brac the orchards were planted with whatever trees people could get or afford at the time, so you have mixed orchards and diverse flavors from orchard to orchard. It makes for an unusual experience. Visitors who come in October have the chance to catch the late grape harvest and the early olive harvest and experience some great oil and wine tasting.
Olive oil tastings are a treat at ALDURA SPORT in Sutivan, the OLIVE OIL MUSEUM in Skrip and BRACCHIA in Selce.