Chiavalon: From a Small Olive Tree Yard to the World’s Top-Rated Olive Oil

Not many people know that Flos Olei, the globally leading market expert for olive oils based in France, has named the Croatian region of Istria the best olive oil region in the world for the third year in a row. While there are plenty of family-owned olive oil producers that continuously deliver olive oil of finest quality, Chiavalon ( is the Istrian olive oil brand that puts Istria on the map of the world’s best olive oils and this is a story about its rise.

Not much faith was placed onto a small olive tree yard that Sandi Chiavalon, now globally renowned olive oil brand owner, inherited after his grandfather died. Despite the naysayers, the young boy had a dream, and he spent his days helping his grandmother cultivate the land and learning about olive oil as much as he could. What started as an unusual hobby for a teenager turned out to be a great source of income, pride and prestige for the entire family, region and country. Not many olive oil producers in Croatia today can say that their oil won the prestigious Flos Olei award.

Nothing of quality happens overnight, and Sandi Chiavalon armed himself with a solid dose of patience. He worked hard on producing oil with better quality each year and that is still his motto. His farm now counts 7500 olive trees out of which most are autochthonous sorts of olives. Olive sorts that have been grown in Istria for at least two millennia provide a distinct flavour unlike any other in the world. Because Chiavalon harvests his olive trees early, the amount of oil is not voluminous, but it is extremely rich in polyphenols. Chiavalon oil is not about volumes, it is about quality. Now his products proudly carry the organic trademark, and with Chiavalon Extra Virgin Olive Oil being served in the restaurants carrying Michelin stars, and awards coming in from all sides of the globe, it is undisputed that its quality is immaculate.

Chiavalon oil is produced on a family-run farm in Vodnjan, a picturesque town and municipality in Istria. Istria is a tourist hotspot recognised both for its wine and olive oil of distinguished taste and high quality. Due to its geographical position, Istria provides ideal conditions for producing first-class olive oil. It lays on the northernmost possible point for the production of high-quality olive oil, and also, the point at which the produced oil yields the most antioxidants in its content. The mild Mediterranean climate and the fact that Istria is a peninsula also adds to the equation. No wonder Istria has won the most successful wine region award by prestigious Flow Olei for three years in a row.

The best way to taste Chiavalon oil is surely, by visiting the Chiavalon family-run farm in Vodnjan. That way one could talk to the producers, smell that special Istrian air and see their olive trees live.

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