"Are we still going in the right direction?" I was wondering as we proceeded to climb higher and higher, winding up the mountain, through vineyards and olive groves. The climb was worthwhile when we reached the small hilltop village of Ipse, close to Livade, and home to Ipsa - the award winning olive oil producer Klaudio Ipsa.
Istria has been declared the world's best olive oil producing region for the past 3 years (2015 - 2018), and Ipsa is one of its very best, having repeatedly been recognized in the prestigious Flos Olei guide as one of the world's top olive oil producers. A small family run business, established in 1998, it produces extra virgin olive oil from a number of olive varieties, including Istarska Bjelica, Frantoio, Leccino and Selekcija. Olives are hand picked and cold
pressed the same day, with a passion and tradition that translates into the very highest quality.
It would be challenging to find a more idyllic spot to enhance an olive oil tasting experience.
The estate has a hilltop location, surrounded by olive groves, with spectacular views of Green Istria. The tasting did not disappoint ... As we progressed from the lighter Leccino variety through the spectrum to the fuller bodied Frantoio, we were once again fascinated by the variety and depth of flavours of the oils, which similar to wine, are to be enjoyed across the food spectrum, enhancing everything from your salads & vegetables to fish and red meat. As a self-declared gourmet lover, whether an olive oil novice (like us), or a more experienced connoisseur, a visit to idyllic Ipsa is an essential stopping point on the Istrian Olive Oil road.