My name is Paul and I am the Irish member of the Puhar family that owns and runs BRIST Olive Oil. I’d like to share a little about my big family, which consist of four generations, who are passionate about producing exceptional extra virgin olive oil from native Istrian varieties. Please enjoy our site, contact us should you have any queries and I hope we will have the chance to meet you in person.
Our olives are grown specifically in antique Roman Villae Rusticae olive groves overlooking the beautiful Brijuni archipelago. In doing this we continue thousands of years of tradition. It is also our belief that in the modern era, the finest olives come from traditionally grown groves on smaller family owned agricultural land.
We have learned that, like the generations of our family, there is so much to learn from the past and the future. Our handpicking method is handed down though millennia and is still the only way to harvest with total care. The future is our use of cutting edge technology in the process of cold-extracted milling. Lastly, the present is the time we get to spend with you sharing our passion.
THE BRIST OLIVE SHOP
Come and enjoy a free guided tasting of our full range of BRIST extra virgin olive oils in the beautiful and historic town of Vodnjan. The town is known as the home of Istrian olive oil because of its uniquely suited micro climate, its history of olive cultivation since Roman times, and its present reputation for world class production.
October – May
- Monday – Friday 10 – 14
- Saturdays 10 – 14
June – Sept
- Monday – Friday 10 – 16
- Saturdays 10 – 14
The Brist Shop is:
- wheelchair accessible
- young kids & family friendly
- Trgovačka 40, Vodnjan 52215
- (opposite the post office)
We are close by:
- 5 minutes from Fažana
- 10 Minutes from Pula
- 20 minutes from Rovinj
- 30 minutes from Porec
- 40 minutes from Opatija
- 50 minutes from Rijeka
Free Tasting & Education
Guests can visit our shop and enjoy a tasting of the full range of Brist extra virgin olive oils at no cost. It is our pleasure to share this experience with you.
We also stock a limited range of products from exceptional local, regional and international partners.
- Wines – Babos (Vodnjan)/Arman (Vižinada)
- Balsamico – Aceto di Modena
- Handmade Chocolates – VR Choco-Art (Pula)
- Natural Olive Cosmetics – Bale 45 Degrees
- Handmade Ceramics – Marinski (Rijeka)
We are open summer and winter. However, as a small family business, sometimes we need to step away from the shop for deliveries, work on the grove or in the cellar. Therefore, during the off season, it is a good idea to call ahead to ensure that we are open for you. We look forward to meeting you in person.
BBC visit Brist
As a family we were greatly honored to be asked by the BBC to represent the olive oil experience in Istria. Such a professional team and really fun to work with, it was so encouraging that they really wanted to get a feel for us as a family and what it means to do something we so deeply care about.
BRIST OLIVE GROVE TOURS
The heart of everything we do is our olive grove located, just 3km from the shop, in the gently surrounding hills of Vodnjan. There is so much to learn about, especially the history of the land, going back to Roman times and before. Perhaps the most magical part is the views over the Brijuni archipelago, especially at sunset.
MORNING OLIVE GROVE TOUR
Location: Sta Margherita Olive Grove
(optional shop tasting afterwards)
- a morning time olive farm walking tour
- a full education on the growing / harvesting process
- learn all about Istria’s 2000-year olive oil history
- visit to the (13th century) Sta. Margherita Chapel
- see the Illyrian (Pre-Roman) archeology of the Histri tribes
- an optional recommended full tasting at the Brist shop
- No extra charge for shop tasting afterwards (1 extra hour)
SUNSET OLIVE GROVE TOUR
Location: Sta Margherita Olive Grove
(includes traditional snacks and wine)
- early evening olive farm walking tour
- a full education on the growing / harvesting process
- learn all about Istria’s 2000-year olive oil history
- visit to the 13th century Sta. Margherita Chapel
- see the Illyrian (Pre-Roman) archeology of the Histri tribes
- a guided tasting of Brist ‘Exclusive Selection’ EVOO
- enjoy light traditional Istrian food and sparkling wine
- taste all Brist oils with different foods
- experience sunset over the Brijuni Islands and the stars come out, weather permitting 🙂
Summer evenings are really special occasions. All of us love to meet people and share experiences when the busy part of the day is done. We run tours just a couple of evenings a week as Lena and I have a young family. For us the the days with tours are great and the days without are great too! Getting the balance right is the trick.
Enjoy a winter tour too...
Being an Irish city boy, I never thought that my life would revolve around the rhythms of nature. That changed years ago, and it is one of the things that I love about living here in Istria and being part of an olive oil family.
Autumn, Winter and spring are also wonderful times to visit the grove and a real opportunity to see behind the scenes of what olive growing is all about. During the cooler parts of the year we do walking tours with optional full tastings in the shop afterwards. Be ready, when nature takes control, it can get a little wild up there…
BRIST EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OILS
ISTRIA IS SPECIAL
BRIST extra virgin olive oils, are all domestically produced from traditionally native Istrian olive sorts. These olives have been grown for thousands of years on this small peninsula with its uniquely suited micro-climate. The combination of perfect sunlight, light rain, nutrient rich soil and fresh sea salted winds give this small region unsurpassed olive growing conditions and now a growing reputation again for world class oils. It is known that during the time of ancient Rome, Istrian olive oil was considered, throughout the empire, to be the finest.
THE BRIST RANGE
Brist Olive are delighted to present a range of extra virgin olive oils. Brist Oleum is a high quality oil, popular with top restaurants and great for both cooking and finishing dishes. Brist Premium offers a choice of three tasting experiences – delicate, harmonious and intense. Finally, there is Brist Exclusive Selection, created from hand picked and hand selected olives grown on century old trees, seasoned a life time in the perfect growing environment of Vodnjan.
Our new design, launched for harvest 2018, is inspired by guests wanting to know more about our family and the Sta. Margherita Olive Grove, where our olives are grown. More and more guests are choosing to visit our grove to get a real feeling for what olive oil is really all about and why we are passionate about making it.
INSPIRATION & DESIGN
The challenge for our new designer was to “re-freshen” the brand, keep many of its well known elements, but at the same time find a way to connect the oils back to where they come from, while also highlighting each oils special characteristics. We also wanted the bottle to be beautiful, elegant and engaging. If that wasn’t enough, as clients, we are passionate about design so young designer Tina Erman Popović has a big job on her hands, and we think she did great work.
Thank you Tina, and to our guests and friends, enjoy!
As much as awards can be considered important in the process of assessing the quality of an olive oil, they are just part of the picture. Beside awards is analysis, whether that be chemical or sensory. Most importantly, however for us, is trusting our own instincts and experience, and above all listening openly to the feedback of our guests.
Brist are proud to have been named every year since its beginning in the internationally respected world guide book on extra virgin olive oils – Flos Olei. We also received a gold in the most prestigious olive oil competition in 2018 in New York. Visit us in Vodnjan and learn why this region is so special for olive oil.
National & International awards and Analysis
REVIEWS & FEEDBACK
As a family we love sharing our passion for high quality extra virgin olive oil, ethically locally produced food and why these things mean so much to us. It is our great pleasure to share with you, your family or group as much knowledge and insight as we possibly can. We are deeply appreciative of the positive feedback we have received to date and hope that your experience with us will be equally positive, educational and fun.
We are a small family business, and every bit of feedback really matters. We would love you to share your experiences with others as it is so much more valued above anything we can say.
news & MEDIA
Come Visit Us.
Paul Smith came to visit us and we all had such a fun time together. It seems that Istria with a bite of ice cream and olive oil, cooled the tongue but ,warmed the heart. Hope to see you with us again soon. Thanks for the wonderful article from the Manchester Evening Times.
Sometimes the summer is so busy it happens that we can forget what it is all about. This is my reminder not to… Paul: Husband, dad, adopted son of my Istrian family, Irishman and the guy who talks a lot in the shop and on our tours!
The design of the shop has been the work of Paul & Lena. Below see the design process from beginning to end with the goal to create a space to life the spirit and a place to build our dreams.
Because sometimes pictures are about the life within them…
Launching our 2017 custom handmade series of dipping bowls to match our bottles. Beautiful work once again by Marina Marinski, a brilliant young craftswoman we are very proud to partner with. This exclusive range is only available at the Brist Shop in Vodnjan.
In our shop in Vodnjan it is our pleasure to share the story of olive oil with you and what makes Istrian oil so exceptional. Added to that we are delighted to let you in on a few family insights about how we grow, produce and care for our extra virgin olive oils. We look […]
Brist Olive are delighted to announce their Christmas gift pack series for family, friends and business. Choose from our White, Green or Gold gift selections which include the best of Istrian wine and handmade chocolates and featuring Brist extra virgin olive oils. For pricing, delivery and ordering contact Paul at: email@example.com +385 95 562 4111 […]
Delighted to be include in such a prestigious online magazine and blog. Thanks to Harriet Ball for coming to share the Brist Experience with us. Here’s what she had to say Olive oil is another a must-try delicacy here. Istria has recently been voted the top olive oil producing region in the world by Flos Olei […]
The last few handcrafted bowls and cups are selling out from the Brist shop for season 2016 so do drop along and check them out before all are gone until next year!
Delighted to be trying out a new red wine from Franc Arman – a wild Istrian Teran – check it out in the shop….
More and more guests are learning about Silvano’s unique attention to detail, especially when they realized that every new tree post is leaned 5 degrees to the north to counter balance the Bura wind over the first years.
We are so delighted with the results from Verona, with Brist finishing with really great results and fantastic numbers on the analysis as well. We look forward to taking on the best of Italy in 2017 – see you there!
We love sharing our oils, our olive grove experience and our family passion for extra virgin olive oil with our wonderful guests. We appreciate that the world’s largest review site has recognized our effort and care for each and every visitor.
We are delighted to launch a fantastic range of traditional hand made Istrian chocolates with uniquely Istrian flavors. Come check them out! Happy chocolate time!!! Of course Marina Marinski’s beautiful ceramics also.
Olive oil is about family – at least it is for us. Our story is a little unusual. It started with my wife’s mother suggesting to her husband Silvano, to buy a little piece of land with a couple of olive trees, that they might enjoy a sunset with a glass of wine overlooking the […]
We can talk about all things Olive Oil, how we love it, how we do it, the business and strategy. But there is one thing that we are eternally beholding to and that is the pollination of our trees. It is something we don’t have direct control of, where all we can do is provide […]
Historic Istria: Do as the Romans do in Croatia Article Extract: ….Whether you’re dropping in on a rustic tavern for a quick bite or indulging in a five-course meal at one of the pricier establishments, you’ll likely be offered a selection of oils, with bread for dipping, upon your arrival. In March, Flos Olei, the […]
A wonderful day out for Leopold and 25 friends on the grove and in the shop. We were delighted to have you with us and as they were early in the season, there was the special chance for the team to be part of the spring planting of 116 new trees. Thanks for the […]
Challenge your taste buds with this fantastic and innovative tasting wheel from ZHAW – the Department of Life Sciences and Facility Management, Zurich University of Applied Sciences. We very much welcomed their internationally recognized panel of experts coming to Istria, to try out the finest this region has to offer. Much experience was gained on […]
Respecting the ancient traditions is part of what we do combined with using the most cutting edge technology in production. Discover our trees planted with the same spacing as the once very wise Romans used to. Science has proved that they knew exactly the best spacing to bring the trees to healthy maturity.
Come visit us at our shop in Vodnjan. We would love to meet you and have the chance to share a tasting experience with you of our premium extra virgin olive oils. There is always a warm welcome and you can taste wines too! See you soon.
I guess it’s a bit like sending your children to their first school exam, always apprehension but more excitement in the hope that the efforts we all have put in over time, will reveal the very best results. And so it is, as we pack our oils and send them to the top competitions in […]
Whether a private gift or something for your corporate clients, a gift of Istrian sunshine is the perfect uplift in the dark of winter. Th e2015 Oils are both beautiful and intense.
Harvest complete, new oil milled, filtered and blended and the first feedback from the olive oil fare was great. Now it is time to get back to the grove and put the trees to bed for the winter! You might ask how we do it, well it is sort of natural. We check the grove […]
Thank you to all who supported us at the fair of young olive oils in Vodnjan. It was a really big event over three days with over 20,000 people estimated to have visited – half the time it felt like they were all at our stand!!! The feedback on the new (and quite intense) harvest […]
We are delighted to support of the Vodnjan tourist board and today sees the launch of their new multimedia space on the main square in Vodnjan. Quality spaces and experiences are key in bringing this historic town to life, and this will very much improve the experience for those visiting the town for the first […]
We have started the process of filtering our new oils which is very important to ensure they are the highest quality and have a long shelf life – much longer than you will have any bottle open in our experience!!! It’s gonna be a great year 😉
Harvest started in earnest this week and the olives are looking really nice. It has been a very hot summer so we expect quite intense oils. Avoiding the rain showers this October should be fun!
Enjoy the article. If you are not a Croatian speaker or reader it is about how hard work brings results. Večernji List 21.09.2015
And what a family! 3 sisters and 1 brother and their 4 families joined us on the grove in September for a tour and it was one of the most lively and entertaining of the season. I guess with everybody knowing each other already it’s all pretty relaxed, which I guess goes pretty well with […]
Thanks to MIRIAM RISAGER, full time adventure traveller for reviewing us. We have quite a few guests from Denmark and we were delighted that Miriam took the time to visit us and experience our extra virgin olive oil. We look forward to seeing you again in our little part of the world! 🙂 Miriam wrote: […]
New premium gift box this summer available exclusively in our shop. 3 x 100ml bottles of Delicato, Sta Margherita and Intenso set in a handmade timber box. Perfect gift for friends and family to experience different tastes of olive oils and the perfect gift for those flying with hand luggage only.
It’s been a hot summer so far but our guests are really enjoying the evening tours when the sun’s intensity changes into magical sunsets which we will never get bored of! Come join us for the grove tour and this view.
Wow, what an evening. We had on tour to the grove today Swedish, Americans, Irish and English guests and it was so wonderful. In the last few days we finished the construction of our new tasting terrace at the Sta. Margherita grove and this evening was the first time to try it out and take […]
We are very honoured to have the work of young and dynamic ceramic designer Marina Marinski in our shop in Vodnjan. Deservedly her beautiful work has pride of place with us. What we most love is simply the smile the little pots, cups and bowls bring to people’s faces.
As a partner of Milenji hotels based in Opatija, we were honoured to come and present our oils with the usual educational info to guests at the hotel last week. It was such a fun evening, the guests were great and the hotel and the staff there just amazing. Thanks to Patricija and the rest […]
It’s a beautiful time of year, the warmth of summer is with us already and life on the grove is abundant. It is also a time of a few nerves for all olive growers as the critical flowering season begins. Lasting just a handful of days this moment can forecast a bumper harvest or none […]
We are underway on our new tasting deck and Nono Mate’s garden shed. It’s just something little so that we can keep the vibe on the olive grove as the farm that it is, but I can tell you that the view form where it is is stunning in the evening.
Come and visit us, the season of tours to the grove has started and it is really beautiful up there. Wild flowers everywhere and the olive trees are getting in on the action too.
Liam loves the grove and those who have been at our shop will certainly recognize the face. Here he is proudly beside his tree which was a gift from Petra and Tomi Sebek and was planted at the time of his christening. It is a beautiful Tamarix ramosissima and we look forward to many years […]
The best salad in the world and the most amazingly kept patch. Nono (Grandad) Mate just wants peace, and at 85 he deserves it. I’ll ask him to plant more tomatoes for the summer tours, but some days we just have to accept that he takes them all. After all he did plant them!!!
As the weather improves already we are in action this year with guests visiting the Sta. Margherita grove. As it is a working farm there is always something happening and these days is no different. The large scale trimming of the trees is in process as well as the regular plowing and taking general care […]
Great news today from Noćnjak. To come at the top of the pile in such a prestigious competition is wonderful. But we won’t stop trying to be better and better! 4 gold medals (Premium & Exclusive), 1 silver medal (Oleum), champion in “Infuso” category and second in the competition overall with Exclusive Selection for the […]
A wonderful day had by all to celebrate International Women’s Day at Mimara. Thank you to our fellow exhibitors and to our regular and new clients who came, saw, tasted and chatted about our great love – olive oil. Thank you to the organizers as well, we look forward to continue to support this wonderful […]
The winter at Sta. Margherita is a time to hibernate. The cold winds come and clear out the grove of everything that is not ready to give new growth. From harvest through to early spring, the grove is rested and we let nature protect itself for this period, ready to regenerate in the spring. That […]
Our Olive grove and shop will be on TV this week in Ireland. Please do tune in and let us know what you think. We had a lot of fun with the filming and the presenters were great fun. Funny to have an Irishman interviewing an Irishman on the subject of olive oil! Getaways in […]
Visit us in Vodnjan and have a complimentary tasting of our range of extra virgin olive oils. We are located opposite the post office and are open from 9 – 15 from April to October and from 10 – 14 from November to March. Trgovačka 40, Vodnjan 52215
A picture paints a thousand words!
Family is very important to us – both ours and yours. It is this motivation that keeps us going to make the healthiest and finest olive oil for you to experience and enjoy.
Delicato, St. Margherita and Intenso make up our premium range and the three distinct oil types give the finest oil for mild, medium and strong dishes. Come taste them all at the shop with us.
Just beside our grove is the 12th century chapel with frescoes from the 16th century. It is a beautiful location hidden under three majestic oaks and the patron Saint “Margret” is the saint of child birth and farmers. We have received her blessings on both fronts!
A great oil blended from traditional Istrian varieties with a bit of a bite! Learn more about Intenso on our oils page.
All our olives are hand picked in the traditional way without the use of damaging machinery. We know that in respecting the integrity of the trees brings great health to them and an abundant harvest. We accept it will take a little longer to bring in the fruit but we know the end result is […]
The Sta. Margherita extra virgin olive oil is the very soul of what we do. It was the first oil we ever produced and is a single sort (varietal) from the Vodnjan Buža olive. It has a unique grassy aroma and harmonious taste, perfect for your favorite salad, on pasta and risottos.
Early morning is a magical time on the grove. In harvest season, rising before the sun is normal and although the days can be warm, it is a sharp freshness early in the morning. We all comment how alive it feels to be on the grove at moon set.
Visit us at the shop and enjoy our family welcome. We look forward to seeing you.
It is our pleasure to welcome you and your group to the Sta. Margherita olive grove located in Vodnjan. Contact us for a vist to the grove as a couple, small group or large group. We do tours all year round – weather permitting. Contact us for a tour and tasting
It’s where we invest so much of our time and passion. In all weather we are there and one really has to love your olive trees and the earth from which they grow to make the very best oil possible from this generous land.
Just one day after the new oils of harvest 2014 came out, we were sharing them with the International Women’s Club of Zagreb. Tastings for over 100 people are a lot of fun but doing them well is very different to how we do tastings with smaller groups and in the shop. The Sheraton Hotel […]
We would like to offer all our clients, partners, family and friends a peaceful Christmas and a healthy new year. See you in 2015!
The oil fare of Vodnjan for young olive oil celebrated its tenth year this year and before it had even opened we had a queue waiting to taste our olive oil. The oil was indeed young and our very first tasters were pretty young as well – my son’s kindergarten class. Guests to the fare […]
We welcome you to visit us on one of our sunset tours and experience the sun setting over the Brijuni Islands on a warm summer evening while tasting fresh olive oil. Life doesn’t get much better!
It’s been a challenging harvest, but a challenge we were able to meet and what we have grown, picked, milled, filtered, blended and bottled is (we think) our finest oil yet. A wet summer gave us heavy olives with a lower oil yield but that oil is balanced and complex in it’s taste, being as […]
We have a simple ethos: New season means new oil. We do this for a couple of reasons. Firstly we want you to have the best, secondly it means that we have already estimated what we expect to sell which takes the pressure off trying to sell more than people want to buy. This makes […]
At 150 meters above sea level and just 5 kilometers from the coast and the Brijuni Channel, it is easy to understand why the Sta. Margherita Grove is such a special place. The salt laden winds are so important to the depth of flavour we can get from our olives, and in that regard, southern […]
In November 2011, just after the olive oil fare, a tornado ripped through the Sta. Margherita olive grove damaging or destroying 92 trees. Our hearts were broken but still Silvano and Matej went to work healing the damaged trees and replacing those that were simply ripped up and spread around the local area up to […]
It took quite a bit of manpower to get it in place but tank No. 6 is in place at Brist oil cellar. She stands 2,8m tall ready to take the new harvest of varietal Buža for our Sta. Margherita. It’s been a great harvest with a bumper crop but with demand still larger year […]
It’s been a hectic first ten days of harvest as the sun shone and the whole of Istria went to harvest at the same time. The harvest for the premium oils has been excellent to date and now starts the harvest for our mixed variety oil – Oleum. Milling has been going overtime to get the […]
On a beautiful sunny and warm afternoon, the 5th of October, the harvest began. Just a small group of family went up to harvest Rosignoa – an olive variety used in the blending of Intenso. Four generations of the family were present and it was nice to get a quiet start before the big team […]
During the late part of the summer we were delighted to have on a tour with us Rebecca Hartje and her partner with whom we shared many beliefs about respect for nature when harvesting it’s natural wonders. Rebecca is a young honey producer from Germany and we really enjoyed learning from her about honey production […]
In September 2014, after the end of the Istrian – Irish Festival organised by Paul O’Grady, Irish Maiden – croatia’s first Irish dance troupe visited the Brist shop in Vodnjan. It was a very relaxed afternoon and a few bottles of Istrian gold were taken back to Zagreb and surroundings to keep the heart warm […]
Some 9000km our bottles traveled to make it to one happy and soon to be even healthier extended family in the US. During the early summer of 2014 Rebecca Hauder visited us with some family and enjoyed an afternoon with us at the shop in Vodnjan. Flying the oil back was not really an option […]
It has been the most special oil we have ever produced – hand picked, hand selected from the best of our 100 year old trees and all that done exclusively by our family. There are apparently a few bottle still available at Milenji hotels in Opatija and some in Munich but we think they are […]
Last week saw two wonderful German families join us on a tour to the Sta. Margherita olive grove, and wow did they embrace the nature of the place. It was such a joy to see young people and adults too who were so at home with all the parts of our delicately balanced eco-system. It […]
Great article in the Irish Times by news features writer Rosita Boland Istria? It’s top of my list Enjoy the clear waters, relaxed atmosphere and wonderful food of this northern peninsula in Croatia Before the plane even landed in Pula, I felt I’d already had a glorious ad-hoc mini tour of Istria, the northern Croatian […]
We are always looking for those who share our passion for looking after guests in Istria, bring something that is very much about Istria and that have family at the heart of what they do. Glavani adrenaline park though quite different to the calm of olive oil tasting at the Brist Olive Oil Shop fulfills […]
Saturday was quite a fun day. 200 great mannered and lively guests visited the shop over a period of 4 hours for tasting and education about how the finest olive oil is produced and sampled. If anybody though a golden generation would be a quiet crew they were wrong. They came with great energy and […]
Family is an integral part of who we are and how we create our olive oil. Below, Lena and Silvano at the olive grove after sharing with the BBC the traditions dating back over 2000 years of cultivating olives and producing olive oil in the beautiful region of Istria.
Here is an excerpt from world recognised olive oil critic Judy Ridgway following her visit to Zagreb in March. Just click on the image from her blog below to go straight to the full text about her thoughts on Croatian extra virgin olive oils. “A few days later I was in Zagreb to run a […]
We are proud to be included for the 7th time in a row in the most respected guide for the best extra virgin olive oils in the world. Ponosni smo što smo već sedmu godinu za redom uvršteni u najcijenjeniji vodič najboljih ekstra djevičanskih maslinovih ulja na svijetu.
Kids from the Vodnjan kindergarden recently visited our olive grove. It was great to hear their laughter and joy while they were running among the trees! The kids were particularly impressed with our kažun. They drew it and the beautiful pictures they did will be part of a greater exhibition of a local project called: […]
Few producers let you see what is really going on with their oil – what’s in it and how it stands up to full and independent EU laboratory testing and scrutiny. We are a little bit different on that front and the quality of our oil is exactly what we want you to experience and […]