Ipša is surrounded by olive groves in a small hamlet, Ipši, just 10 minutes away from Oprtalj, a picturesque medieval village situated high on a hill. Just a stone’s throw from Slovenia, 200 metres above the sea level in north western Istria, the landscape here is absolutely breathtaking with small stone houses dotted around the hills, deep forests, plains, meadows and paths leading food and wine lovers to new discoveries. This area is famous for its truffles and unique olive oils so it’s no wonder Klaudio Ipša, forever surrounded by nature’s beauty, decided to pursue truffle hunting 30 years ago. Shortly after, he continued with the family tradition of olive oil production. Alongside his family, in 1998 he embarked upon restoring a hundred old trees and planted a thousand new trees.
Ipša received great recognition for their work in 2005, when their sorts Frantoio and Istarian Bjelica became one of the first Croatian olive oils to enter the world extra virgin olive oil guide, Flos Olei. Somewhat later, in 2011 and 2017, the Frantoio oil reached remarkable success and was included in the world top 20 olive oils list of the above-mentioned Guide. Klaudio passed his love and passion for olives down to his son Ivan who has been included in the family business since he was a small boy. Developing and growing along his father, Ivan was the one to propose embarking upon a new adventure – the one of wine production – so in 2010 they set out to plant their first vineyard in Ipši.
Their vineyards are situated in three locations: Santa Elena, Ipši and Oprtalj. Santa Elena is one of the most attractive vineyards in the whole of Istria, lying 420 m above sea level, making it among the highest positioned grapevines of the region. The impact of the environment and high altitude, has a vital effect in wine production quality and so, these vineyards take in the best as they stretch high above the sea basking in the sun and fresh air currents.
Since the first revitalisation and planting, their olive estate has been stretching primarily around the hamlet of Ipši. Ipša also has smaller groves in the vicinity of Santa Elena vineyard, in Vižintini Vrhi and Mazurija. Situated on hilly terraces 180 to 420 meters above the sea level, the trees are less likely to be exposed to bad weather conditions which significantly improves the quality of their olive oil. The olive trees range between 20 and 200 years of age. The cultivars in Ipši are: Istarian Bjelica, Bugla, Črnica, Leccino and Frantoio.