decided on this offer. After the initial difficulties, they have already conquered many secrets. They still have many plans in the field of raw material preparation, pressing, supply of oil and products from it. With this purpose, they also bought a farm near Velika Nedelja. Sebastijan's father Jani got involved in the marketing activity at the stand, as well as otherwise. We had a short conversation with Sebastijan.
How did you come up with the idea and how long did it take from idea to practice?
We have wanted to start oil production for some time. First, the idea was to plant pumpkins and produce pumpkin oil. While researching the market, my wife and I found an article about grapeseed oil. We were impressed by the wide range of usability and many positive features, and even more so by the fact that you can practically obtain it from the remains of another activity. Since there is a lot of grape pomace in the area as a byproduct of pressing grapes, we decided to give it a try. Of course, the road to realization was long, as we had to figure out how to separate the seeds from the pomace as efficiently as possible. When my wife and I were at an oil tasting at an oil mill, the owner said that he had a separating machine that he no longer used. And so it began.
Where do you get the raw material from?
Grape pomace is obtained from the largest winery Jeruzalem Ormož and from the surrounding winemakers.
Grape pomace, which grape varieties are the most suitable for pressing oil?
All grape varieties are suitable for oil production. The difference is in how the individual varieties are profitable, and here the dark grape varieties are at an advantage.
What is the process of preparing oil pressing ovens?
These are large quantities of input raw material (pomace), from which it is necessary to separate the pulp. We do this through a seeding process. Then the ovens are washed and dried. We press them in one of the oil mills, which has a suitable hydraulic press for this purpose. It is a very powerful device, because the ovens are very hard and it takes a lot of energy to get the oil out of them. After pressing the oil, briquettes remain, which are ground into flour, which also has many positive properties and is primarily used in human nutrition. Even the defatted flour, which we also sell, is rich in antioxidants and contains a lot of fiber, which has a beneficial effect on digestion. Crushed, i.e. ground briquettes can also be used as an additive in animal feed. Grinding pomace requires a millstone. Tropinovka brandy can be made from the sifted pomace, which no longer contains the pulp, and it can also be used as fertilizer.
For example, how much oil do grape pomace contain?
Grape oil contains 8-20% oil. How much we manage to squeeze out depends on the compression method. We decided to use cold pressing, in which we get less oil in quantity, but it is a completely natural method. Another method is solvent extraction. We need an average of 13 kilograms of dry seeds for one liter of oil. The amount varies depending on the grape variety.
What would you highlight as a key advantage of your oil?
Because the temperature during the cold pressing of the grape seeds in the oil does not exceed 40 °C, all important substances are preserved in it. That's why we get completely natural, 100% grape seed oil. In doing so, we follow sustainable production, as we make full use of the given raw material; winemakers make wine from grape juice, we make oil from grape skins. As I already mentioned, the briquettes are ground into flour, the rest is used for animal feed and fertilizer during the separation of the briquettes. We strive to produce according to the principle of zero waste.
What kind of packaging do you sell it in and how have customers received it?
Oil is sold in dark bottles of 100, 250 and 500 milliliters. It is always better for oil to be in a dark and smaller bottle, as it stays fresher for longer. We also sell it in larger packages, namely to customers who use the oil as a raw material in cosmetic products. It was well received by customers. They like the taste and its properties.
You probably squeeze the oil burners as needed. How long is the shelf life of the oil, storage,...?
We press the oil in smaller quantities so that we can offer our customers as fresh as possible. The useful life of the oil is a minimum of 18 months. If it is stored properly, is not exposed to high temperatures and is in a dark place, it lasts much longer.
Where all or how is the sale done?
Sale takes place in two wine shops, in a shop with local produce and casually at the market. We are currently present every weekend at the market in Moravske Toplice. Since April this year, we also have an online store www.evioil.com.
What else would you like to add at the end?
I am pleased that we were able to participate in the market in Moravske Toplice this year, as personal contact with customers is a very welcome experience. As a manufacturer, you are grateful for any feedback. As already mentioned, we still have many plans and we hope that we will be able to implement them in the set time and offer something new at the market in Moravske Toplice next year.
You can read more about Evioil grape seed oil and flour in our online store www.evioil.com. For those who do not have an online medium, let me point out that grape seed oil contains a high proportion of unsaturated, especially omega 6 fatty acids, which the body cannot produce on its own. It is also high in vitamin E. The oil has many positive health effects. I eat it to have a pleasant delicate taste and aroma and it is used in cooking. It is also widely used in cosmetics for skin and hair care.