The story of Špin cheese begins and ends at stancija Špin, a sheep farm on the north-west coast of Istria in Tar near Poreč, only two kilometres away from the sea. The region has a long history of livestock and sheep raising so that it is only natural for this stancija estate to have specialised in sheep farming in the course of the 20th century. In the 1980s, Agrolaguna launched its sheep farming operation in order to produce and process milk at its own little cheese factory. At first, the dairy processed only the sheep’s milk from its own farm and produced around 10 tons of cheese per year. Later on, the company started purchasing sheep’s and cow’s milk from its partners from Istria. When the company joined The Agrokor Group in 2004, the factory started producing cow’s and mixed milk cheese, cheese with truffles and dry curd cottage cheese skuta, and the output reached 125 tons.
Today’s modern dairy farm flanks the traditional Istrian house Špin, a perfect illustration of the approach to the production of Špin cheese with modern technology complementing the wisdom of our century old dairy farming tradition.
This production and tourist complex was remodelled in 2013, with 35 million kunas invested in the reconstruction of the dairy farm and renovation of stancija Špin, refurbishment of a new tasting room and construction of the cheese trail that leads to the pastures surrounding the facilities.
The current annual output of the dairy farm is over 300 tons of cheese and 100 tons of dry curd cottage cheese, a continuation of traditional production. Our production range reflects the distinctive features of our climate and possibilities of a small boutique dairy farm, the ideal marriage between traditional products, local values and customs with state-of-the-art technology.
Stancija Špin is a place where tourists can visit the sheep farm, taste and buy the indigenous Istrian cheese and Vina Laguna wines – the best possible way of blending agricultural production and tourism, the two main branches of economy in Istria.
Istrian Cheese Špin continues the tradition of Sir Laguna. It recent years, it has been the recipient of a great many international awards.
Istrian Cheese Špin bears a unique signature of the Istrian soil, drawing out the very best from the Istrian climate. Istrian pasture lands where our darling cows and our darling sheep graze make the most of the vicinity of the Adriatic Sea that provides the sun, the salt and the inebriating grass fragrance, while the Mirna River and Mount Učka bring along frequent rains and mainland coolness. Stone is hard to find around here, there is only unspoiled soil with no industry around. Pasture biodiversity and a unique micro-location provide optimal conditions for dairy production.
Stancija Špin is surrounded by verdant pastures and forests reaching the Mirna Valley, once overgrown with macchia until flocks of goats grazed it and made it possible for the sheep to enjoy their vacation spot. The sheep now enjoy year-round grazing the underbrush and drinking from the pond at the entrance to the forest.