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What makes our oils so special?

 

We are in the Garrigues, a dry zone subject to extreme weather conditions, with very cold winters and very hot, dry summers, but where the maritime air cools us at the end of the day. This sea breeze comforts the olive tree, which suffers but without becoming stressed. Rainfall is generally scant, with an annual average of between 350 and 450 mm. As a result of this climate the olive trees’ productive capabilities are limited, and they produce an oil which is dense and has great personality. The climate also enables us to obtain excellent fruit without the problems of pests. Most of the olive groves are dryland (non-irrigated soil). So the same happens as with wine, every year’s harvest is shaped by the weather: it affects the people and it affects the olive fruit. Cold snaps, excessive heat, hydric stress, sporadic rains... The land is calcareous with marges or dry stone retaining walls, slopes and clayey soil, in which the olive trees thrive. And we also believe that plants indigenous to the area (thyme, rosemary, woods, etc.) bring an additional and differentiating nuance to our olives.
We work entirely with Arbequina trees. They bear one of the smallest olives, round in shape and early maturing, which produce a fine, delicate oil, highly aromatic without a hint of bitterness. A good oil begins on the estate: comprehensive control of the entire process. No herbicides or pesticides. We know what we are doing on this land at all times and we choose the type of pruning that will yield a certain type of fruit size, while controlling exposure to the sun and the health of the plantation. We carry out the minimum possible amount of phytosanitary treatments and do not employ herbicides or pesticides, even in conventional agriculture. The fertilizer we use is made up of purely organic matter.
The harvest: The first precept is to respect the tree. The next is to reduce as much as possible the time between harvest and milling (which should be no longer than 12 hours). Such speed is possible because our olive groves are in the same area as the mill. Entry of the olives: The olives are scrupulously inspected to ensure they are of optimum quality and have no bruises or cuts. We do not use bulk feed hoppers for the olives. We store them in containers holding no more than 300 kg and prevent them from getting warm. The fruit is transported to the mill on conveyor belts, avoiding the use of auger conveyors or procedures that would be aggressive for the olive.
A short milling of the olives is performed which produces cold extraction (maximum temperature of 22°C) of the oil. Subsequently, rather than centrifuge the oil we employ the ancestral method of decanting to clarify it. Some 18 days are needed to complete this decantation into truncated-cone tanks and obtain an exceptional oil. We use micro tanks, and separate the oil by categories: old olive trees, young trees, dryland or irrigated olives, produced at altitude, and so on.