On our property, we have several varieties of olive trees, some of which are centuries old. We work primarily with three varieties; "Madural", "Verdeal" and "Combrançosa." Our oils are the result of a skillful blend of these varieties to achieve a balance between the desired taste and flavorings. We produce extra virgin olive oil obtained by cold pressing solely using mechanical methods.
In our region, the olive harvest usually begins in late October and can go until the end of January, depending on the maturity of the fruit sought after. Indeed, this depends on the olive variety, their environment as well as the climate. If picked too green, the olives won’t yield much oil and will have a bitter taste. In contrast, if picked too black, the oil would be flat and without flavor. In general, the harvest occurs when the olive begins to have color, turning from green to purple-brown.
The harvest is done in the traditional way of our grandparents. For young trees, picking is essentially handmade in order to harvest the olives without damaging them or the trees. For taller trees, the branches are beaten with a wooden pole and the olives fall on a net positioned under the tree.
Once harvested, the olives are taken to the press as quickly as possible. In order to maintain all the qualities of the fruit, the olives are pressed no more than 48 hours after the harvest. If longer than that there is a risk of fermentation and the taste would be altered. Once at the press, the olives are washed and separated from the leaves.
Formerly, two large grindstones were pulled by animals to grind the olives. Although, today we use more efficient and hygienic means, the principle has remained the same for centuries. Once the olives are crushed, a smooth paste of water and oil is obtained. The olive paste is then placed between superimposed metal plates, and pressure is exerted on the discs to extract the oil.
Once this step is completed the oil must be decanted as it still contains some water. We recommend a natural settling. While this is much slower, it preserves all the flavors.
Three months later, once our method for assembly, a family-kept secret, is completed, we can bottle this miracle oil, the fruit of our labors.
Once bottled, olive oil may be kept for two years preferably in a cool, dry place protected from light. We recommend dark colored bottles to prevent light and UV rays from penetrating.