Waarom onze olijfolie uniek is

Finca Don Carmelo is de olijvenboerderij van Alain Grootaers en Jakobien Huisman in Andalusië, het uiterste zuiden van Spanje, gelegen aan de voet van een schattig wit heuveldorpje en beschermd door de grillige sierras, de bergketens, van Málaga en Granada. Die ligging, op 450 meter hoogte, met zicht op de Middelandse Zee is heel bepalend voor de smaak en de kwaliteit van de extra virgen olijfolie die we hier produceren. De eeuwenoude olijfbomen groeien hier immers in ideale omstandigheden, beschut tegen de koude wind van de Sierra Nevada, met voldoende water dat hier in de bergen ligt opgeslagen en met de milde invloed van de Middellandse Zee, waardoor de temperatuur hier nooit onder het vriespunt zakt. Deze geografische omstandigheden - met een chique woord ‘terroir’ genoemd - zorgen ervoor dat de olijven van deze streek, de Axarquía, bijzonder goed gedijen. Maar er is nog een andere reden voor de bijzondere, fruitige en zachte smaak van de olijfolie van Finca Don Carmelo.

Finca Don Carmelo is the olive farm of Alain Grootaers and Jakobien Huisman in Andalusia, the far south of Spain, situated at the foot of an idyllic white hilltop village and protected by the majestic sierras, the mountain ranges, of Málaga and Granada. That wonderful location, at an altitude of 450 metres, with a view of the Mediterranean Sea, is very decisive for the taste and quality of the organic extra virgin olive oil we produce here. The centuries-old olive trees here grow in ideal conditions, sheltered from the cold winds of the Sierra Nevada, with sufficient water stored in the mountains and with the mild influence of the Mediterranean Sea, which means that the temperature never drops below zero. These perfect geographical conditions - with a posh word called 'terroir' - ensure that the olives of this small region, within the larger area called Axarquía, thrive particularly well. But there is another reason for the special, fruity and mild flavour of Finca Don Carmelo olive oil.

I am all for organic, so at my Finca no pesticides are herbicides are used. My horses and donkey provide the manure necessary for the growth of the olive trees. All alives are hand picked, from the tree only (which is called ´vuelo´) and never from the ground (which is called ´suelo´). Early harvest of course, because as soon as the olive mills open their doors we start picking. The harvest is done in the old fashioned way. With long sticks called barras, which are sometimes still made out of solid olive wood, they literally wack the olives out of the tree, always careful as to not damage the tree. The olives are collected in large nets called toldos (see picture) and later on recollected in hampers made of esparto grass. They are brought to the olive mill (almazara in Spanish) the same day, so the olives do not get any chance to ferment in the process. So what you get is the pure juice of the healthiest olives, organic, early harvest, extra virgen of course.


Buen provecho!