Harvested mid-November the crop was abundant and healthy, picked during sunny days and taken to one of the few Portuguese organic olive oil press facilities aka lagar de azeite (in existence since the late 1600s!) called Casa de Santo Amaro in nearby Mirandela. First press using a cold method of extraction, the result is an extra virgin olive oil that is concentrated in flavor and irresistible – fruity, soft yet with peppery and bitter notes, full mid-mouth and with a long finish.
The above photos show different olive varieties at Quinta do Tedo, they were taken in October about a month before the olive harvest.
When asked what dishes are complimented by our olive oil my response is almost the same as for our red wines; a cuisine based on onions, garlic, tomatoes, peppers and herbs – ironically what flourishes in our summer vegetable garden. Perfect for dressing salad, with a little vinegar, freshly cracked black pepper and fleur de sel. The culinary options are endless, a drizzle will heighten many dishes.
An interesting note is that there are over 600 olive cultivars, a plant variety that has been selectively breeded, There is only one species in the olea genus, europaea, that produces the edible olives and oil. The olive is native to Asia Minor and spread from Iran, Syria and Palestine to the rest of the Mediterranean basin 6,000 years ago. It is among the oldest known cultivated tree in the world – being grown before the written language was invented.
For more information about our olive plantings please consult my 1/2011 blog http://www.quintadotedo.com/blog/?p=128. Our 2015 olive oil will be available in January 2016.