We tried something different this year. Given that our olives, as our grapes, are organically grown, we do not use any chemical fertilizers at the quinta. This year we pressed the olives at a mill that accepts only organically-grown olives. Why? Because, at the azenha (olive mill) water is used to clean the olives before pressing, and if our olives are rinsed in the same water as olives that have not been grown organically, the chemical residue from non-organic olives, undermines making an organic olive oil.
2010 was an excellent olive harvest, with abundant and healthy fruit. We picked the olives earlier (we have 6 hectares of olive trees with average age 50 to 60 years, main varieties to include cordovil, verdial and moleirinha), starting mid-Nov instead of around 10 December, in an effort to add a slight piquantness to the oil, that results from an earlier harvesting time. Not to copy the Tuscans, known for harvesting olives mid-Oct, to strive to obtain a picquant flavor with a certain bite! While our olive oil is known for a rounder and softer quality, a style preferred by the Portuguese and that we love, we are always looking for ways excel, and adding a little spiciness, may result in something also delicious.
Let us know what you think when you try our 2010 olive oil, we love to know what our customers think and we really do appreciate your business.
FYI: the quinta restoration is 60% finished, 4 agroturismo rooms will be ready soon, hopefully by Easter.
FYI: we currently have a flock of sheep staying at the quinta in a paddy at night and grazing all day long at the quinta. Two-fold in scope: they are hungry critters and we need to keep growth in check in the vineyard and around the olives. Great solution: man and animals live happily together!