Besides wine, the other product that symbolises Priorat is the olive oil. The cultivation of olives has been taking place for thousands of years in this area, as a complementary crop to wine, or in certain villages of the region, as the main agricultural product.
We would like to invite you to get to know how this extra virgin olive oil is made, its characteristics and the various oil mills or presses which make up the Olive Oil Route.
In the Priorat, cultivated olive trees cover an area of approximately 3,500 hectares. The predominant variety grown in the region is Arbequina, which forms 95% of the total production, together with other varieties such as Farga and Rojal. The total average production is 4,800 tons of olives and 950,000 kg of oil.
The olive oil of this district is marketed under the ‘Denominación de Origen Protegida Siurana’ or “Siurana Protected Designation of Origin”, a name which guarantees the place of origin of the product.
Today, traditional methods of cultivation predominate, although there is a clear tendency towards more organic procedures or systems. This is possibly due to the fact that most of the olives are grown in up in the mountains.
After careful control of pests and diseases and the hard work of harvesting the crop, which takes place from November to February, the next stage is the extraction of the natural juice of the olive –the extra virgin oil. This extraction process is based on a continuous system involving mechanical means which do not alter the composition of the product and preserves its particular characteristics and superb nutritional and gastronomic qualities. The whole process (collecting the olives by hand up until the final product), takes 24 hours. After the process of extraction of the oil is completed, it is left to settle in the silent cellars of the oil mills.
The resulting oil is well balanced in terms of sweetness, spiciness and bitterness and, together with the pronounced fruity aromas of the oils, echo the characteristic qualities of the olives from which they have been made. In short, these are oils that can take their place at table alongside the best wines as distinctive ingredients of Priorat cuisine.
We would like to invite you to get to know how this extra virgin olive oil is made, its characteristics and the various oil mills or presses which make up the Olive oil Route. In total we have six mills which are members of the route.