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Spain, the largest producer of olive oil in the world, with the impressive average of 44% of the world’s supply of olive oil each year, is paradise for us olive oil lovers!  Over 250 varieties of olive trees in Spain produce twice as much olive oil as Italy and four times as much as Greece! The olive oil harvest time, from early November till mid January, with many olive oil festivals all over the country, is a perfect opportunity for an authentic Spanish food and wine tour! On your foodie trip with us you can visit charming local olive oil artisans, participate in lively olive oil festivals in local villages, see their olive mills in full swing and taste the freshly pressed olive oil – its aroma and taste are truly delicious!

Olive trees, though native to Asia Minor, have been grown around the Mediterranean since the 8th millennium BC. Cultivating and eating olives has existed before written language came to be! The Phoenicians brought olive trees to southern Spain almost 3000 years ago, so it is no wonder they are such an integral part of Spanish cuisine and agriculture.

The Spanish region of Andalucia grows most of the world’s olive oil, but Catalonia produces some of the world’s best and most distinct in flavour. The first official protected designation of origin for Spanish extra-virgin olive oil was bestowed on the Catalan Oli de Borges in 1975.

Nowadays, the most prestigious Olive Oil D.O. in Catalonia is Siurana, where the legendary OleAurum DOP Siurana oil was born. Here, on the outskirts of Reus every November, the Siurana Olive Oil Fair takes place, a lively event gathering the most important producers of the DOP Siurana. Olive and olive oil tastings abound, as well as a raffle whose winner succeeds in being given their ‘weight in oil’!

So many olive oils to choose from!

In Andalucia, Jaen is the iconic olive oil region, with miles and miles of olive orchards and many olive oil producers and co-operatives. During the olive harvest, between November and February,   you can enjoy here not only fantastic olive oil mills visits and tastings, but also lively traditional gatherings and gastronomic festivals, like the one in Martos, where you can participate in the harvesting of olives and see the extraction of olive oil from the olive. A delicious end to this festival is the handing out of ´hoyos´ by local olive growing families, a traditional dish of bread, oil, salt, cod and olives.

The beautiful Catalan region of Priorat, well-known amongst the wine lovers for its mind-blowing reds, also abounds in excellent olive oil. Here the Oil Festival of Cabacés takes place on the first weekend of December and includes olive oil tastings, guided tours of the local mills, displays of country produce, as well as music and a communal lunch.

We are passionate about our olive oil and would love to assist you with a Spanish foodie tour, so you can experience the ambience and conviviality of these very community-strong olive oil festivals here in Spain, be it south or north!

spanish olive oil fair les borges blanques

Spanish Gastronomy and products distinguished with the food quality mark are taking part in the 16th Extra Virgin Olive Oil Show and the 45TH Les Garrigues Fair, which will be held from 18 to 20 January 2013 in the Les Borges Blanques Olive Oil Pavilion Lleida, The Fair promotes gastronomy and food quality and having gained a reputation for being the extra virgin olive oil capital of Catalonia, Spain. This event in Les Borges Blanques is quickly becoming the benchmark for top quality olive oil in the Mediterranean.

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The Spanish makers of extra virgin olive oil, Castillo de Canena, based in Canena (Jaén, Andalucia), have received yet another award, one more to add to the many they have received over recent years.  This one is just about the most prestigious yet!

In the 2012 edition of the  Flos Olei, the definitive Italian olive oil Guide headed up by Marco Oreggia, Castillo de Canena  receives an amazing 97 points out of a possible 100 – the highest number of points given to any of the 1000 olive oils reviewed.  Flos Olei, considered the olive oil equivalent of Robert Parker’s guide to the world of wine, had already awarded the Jaén based olive oil 96 points in its 2011 edition.

Marco Oreggia’s well known guide to the world’s best extra virgin olive oils has a very strict evaluation process, which is based on detailed tastings of olive oils produced in as many as 20 different countries.

If you fancy learning more about Spanish olive oil and only have a day to spare then our Taste of Catalonia Gourmet Day Tours can be personally customized to include visits to some of Catalonia´s top olive oil producers to sample some of the best olive oils in Spain!

 

There’s only one time of year in Spain to come and participate in the grape harvest and it’s almost here! Most grape harvests, or “vendimias,” happen in September and October of each year.

We’re excited because it’s a unique time for visitors to come visit the region and learn first hand from vineyards how to recognize, pick and store ripe grapes for some of the most highly regarded wines in the world.  Read more

Spain is known world wide for its excellent quality olive oil and is actually the greatest producer in the world,  for its oil quality is unsurpassable.

Spanish olive oil contains no additives, colorants, flavorings or any other foreign matter and is obtained by decantation, centrifusion and filtration, its quality depends on several factors, Read more