Various factors, such as climate, history and gastronomy, contribute to creating the identity of a local area. Like ancient monuments, the olive trees from the province of Castellon in eastern Spain—the result of the hard work of generations of local growers—have left their mark on the landscape and culture of the country. They have indisputably been a major element of Mediterranean agriculture and olive trees are still today a central element in the life of this olive-growing region.
Since Roman times, farmers toiled to construct walls to protect the land from erosion due to wind and water, they pruned the trees and looked after the land to promote the survival of these monumental trees with their tough gnarled trunks (whose knots can have a circumference of 12 m).
The traditional cultivar in the area is the Farga variety, with about 3000 splendid thousand-year old trees still surviving. These ancient olive trees have been in demand in recent years to decorate gardens and townscapes and began to be dug up for transplanting elsewhere, destroying a unique heritage.
To preserve the Maestrat landscape and the culture linked to these monumental trees, since 2003 the Intercoop group together with the Clot d’en Simó cooperative has been producing and commercializing an olive oil obtained solely using olives from these ancient trees. The technical experts of the cooperative monitor their growth, checking that all the necessary work is carried out to ensure top quality during the harvesting period. They also decide the right time for harvesting, which depends on the state of the olives. The olives are taken directly to the mill to extract the oil using a two-stage continuous system and are processed the same day so that no more than eight hours pass from picking the olives to extracting the oil. The oil is then taken straight to a shed where it undergoes natural separation.
The result is an oil with full complex aroma; soft fruit aromas are dominant with flower and herb overtones. The flavor is initially sweet, then becomes slightly bitter due to the freshness of the olives.
The objectives of this Presidium defending the Maestrat landscape are to protect the ancient olive trees, disseminate information about this amazing area and promote the oil obtained solely using olives from these trees.
Maestrat district, province of Castellón, autonomous region of Valencia
Ramón Mampel (producer and President of the Clot d’en Simó cooperative)
Tel. +34 609282916
Ignacio Lánderer Vásquez
Tel. +34 650581215
Fax +34 964064830