Company

Aceites Vizcántar (Vizcántar Olive Oil) is a firm which specializes in the production of olive oil. Its oil carries the regional guarantee of origin and quality label Denominación de Origin Priego de Córdoba (D.O. Priego de Córdoba) and is produced organically. The company has registered Señorío de Vizcántar and Eco Vizcántar as trademarks.

 Vizcántar Olive Oil has its head office in Priego de Córdoba and collaborates with other olive oil producers in the region to produce an oil that conforms to the D.O. Priego de Córdoba guarantee. The guarantee defines the essential features of the locally produced olive oil and does so in accordance with the unique geography, climate, olive varieties and agricultural tradition that set our region apart from other olive oil producing areas.

 

GEOGRAPHICAL AREA

    The olive oil producing area in which Vizcántar Olive Oil operates and which is protected by a D.O. guarantee is clearly marked off by the natural boundaries of Priego de Córdoba. Wedged between the mountains of the Sierra Súbbetica and the borders of the provinces of Granada and Jaén, it is located in the heart of Andalusia, Spain’s most southern region. It is composed of the municipalities of Almedinilla, Carcabuey, Fuente Tójar and Priego de Córdoba, with a total area of 110,745 acres of which 73,210 are dedicated to olive cultivation.

                                                  

CLIMATE, RELIEF AND SOIL

    The climate of the region, together with the mountainous surroundings and the plentiful streams and springs, are responsible for a permanent process of erosion that have created numerous valleys and natural depressions, in which over time a deep layer of very fertile soil has accumulated, ideal for the cultivation of olives. Moreover, an excess of sunshine (more than 3000 hours per year), rainfall peaking in spring and autumn, a temperature ranging from 0º C in winter to 35º C in summer, and a wind moderated by the surrounding mountains, all add up to a climate ideal for olive growing and for sustaining the marvel that is D.O. Priego de Córdoba olive oil.

 

HISTORY AND TRADITION

    The historical origin of the olive is lost in the mists of time. The spread of its cultivation was intertwined with that of the civilisations which have flourished in the Mediterranean basin. In the D.O. Priego de Córdoba area one encounters a surprising wealth of traces from, among others, the Iberian, Roman, Arab and Judaic cultures.

The numerous amphoras in Ibero-Punic style that were unearthed in the Iberian village of Cerro de la Cruz (Almedinilla) were more than 2000 years ago used to hold olive oil.

From the Roman age remain vestiges of olive oil presses in the region of Cerro Lucerico near Fuente Tójar, indicating the presence of a veritable olive oil factory. In the medieval Muslim era, farming in “Al-Andalus” expanded massively, thanks to a combination of urban growth, a revolution in agricultural techniques, the introduction of new crops and the use of fertilizers becoming standard. This progress, fostered by the rich mixing of cultures, sustained the Ummayad Caliphate, one of the most advanced centres of civilization of its time.

The legacy of ancient knowledge allows us today, by investigating and extending traditional know-how, to employ techniques and build on qualities that have withstood the test of time, in order to optimize benefits for both our health and our palates.

 

OLIVE VARIETIES

    The olive varieties most commonly grown in our region are Picudo, Hojiblanco and Picual. There are also minor plantings of Carrasqueño, Pajarero, Manzanillo, Cornachuelo and Lechín.

    Picudo is the most abundant variety, covering between 50 and 60% of the total planted surface. The tree is distinguished by its leaves, which are large, wide and dark green. The olive is thick, elongated and pointed at the end with a white-mottled green skin (purple when ripe).

 The oil from the olive is of a fresh and fruity intensity. It is the variety most awarded by official tasting panels.

    Hojiblanco represents between 20 and 30% of all harvested olives. Its leaf is narrow and not very large and the fruit is rounded and of medium size.

It produces a fruity oil with a hint of almonds and a peppery finish, providing an overall exceptional sensual complexity.

    Picual comprises between 25 and 35 % of all olives and is the easiest one to harvest. The leaf is narrow and bright green, with a fruit smaller than that of the Picudo. It is also known as Marteño or  Nevadillo.

Picual oil has a high oxidization threshold and, therefore, is slow to go rancid. It has a bitter, woody flavour with fig nuances and partners well with oils that have a sweet and rather dull aroma.

The olive varieties introduced by our ancestors are today ever more appreciated for their quality and flavour: the fruity intensity of the Picudo, the subtle almond hints of the Hojiblanco and the austere astringency of the Picual.

Together they combine to give birth to a rich and sensual olive oil which we have christened Señorío de Vizcántar and which carries the D.O. guarantee, as does Eco Vizcántar, which in addition is organically produced

 

QUALITY CONTROL

 

To obtain D.O. certification for our Señorío de Vizcántar and Eco Vizcántar oils we have to make sure that:

    *    The olives which reach the oil press are of an authorized variety and derive from olive groves within the D.O. area.

    *    The oil is produced by a registered press and under the supervision of inspectors nominated by the Regulatory Council and licensed by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Regional Government of Andalusia.

    *    The oil is stored within the D.O. production area, whether storage be in the olive oil mill or in the bottling plant.

    *    Physo-chemical and organoleptic analyses are carried out for all components of the oil that can be catalogued.

   *     The oil that is bottled and introduced to the market with a guarantee of its origin, a numbered label and the D.O. logo of the Regulatory Council, has passed every quality control at each stage of the production process.

Additionally, our olive oils comply with the following requirements:

Maximum acidity

Maximum peroxide rate

Ultraviolet Absorption

Maximum humidity

Maximum impurities

Organoleptic score

0,5

15 m.e.q. oxigen/kg

–K270 max of 0.15 

of 0.1%

 

of  0.1%

 

of more than  6.9 points.

 

NEW PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

    Vizcántar Olive Oil is diversifying its product line and the services it provides, in order to meet the challenges posed by competitors, the market conditions, and changing consumer preferences.

    This strategy implies a greater level of commercial awareness, allowing us to maintain and increase our customer base. In line with this strategy, Vizcántar Olive Oil opened a new head office (28 November 2003), comprising spacious and ample infrastructure, particularly new bottling lines, a retail area, a product gallery and a degustation room. Thus we can showcase our broadened product line:

  • Table olives
  • Olive Paste  and Olive Jam
  • Cosmetics based on olive oil

    Vizcántar Olive Oil intends to put its new commercial awareness into practice and enable our visitors to taste and sample our products: different kinds of olive oil, table olives, olive paste and olive jam (most of which are also organic products), and cosmetics made from olive oil.

    One of the services offered by Vizcántar Olive Oil is degustation-encouraging visitors to come to value olive oil through their taste buds. We intend to take visitors for a walk through the flavours and aromas of our region, those of its olive oil and of the excellent varieties of olive, particularly the Picudo: a paradise of sensations, with its intense, fruity freshness and green overtones of herbs, tomatoes, almonds and apple - overtones which produce a perfect sensual elegance.

The new degustation service is provided for groups between 10 and 60 people.

The degustation classes want to make people more aware and teach them about:

  • The smell, taste and  tactile facets of olive oil
  • What makes an olive oil outstanding or deficient
  • Profiling an olive oil
  • Describing an olive oil on the basis of its sensory qualities
  • Special  equipment for tasting

    This is an introductory course about olive oil, where one acquires the ability to distinguish an extra-virgin olive oil from a deficient olive oil, or from olive oil that has been refined.

    Other services on offer are: information about the uses and usefulness, qualities and characteristics of our products, particularly of olive oil (its role in gastronomy, its contribution to our health …).

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