Andalucia is the number one region for olive oil production in the world.
The majority of our cycling in Andalucia has been through endless olive groves.
The olive groves are beautiful, as is much of the oil that is produced here.
Of course, not all oils are equal.
The other day we took a tour through the Nuñez de Prado olive oil plant to see how this massive industry works; from the fruit of the olive, all the way to the bottling of the oil.
The de Prado family run olive oil production has been in Baena, Spain since 1795. It has consistently been a top end olive oil, and has won many awards for its quality.
The strife for perfection, and detail oriented production was evident throughout the plant. Nothing was left to circumstance or chance.
In the 1980′s, when they realized that the best they could get out of their olives was about 2% acidity, the Nuñez family decided to go completely organic.
Neighbouring farmers thought that they were crazy for letting weeds in their groves, and insects on their olives.
The result, however, was a superior quality product.
Other factors that contribute to their award winning oils include: hand picking the olives (instead of a less labour intensive net collection after they’ve ripened,) single trunk planting (also more labour intensive,) and a modern production facility.
The final product I have yet to taste, however I did buy two bottles for myself to take home and use in my own cooking.
The tour of the olive oil production facility was yet another example of how ExperiencePlus! has endeavoured to show us the best of what Andalucia has to offer. The weaving of the cultural elements, with fantastic cycling, and incredible cuisine have been the standout points for myself.