The Iberian Peninsula, which encompasses both Spain and Portugal, has had olive trees for thousands of years.
Archaeological evidence suggests that olive trees were first brought to Andalusia during the Bronze Age, between 2700 and 2400 BC. The first olive groves were planted by Phoenicians in 1050 BC, and olive oil became a cultural staple soon after. Throughout the ages, the Iberian Peninsula has seen many influences—from the Romans to the Arabs and Visigoths—and each has left a lasting impact on the culture surrounding olive oil. The Roman Empire is widely credited for the spread of olive oil throughout the Mediterranean, while the Portuguese and Spanish words for olive oil (azeite and aceite, respectively) are both derived from the Arabic al-zait, which means “olive juice.”
The Melgarejo Estate has been handed down through five generations since 1780.
Spain is the world’s largest producer of olive oil; olive trees are planted in 34 provinces on 25,000 sq. km. of arable land.
Established in 1780, the Melgarejo Estate has been producing olive oil for centuries. The estate hails from the "Sea of Olives" in Jaén, Spain, where the dry Mediterranean climate provides favorable conditions for growing olives—long, hot summers and mild winters. Both in Spain and abroad, the Melgarejo Estate is regarded as a pillar of exceptional quality. With the kind of expertise that only comes with time, they have nearly elevated olive cultivation to an art form. And indeed, though four generations have gone before, the Melgarejo passion for olives is still very much alive and well.
Because the estate is centuries old, many of the olive groves are planted traditionally on the hillsides, which requires them to be harvested by hand.
In the traditional groves, olives are harvested manually with a rake.
“The secret of Melgarejo is that we don’t have any secret. We have a passion.”
The Melgarejo Estate is learning continuously, combining the latest agricultural technology with the wisdom of five generations. They are constantly striving to be better—a more efficient harvest, better olive selection, and higher quality oil. Indicative of their oil's caliber, the estate was awarded gold medals at the New York International Olive Oil Competition in 2014 and 2016.
High quality: from harvest...
...to extra virgin olive oil.