The sensorial olive oil characteristics are the result of many factors, the majority of then influenced by men. Others, like weather or soil, we can’t do much.
The search for a quality olive oil must be present in every stage until it arrives to you. These are my concerns.
In the harvesting:
As pure olives juice, we shouldn´t pick the fruits if they are too mature and damaged or too green. So, the harvesting must be made when the olives start to change color. By respecting this rule, we can normally avoid the frosts and plague attacks like the olive fly, that can cause flavor defects. In the other hand we can emphasize the fruity, bitter and spicy sensations, very characteristic of our olive varieties.
The olives are collected by mechanical and manual means, directly from the tree and never from the ground. They are stored in perforated baskets, that help to prevent the fruit deterioration and transported to the mill as soon as possible.
The olive oil is extracted at low temperatures (T<27ºC), by the traditional methods, exclusively mechanical and never chemical. The olives are previously clean from leaves and branches, washed, and only after they enter the modern equipment that extracts the precious juice.
It’s necessary that the Press is very clean, preventing the olive oil contamination with smells and increasing it’s longevity.
After the pressing, the olive oil is stored in stainless steel tanks, avoiding the air and light contact, which can degrade it. A sample of it is taken to be analyzed in the Agriculture Superior Institute, in Lisbon, which classifies the olive oil in chemical and organoleptic way.