In Portugal there are around 12 premium olive oil producers.
In recent years the nation’s olive oil sector has enjoyed somewhat of a boom, with Portuguese producers winning a raft of international distinctions. Setting its sights on high quality products has brought Portugal many awards. The national market has had its curiosity piqued, eager to learn just why they’re winning abroad, and the answer is simple. At the moment the final consumer already considers olive oil as a product of extreme dietary importance, and to satisfy your curiosity, with regard to the manufacture process behind some of the finest olive oils, we came to take a closer look at the producer of one of the best olive oils, which has won the most awards in 2016 – Monterosa. In the last four years, the team at Monterosa has competed in several competitions, bringing awards back home with them. During last year alone, they won on the North American continent in two competitions, in New York and Los Angeles. China, Japan, Germany and Spain also saw Monterosa’s extra virgin olive oil conquer awards. It was an incredible year.
But what does this olive oil have that others do not? This is a very special product, in which every step has to be made so as to ensure the height in quality can be achieved. Attention to detail is crucial. The estate has its own olive grove and mill, certified by an integrated production system, or in other words, every practice and product is environmentally friendly. All residue resulting from this activity is recycled. The olive pomace, is later transformed into natural fertilizer, which then gets used to fertilize the olive grove. Everything is based on a natural process, in which there is no place for chemicals. One of the secrets behind the quality of this olive oil lies in the olive picking process, as there are, on average, just three hours separating the moment the olive is picked and when it is pressed. This results in a truly fresh olive oil and in heightened quality. Swiftness makes all the difference in the process because «it helps determine a lower degree of acidity, and a freshness that is much higher than is usual», assures us António Duarte, facilitator and promoter in Monterosa’s commercial and tourism department.