I met up with Hugo Quintanilla, the owner, and Eduardo Palacio, the Director of Marketing, in Alicante and off we drove through the mountainous winding roads to Hugo's olive farm in Relleu, a small village, only a few miles inland from the Mediterranean Sea.
Hugo produces an incredible premium extra virgin olive oil. He achieves this by combining new and old farming methods.
This farm has been in the family for many generations. The old traditional olive press still stands on the farm, a testament to the long history of producing olive oil here.
These ancient terraces are still being used for the Senorios de Relleu EVOO.
It is fascinating to see how this land has been an important agricultural area dating back to the time of the Romans and even before. Over 800 years ago, when Arabs inhabited Spain, they built terraces alongside the lower mountains and hillsides. Terraces are important because they prevent erosion and hold the water in the soil. It is so amazing to see these terraces still being used to produce extra virgin olive oil.
Can you get more sustainable than this??
Hugo explained to me that these rock walled terraces were built by the Arabs 800 years ago. Seriously? I was astounded that these rock terraces were so old.
Also, note the bottle hanging in the tree, that is a natural way to prevent the olive fruit fly, instead of using pesticides.
Milenario Olive Tree
An olive tree that is over a thousand years old is called a milenario.
This milenario along with others on the farm are still producing olives that are being pressed into extra virgin olive oil.
Just think - in every bottle of Senorios de Relleu, you are getting olive oil from a thousand year old tree!
The Senorios EVOO is a blend of olives from very old trees, like the centenario tree above left, and also from newer trees. Above right, these olive trees were planted about 15 years ago.
A centenario tree is one that is over 100 years old!
Examining the organic kill count!
In other words, how many dead olive fruit flies. The olive fruit fly is the bane of olive growers. Most growers use pesticides to kill them off, but Hugo uses as many organic practices as he can.
Hugo, Chef Toni, and Eduardo at the restaurant El Posit Taverna in Villa Joyosa, a small village on the Mediterranean Sea. Chef Toni is a rising star on the Spanish gastronomic scene.
We had lunch at this incredible restaurant while overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The tapas were so original. And as you can see on the table, the food is served with the Senorios de Relleu extra virgin olive oil!