The best olive oils are born in the Mountains of Alicante and to be more precise between two great natural parks which is what the Sierra de Mariola and the Font Roja are. In the inland areas of a province where the main potential is its sun and beaches, there exist some imposing valleys where a great number of olive trees are to be found and whose fruit produce the best olive oils.
The landscape, the setting, is fundamental in achieving an oil of the highest quality but that is not sufficient. It’s necessary for there to be people devoted to quality. There have to be people to look after each and every olive which hangs from every branch of the olive trees. People whose philosophy is excellence. Entrepreneurs who will only put the best olive oils on the market. Olive juices which have added value and stand out from the rest.
And that’s where the family comes into play and, to be more precise, Jorge Petit who took over an estate house, Masía El Altet, which dates from the 16th century and which the Valencian Government has catalogued as a building with special architectural protection. It is a building which is different and marvellous. From here, Jorge Petit endeavours year after year to create one of the best olive oils. To the delight the most demanding of palates. To the astonishment of tasters and experts.
Passion for the countryside, taking great care and attention of the trees. This is one of the great secrets of reaching excellence.
And for this reason, he selects the best olives from among his 15,000 olive trees. Trees which are spread across the 70 hectares which make up the estate. Not all of the olives reach maturity at the same moment. But there’s no hurry. All of the fruits will have the same characteristics to ensure production of the best olive oil in the world. Only the best varieties of olive are picked.
They are collected when the olives are still green. There are very few that will change colour. It’s the olive picked before ripening, from which the best olive olive oils are obtained.
The history of Masía El Altet started in 1995. The Petit family decided to convert an area for growing cereals into a garden of olive trees. Olive trees are the ones which are best adapted to the area known as the Mountain of Alicante. They are the ones which can best resist the low temperatures of the winter months and the rigours of the heat of July and August.
A large part of the success of this saga of extra virgin olive oils is due to geographical location. At an altitude of 850 m above sea level. Only 30 Kms from the Mediterranean. The water used for irrigation is excellent. And, above all, it’s an area where the thermal amplitude between the daytime and night time is very big and contributes greatly to the possibility of collecting one of the highest quality olives in the world.
As we've said before, without passion, few things can be successful. To this passion, it’s necessary to add knowledge. That is to say, the study of all of the techniques which make it possible for the trees and their fruit to develop vigorously.
The Masía El Altet estate obtained its first great harvest in 2005. They decided at that moment to anticipate the changing times and pick the olive green. Its first great ambassador was the chef Joel Robuchon who introduced it into his restaurants from the first tasting. Joel Robuchon is the chef with most Michelin stars on the whole planet, with an incredible 32. Joel Robuchon died in August 2018.
From that moment on up to the present day, Masía El Altet extra virgin olive oils have received more than 600 awards. It has received a special award in almost each and every one of the competitions it has participated in. On every continent.
It has also reached the finals of ‘Alimentos de España’ on several occasions. This is a prize awarded by the Ministry of Agriculture and is one of the few which Masía El Altet has yet to add to its collection.
It is almost a craftsman’s work. But these manual tasks are accompanied by knowledge of the best techniques in oil production, of the most sophisticated machinery. It’s an oil which is always produced from the first cold pressing. And year after year, harvest after harvest, the objective is to delight and surprise lovers of virgin olive oil.
And with this mixture of tradition and modernity are born the best olive oils. Masía El Altet High End, an oil produced 100% from the Picual variety. Masía El Altet Special Selection is bottled with the same care and attention, entirely from the Changlot Real variety.
The owners of this estate don’t skimp on love either when it comes to bottling Masía El Altet Premium made from 30% Changlot Real, 30% Picual and 40% Genovesa and Blanqueta.
And finally to delight us, we have Masía El Altet High Quality. Made from Picual (60%), Arbequina (20%) and the rest, that is to say, the other 20%, made up of the Genovesa, Alfafarenca and Blanqueta varieties.
A huge process, a whole combination of elements (landscape, climatology, a family in love with nature, craftmanship and technology) which means that we can talk about one of the best olive oils in the world. And also one of the most award-winning.
More than 600 awards for this brand because the taste of this oil leaves nobody indifferent. There can be no doubt that we have before us one of the best olive oils in the world.
And all of this is a consequence of passion, love, the land, how the land is worked and water. Without these elements, it would be difficult to produce one of the best extra virgin olive oils. But work still hasn’t finished. There is still a lot left to do and a lot more to investigate in order to satisfy the most demanding palates in the world.
We cannot forget the work of the Petit family. All of its members live on the Estate. This permits them to observe on a daily basis the evolution of the olive trees. It is very important to observe them and to know how to react without losing a moment.
If it hails at one particular time, the trees have to be treated immediately and the wounds caused by the hailstone have to be dealt with. In this way, always having the real protagonists, the olive trees, uppermost in their minds, they manage to obtain abundant harvests of excellent quality.
The best olive oils in the world are meant to be consumed raw. That is how the juice of the olive conserves all of its properties. Properties which are many and beneficial to health. However, olive oil also preseves them when cooked but always being careful never to exceed a temperatura of more than 180º.
What is advisable is to always use olive oil from the same season. To enjoy its full flavour and for its benefits not to be lost, the oil should be consumed within 15 days of opening the bottle.
So when all is said and done, passion, study and work. Three keys to understanding the quality of these extra virgin olive oils. All was born from the passion professed for the rural world. From the long periods spent on his grandparents’ estate in Bocairent. With this passion and this work, the production of one of the best olive oils has been achieved.