The first step towards obtaining a high quality extra virgin olive oil has already been taken. The 2020 olive harvest, one of the key moments for Masía El Altet to be able to produce a product which can conquer the most demanding palates in the world has finished and with a very high degree of success.
How can the 2020 harvest be qualified? Extraordinary, not only in quality but also in quantity.
Last year’s harvest was already just that but we can’t and we shouldn’t compare one harvest with an another because you can’t compare a new oil with an oil which was produced a year before.
Extra virgin olive oil evolves with the passage of time, it’s a living thing which changes.
It normally improves with the passage of time. Although it’s definitely true that on on strange occasions, it can also go down in quality.
The first tastings we’ve carried out at Masía El Altet have left us more than satisfied.
We’ve noted that they offer greater complexity, balance and harmony compared with those of last year.
We’ve also observed that they offer greater aromatic notes. The taste of banana and tomato are very present, something that we like to call ‘tuttifrutti’, that’s to say, a cocktail of tropical fruits.
More provision for this new 2020 harvest
This year, the harvesting of the olives has taken 2 days less. If last year, it took us 12 days to collect all of the olives on our 70-hectare estate, this year we’ve done it in 10.
This has been possible mainly because we’ve introduced a new umbrella machine and we’ve increased the number of beaters.
As always, the beaters are the most important part of this process. Highly qualified personnel who are experts in their work.
In total, the harvesting has been carried out with the help of 4 machines, more than 40 beaters, 5 tractor drivers and one supervisor.
Our objective, as always, is to collect the whole production in the least time possible.
This is also fundamental in order to obtain one of the best extra virgin olive oils in the world, a fact which is borne out by the numerous awards we’ve obtained in the most important contests and tastings in the world.
Besides, the olives have to be collected at their optimum moment of ripening, when the fruit is at its fruitiest.
Climatology during the harvesting
The climatology is always a factor to be taken into account during harvesting. We’ve experienced a warmer winter than is usual during the whole cycle.
There have been 22 days with temperatures below 0. This is a very appropriate temperature in that it induces flowering.
During the spring, it rained, favouring growth of shoots and stimulating the tree for flowering.
The summer has been very dry. In the whole of Spain, the harvest has been brought forward due to this situation. This hasn’t been the case at Masía El Altet due to the great number of kilos per tree.
The date of harvesting was 9 days later than last year. Work began on 2nd November.
Climatic conditions were at their best. The first day of work was the warmest with temperatures reaching 23 degrees Centigrade.
The lowest temperature was on day 5, with 1 degree Centigrade. It didn’t freeze and it rained on 2 days with a total of 6 litres per square metre. No harvesting took place the days it rained.
Reducing transport time
Everything is important in order to obtain the best fruit to produce the best extra virgin olive oil, transport time included.
This year, we‘ve managed to cut down on the time from when we pick the fruit until it’s ground. We’ve reduced that time from 3 hours to two and a half.
With this 2020 harvest, we’ll be able to obtain approximately 50,000 litres of extra virgin olive oil. This means that we’ll produce some 100,000 bottles, each one of 500 ml, our usual format.
At the end of this process, we’ve seen that 12,000 kilos of olives per hectare have been produced, which makes Finca Masia El Altet the most productive in Spain for yet another year. This productivity is due to the climatology of the Mountains of Alicante, the drip-irrigation system we use and the cultural care carried out by the olive farmer.
With the extra virgin olive oil we obtain from this 2020 harvest, we’ll participate in the most prestigious national and international competitions.
It’s not our intention to participate in all of them but in those which recognize our merits.