This is what our 2019 harvest at Masía El Altet has been like!!  We’re going to tell you all about it.

This is what our 2019 harvest at Masía El Altet has been like!! We’re going to tell you all about it.

We’ve done it!!  We’ve taken our first step towards achieving a really high quality extra virgin olive oil.

We’ve finished collecting the olives.

There’s no need to tell you that this is a highly delicate operation.

It’s obvious.  The raw material of olive oil is the olive.  And it has to be collected as the rules dictate.

Well. Let’s go into the detail now because  you’re surely asking yourself about it.

Harvesting began on our estate on Tuesday, 23rd October.

extra virgin olive oil

A good start

It was brilliant because on the first day of collecting, the minimum temperature was 9 degrees and the maximum, 19. Good temperatures for harvesting.

The truth is that we felt very satisfied at the beginning. One of the most important factors, the weather, was on our side.

Here is a photo where you can see both the  minimum and maximum temperatures for the 12 days that harvesting lasted.  Here it is:

And then things almost go wrong

But not everything has been so straightforward  Far from it.

We were getting along well with our teams of workers  but the forecast for the end of October didn’t  bode well at all.

And unfortunately on this occasion, the forecast wasn’t wrong.  In fact, they are hardly ever wrong which, by the way, for people working in the countryside is good news  since we can look ahead and plan our work.

Well. As we were saying, these forecasts told us that we were  going to have a cold snap  coming from the north.

What a difference in only 6 days.  It’s Monday, 29th October and  we find ourselves with a maximum of 9 degrees and a minimum of 1.7º!!  And besides that, we’re faced with strong gusts of wind,  a very cold wind into the bargain.

At this point in the story, we don’t want to forget to thank the great effort made by our  workers.  How professional they are!!  Even in such adverse conditions, their productivity was incredible. Thanks, thanks and thanks again.

harvest at masía el altet

The importance of temperatures not going below freezing

You already know the importance of the olive not suffering from frost before it’s crushed.  If this were to  happen, it would be difficult to obtain the quality of  extra virgin olive oil that we are constantley searching for in order to be able to satisfy the most demanding palates.

But on the other hand, we need temperatures to be low.  Not freezing but low. The olive tree, when temperatures are below 14 degrees, stops growing,that is to say, it stops working.  It is therefore of vital importance when the climatic conditions permit, for the olive to be collected when it isn’t growing.

It takes us 12 days then to collect the olives from  our 70 hectares of land.

We have to repeat over and over again that in order to obtain the best quality from our olives, collecting is a key moment.  Other elements such as the soil, the maintenance carried out by the producer  and the machinery that we use in the oil mill are also very important aspects.

Perfect point of ripening

It is also important to wait patiently for the perfect point of ripening of the olive so that  it reaches an ideal phenological state.  If we collect the olive when it is very green, we’ll only obtain chlorophyll and not the organoleptic nuances  that we are searching for.

For that reason, it is necessary to collect the olive at its perfect point of ripening.  If collecting takes place too late, we’ll obtain oils which are more mature but with the  risk of possible frosts.

The ripening of any fruit, in this case the olive, takes place very quickly.  An oil from a harvest a week later is completely different from one from olives harvested the week before.

We know that there are only 15 days of ripening in which to obtain extra virgen olive oils with the best organoleptic qualities.

The rain and climatic conditions can play nasty tricks on us because they can make it impossible to collect the olives during those 15 key days.

So that’s it. An the last thing we want to say is that the harvest started with a net yield  of oil of 8.5% on the first day and 12.5% on the final day.

But something you can’t forget.  There’s still a lot of work ahead.  We’ll keep you posted.

 

 

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