Aceite Monterrubio DOP is a Spanish extra virgin olive oil extracted from the fruit of the olive (Olea europaea L.). The ‘Cornezuelo’ and ‘Jabata’ (‘Picual’) varieties are used to obtain 90 % of this oil, with the remainder coming from of the ‘Mollar’, ‘Corniche’, ‘Pico-limón’, ‘Morilla’ and ‘Cornicabra’ varieties.
It is a greenish-yellow colour, very stable with a fruity, almond flavour, aromatic and slightly bitter and spicy.
Its has a maximum acidity of 0.5 %
The geographical zone of production, manufacture and packaging is situated in the province of Badajoz, in the Autonomous Community of Extremadura, and includes sixteen municipalities in the ‘La Serena’, ‘La Siberia’ and ‘Campiña Sur’ regions.
Manufacture and packaging take place in the production zone.
Method of production
The Serena region has an average production of 1,500 Kg/Ha from 150 olive trees/Ha.
Traditionally cultivation involves the following cultivation methods:
- Pruning (manual and mechanical)
- Suckering (with herbicide)
- Harvesting (olives picked directly from the tree)
Two processes are used to extract the oil:
- Discontinuous or traditional process
- Continuous or phased process
Olive oil bearing the DOP Aceite Monterrubio must be packaged in the designated geographical area, as required by the applicant group. This is necessary to protect quality and ensure traceability and control over the whole certification process to its final stage, when the numbered back label guaranteeing the oil's quality and origin is applied to the container holding the certified product. These back labels are issued by the Regulatory Board, whose responsibilities are defined in its Rules of Procedure as follows:
- as regards territory, the zone of production;
- as regards products, those protected by the designation at all stages of production, storage, packaging, distribution and marketing;
- as regards people, those in the various registers.
This means that packaging must take place in the designated geographical area to ensure traceability and control by the inspection structure over the whole process and ensure the quality of the protected product.
The La Serena region is situated in the east of the province of Badajoz. For centuries its name and history have been linked to one of the oldest institutions of the country, La Mesta The division of lands that throughout history had been in the power of the nobles with large estates was of vital importance for the development of the olive groves in the region. The land was divided up among the people of the various towns, and these were the people who introduced cultivation on both large and small areas of land.
The first written reference to the olive groves of the production area dates from 1791 in Viajes de La Serena, (‘Travels in La Serena’) by Antonio Agúndez Fernández who, referring to Monterrubio de La Serena, mentions the abundance of wild olive trees, which facilitated the grafting of the olive tree.
Today the olive is the second most important crop in the region in terms of both production and surface area occupied. Olives occupy some 18,000 ha, and in some towns of the region even constitute a monoculture.
The combination of the region's unique edaphological and climatic conditions, the perfect harmony between the crop and nature, the area's population patterns, advanced social and economical development and a culture deeply rooted in olive cultivation have resulted in the production of the DOP Aceite Monterrubio. Critics and consumers alike appreciate this distinctive extra virgin olive oil.
The geographical zone of the DOP Aceite Monterrubio is found in the eastern extreme of Lower Extremadura, in the foothills of Sierra Morena. It is an area of gullies and gentle hills. The olive groves blend into holm oak woods and cereal farms, with a significant amount of low scrub on the high land of the sierras. The landscape is typical of a subtropical Mediterranean area with mild winters and hot, dry summers, where low levels of precipitation prevent other types of agricultural exploitation.
There follows a more detailed description of the properties of the area that make Aceite Monterrubio a product that is characteristic of and native to the area.
Two levels of topography may be observed:
1. Penillanura (peneplane): altitude between 300 and 500 metres.
2. Sierras (mountains): altitude of 600 to 800 metres.
Cereal, olive and vine growing takes place at the bottom of the valleys. Pastures, with holm oaks and large areas of olive groves are situated on the slopes; brushwood, precious stones and rocky quartzite ground are to be found at greater altitudes and on the summits.
In general, most soil dedicated to the cultivation of olive groves is clay loam, although in recent years olive groves have been introduced to lighter soils. The pH ranges from acidic to slightly acidic. Depth is also variable, from areas where the slate is visible, to others where the soil is relatively deep at more than 50 centimetres and retains water well.
Mediterranean with certain continental characteristics, tempered by its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. Winters are mild and the summers long and hot. Precipitation is less than 500mm. The mean annual temperature varies between 16 and 18 °C. In summer the temperature can exceed 40 °C.
Reference: The European Commission