The protected variety regarded as the principal one is the Picual.
Acidity can be up to a maximum of 0,5%.
It is highly stable olive oil, very fruity and slightly bitter. Colour varying from deep green to golden yellow depending on the period the olives are harvested and the location of the olive grove within the region.
The production area is situated in the Sierra Mágina natural park in the central part of the southern zone of the province of Jaén. It comprises 14 townships and has olive groves covering a total of 61,000 ha representing 80% of the utilised agricultural area.
Method of production
Ripened olives of the authorised varieties from registered olive groves are harvested carefully, separating those from the ground from those from the tree. The olives are delivered to oil mills under conditions which ensure that they do not deteriorate. They are cleaned and washed, leaves, stalks, earth and impurities are removed and the oil is extracted by pressing. The process is completed in a period of not more than 48 hours. The production methods are appropriate and are authorised and inspected by the Regulating Council. The oil is decanted and the quality oil run off is analysed and classified. Only extra virgin olive oil is given the protection of the designation.
The Sierra Mágina is a massif that rises above the plain in a relatively short continuous line running from north east to south east and surrounded by smaller hills.
The olive groves are to be found on the gentler slopes of the massif, up to an altitude of 850 m, giving it the appearance of an island in the midst of a sea of olive trees. The soils most commonly occurring are lithosols, calcareous regosols, cambrisols and chromic luvisols. The climate fluctuates between Mediterranean subtropical and Mediterranean temperate, with annual average temperatures of between 13C and 17C, and average annual rainfall between 400 mm and 800 mm. Traditional tilling, semi- tilling, pruning and pest and disease control methods provide a suitable environment for the development of olive trees from which healthy olives are obtained giving the oil its distinctive characteristics that are closely linked with the geographical surroundings.
Reference: The European Commission