HOW WE WORK
The olive oil cycle
The olive cycle lasts for a complete year. That means that we only produce olive oil once a year. Before that moment, a year of hard work is necessary to obtain this precious EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil).
Around February, the cycle starts again. First, we fertilise the soil to enrich it with nutrients. Afterwards, we prune the trees. Tree pruning happens every other year to eliminate the old branches that may impede the nutrients from getting to other parts of the tree.
At the onset of spring, we apply a combined treatment that consists of fungicidal and insecticide substances with nutrients to the leaves (by a foliar application) to prevent attacks from bacteria, insects or parasites. This treatment also helps to maintain nutrients in the soil for the trees to grow. Between September and October, we apply a second combined treatment.
In April, the olive flowers bloom and develop the olive fruit. During this crucial time, these tree branches compete with the rest of the olive tree for nutrients. To prevent this, we apply small amounts of herbicides around the external area of the tree trunk by May.
From November to January, the olive harvest takes place. The olives are collected and milled straight away. The Extra Virgin Olive Oils obtained are stored in optimal conditions so that the consumer can enjoy the premium quality Green Gold.Back to top
In Southern Spain, the weather changes throughout the year. Winters are mild, although there might be some frost every once in a while due to the closeness of the sea.
Summers are hot, especially in Córdoba, Andalucía, Spain. We can reach temperatures up to 40-45ºC daily, and minimum temperatures of 28ºC between July and August.
Precipitations are more often in winter, between December and February. After these months, a drought lasts until the end of the summer. Even though the olive tree does not need as much water as other plants, long periods of drought may affect the olive growth.
Water becomes vital for olive production in the most critical months (from April to May and October to November). Some agricultural lands have access to irrigation through rivers or underground streams. However, some agricultural lands do not have access to water. There are two types of olive crops: Watered crops and dry crops.
Furthermore, there is also a technique used called tilling for dry crops. By tilling the land, it kicks up dust. Dust covers the trees and keeps them from losing water. Besides, when tilling the ground, you also repair soil cracks caused by drought, preventing water evaporation. However, tilling can only be applied temporarily. In severe water deficiency, olive trees can suffer and compromise olive production.
At Reinos de Taifas, we have both irrigation and dry crops. When possible, we provide our trees with the necessary water and nutrients for the year using wells, water pumps, and trickle irrigation.
As the olive trees have a slight dependence on the weather, there are no two olive oil batches the same. Therefore, all extra virgin olive oil of Reinos de Taifas is unique.
In the past, it was common to till the soil several times a year to remove the weeds. Nowadays, we use a weed trimmer to encourage grass root growth because it provides nutrients and reduces soil erosion.
We use chemical products only approved by the European Union in our olive oil farming. We use only minimal chemicals in our produce by considering health and environmental safety. These are the products we use for the production of olive oil:
- Insecticides: cypermethrin, deltamethrin.
- Fungicides: copper calcium sulphate, Bordeaux mixture.
- Nutrients: iron, boron, magnesium, NPK, vegetal amino acids.
- Herbicides: oxyfluorfen, glyphosate.
After obtaining the precious olive oil, we conduct several tests to ensure no unwanted chemicals remain. For each olive oil batch, we carry out a single analysis to guarantee that:
- Tasting – to check that the olive oil obtained is Extra-Virgin
- Packaging – the packaged oil is tested after some time
- Multi residues check-up – to ensure no traces of more than a hundred elements. This process is carried out once a year.
- Heavy metals check-up – many years ago, it was common to store olive oil in metallic packages, which were likely to release heavy metals. Reinos de Taifas now use stainless steel for storage. However, this heavy- metals analysis still applies by law.