Señorío de Vizcántar
Priego de Córdoba, Andalucía, Córdoba, Spain is a beautiful and lovely place to visit but relatively an unbeaten track to most international travellers. We love wondering around the winding street where flowers pots could be seen hanging on and decorating the white walls.
Unknown to most people, this town has received nearly 600 national and international awards for the extra virgin olive oils it produces. As a note of interest, the first award received by an olive mill in Priego de Córdoba could be traced back to 1912.
In January 2015, we visited Priego de Córdoba and Vizcántar’s olive groves and its milling & storage facilities.
We have also attended an olive oil tasting workshop conducted by Mr Fermín Rodríguez, the owner of Vizcántar, an olive oil Master Taster himself, and a National Champion of Spain in 2016.
During the workshop, we are introduced to the complex world of true extra virgin olive oil.
Small Farm, Family Business
Aceites Vizcántar started its family-run business in 1946. It has since passed on to the 3rd generations where the art of growing the olives and producing extra virgin olive oil becoming more polish and systematic.
Its olive groves are located in the heart of Andalucía, Spain’s most southern region, which is wedged between the mountains of the Sierra Súbbetica and the borders of the provinces of Granada and Jaén.
Four Products, All Coupage, Except One
The extra virgin olive oils produced by Aceites Vizcántar have received many international and national top awards over the years. Notably, the award that is only involved children in the evaluation of the extra virgin olive oil, Olivinus Niños 2014.
The four products are:
- Señorío de Vizcántar Normal
- Señorío de Vizcántar Special Selection
- Bio-Vizcántar Normal
- Bio-Vizcántar Seleccion
Other top awards received in major international competitions include but not limited to:
- Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil of the Year 2014 in World Ranking Extra Virgin Olive Oils;
- Grand Prestige Gold (2014) in TERRAOLIVO and OLIVINUS (2014);
- Gold (2014) in Les Olivalies in France;
- Grand Mention (2015) in Orciolo D’ORO in Italy;
- Among the World’s Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil by the Germany’s most important gastronomic magazine, Der Feinschmecker.
More importantly, these olive oils are certified by the Denominación de Origen Protegida (DOP), Priego de Córdoba, which is the seal of quality.
The Denominación de Origen Protegida (DOP) Priego de Córdoba, Andalucía, Spain, certifies Señorío de Vizcántar for its Origin & Quality.
DOP Priego de Córdoba received the Best D.O.P. award in 2014 by OLIVINUS, and it is the D.O.P. produces the most top award-winners in any major international olive oil competition.
Varietal & Region
Señorío de Vizcántar is produced from three olive varietals: Hojiblanca – a mild, floral oil, Picudo – a fresh, fruity oil, and Picual – a peppery, bold oil
The olive groves and the milling facility are located in Priego de Córdoba, Andalucia, Córdoba, Spain.
Señorío de Vizcántar Normal: Fruity. Medium bitterness and peppery finish. Aromatic, floral & fruity oil with hints of herbal notes. Ideal for everyday use, bread dip, salads dressing, or as a main ingredient of dishes. Good for cooking and frying due the high presence of antioxidants and high oleic acid content. The smoke point is around 210oC.
BIO-Vizcántar Normal: It is fruity, delicate, smooth and mild. The entry into the mouth is sweet, which is slowly giving way to a slight but pleasant bitterness, and a slight spiciness at the back of the tongue. Recommended for everyday use, bread dip, salads dressing, or as a main ingredient of dishes. Ideal for everyday cooking and frying due to the high presence of antioxidants and high oleic acid content. The smoke point is around 210oC. Organic Farming.
BIO-Vizcántar Selección: This is a mono-varietal organic extra virgin olive oil, produced from early-harvested Picual olives. The olive oil is green, medium fruity with touches of green fruits like artichoke, leaves & olives, tomato, and green grass. Smooth on the entrance with medium bitterness and peppery finish.
Señorío de Vizcántar Special Selection: Limited production edition where Olive Oil Master Taster, Mr Fermín Rodríguez, specially selects the best olives at the right time of harvest to produce this finest quality of extra virgin olive oil. This most aromatic & fruity oil is distinguished by its initial herbal notes that evolved into a floral finished.
Señorío de Vizcántar Special Selection is an early-harvest green extra virgin olive oil. Medium bitterness and peppery finish. A perfect balance of herbal, fruity and peppery flavour. Superb for crisp green salads, dipping with a crust of bread, & any complex dishes.
5L BAG-IN-BOX preserves the quality and extends the shelf life of olive oil as it protects the olive oil from exposure to air and in-contact with light. It also prevents oxygen from coming into contact with the olive oil in the container. The small packaging size facilitates storage.
Video Summary: Mr Fermín Rodríguez Jiménez was explaining the three types of olive trees normally grown in Priego de Córdoba. They are, hojiblanca, a slight sweet taste in the beginning, a slight bitter taste of unripe fruits, and an almond aftertaste; picudo, a soft fruity flavour, and picual, a bold and peppery taste, very aromatic with high bitter and spice.
He was also explaining the kind of soil needed to grow the olives, and the best weather conditions to harvest healthy olives.
Fermin also proudly presented the olive trees he personally cared for in his family olive groves. The age of the trees ranges from 20 years to 200 and 1,000 years.
Señorío de Vizcántar receives some excellent consumers’ reviews, and one of the best seller at La Tienda. It also obtains best reviews from Amazon’s customers.
Jaén is one of Andalucia’s forgotten treasures – stunning cathedral dwarfing the surroundings and the 16th century Palacio de Villardompardo.
The olive trees are planted at an average height of 600 meters above the sea and a wide temperature range between summer and winter, which allows a natural disinfection of the olive trees, keeping them safe from plagues and illness without the use of chemical products.
We visited Soler Romero’s olive groves, its mill, storage and bottling facilities in November 2015. We are impressed with its cleanliness and organic-minded farming and production.
It’s the Family Business
Soler Romero has been in the olive farming since 1850 and it has now into its sixth generations.
The family estate occupies over 600 hectares (1,500 acres), and the olive trees are organically grown. Soler Romero is one of the largest organic olive oil producers in Spain.
The mill is centrally located in the olive groves, allowing the newly harvested olives to be processed within 3 hours after harvesting (to limit oxidation and preserve maximum health benefits and flavour).
Notably, almost all of its olive trees are over 100 years old and were planted by the shepherds almost 200 years ago.
Having been practising sustainable farming for over 30 years, Soler Romero has obtained five organic certificates, European (Spain), the US, Japan, Korea and China.
It is worth mentioning that Soler Romero is the first Spanish olive oil producer to obtain the USDA Organic seal of USA in 2003 as well as the first to be organic certified by the Chinese organic standards in 2010.
Four Products, All Organic
The four products of Soler Romero are equally impressive, with low acidity less than 0.15% and high Polyphenols in the range of 350-900 mg/kg.
First Day of Harvest: This is produced from the best selected Picual olives on the first day of harvest to capture the very most authentic flavours of the olives. This olive oil is very green & bitter with touches of fruits like green tomato, artichoke and green grass.
Picual: A blend of Picual green olives and olives in the envero stage (not ripe but pink-purple olives), this olive oil is very fruity with hints of green. Ideal for daily use, for raw consumption, cooking and frying.
Coupage: A blend of Picual, Arbequina, and Picudo olives, it is a special olive oil that combines the green herbs and slight bitterness of the Picual olives and the fruitiness and sweetness of the Arbequina and Picudo. Amazing complex flavours of tomato, olives, grass, apple and banana. Ideal for salads, meat, fish, and bakery.
Arbequina: A selected production of Arbequina extra virgin olive oil. It is elaborated while Arbequina olives are still green to get a very delicate, sweet, mild olive oil. We can easily recognise the intense fruitiness of ripe fruits as tomato, apple, banana and fresh olives. Ideal for fish and bakery.
Bodegas Juan Gil is established in 1916 with its first winery built in the heart of Jumilla, Murcia, Spain.
The vision of the winery is very clear: Doing a good job and being prideful of the Juan Gil name and commercial trademark.
Juan Gil’s vineyards are located between 700 and 850 meters of altitude, on a sandy and limestone soil, stony on the surface and very poor in nutrients, with a great holding capacity of the little water it receives.
In this place, with extreme climate and strong contrast, is where the winery is located.
With hot summers of intense sun, long and cold winters, a difference of 25ºC between day and night, almost total absence of rainfall, and with a dry and stony ground.
These land particularities are the characteristics that make Juan Gil’s wines intersting and unique.
It’s the kingdom of Monastrell, a grape variety owned by this region that is present in the vast majority, and exclusively, in all Juan Gil’s wines.
Next to the old vines, aged more than forty years, and other younger Monastrell ones, Juan Gil also grows Syrah, Cabernet, Merlot and Petit Verdot grapes, which are well suited to the terrain and provide intense shades of spices and fruit.
Juan Gil Blanco: Young and dry white wine made from the Moscatel grape variety. This white wine has bright, golden and lime fruit hues, with a nose of fresh peach, melon, and kiwi aromas, which are complemented by jasmine and white pepper.
Juicy, tightly wound pit fruit, honeydew, and essence of tropical fruit flavours, it delivers a lot of juicy, refreshing fruit and comes off almost weightless on the long, intensely spicy finish. Bright, yet well rounded, with a harmonious and long finish.
Juan Gil Yellow Label: Aged in French and American oak barrels for 4 months, this red wine has an intense deep red cherry colour. Powerful in nose, clean and complex. Very attractive fruity aromas, touches of ripe fruit and reminds of new wood. Well-balanced, soft tannins and very long finish.
Produced from 100% Monastrell grapes, it is an excellent choice for party wine. It is a red wine that vintage after vintage throws hundreds of wine enthusiasts off course.
Juan Gil Silver Label: This red wine has a very dark cherry colour with purple tones. In the nose it has a rich, powerful and explosive aroma of red berries, toasted and smoked notes from its ageing in oak barriques. It has good structure with ripe and sweet tannins. In the mouth it is very long with a perfect balance between fruit, alcohol and the oak tones which make it very pleasant and easy to drink.
Juan Gil Silver label is a highly acclaimed wine from various critics. This wine is among the top 10 most highly rated Jumilla wines. It is also ranked in the top 10 for number of awards won among wines from this region. It is worth every penny, no matter the vintage.
Juan Gil Blue Label: A limited production red wine, it has an intense black cherry in colour. It offers a nose of toasty and spicy notes and jammy black fruits. It opens in the glass to reveal a complex blend of wild berries, spice box and hints of liquorice, coffee and cocoa. Texture is smooth and dense, tannins are ripe and acidity is crisp and mouth watering. Long, persistent finish.
Juan Gil Blue Label is a highly acclaimed wine from various critics. Critics have scored this wine as one of the top 5 Jumilla wines. It is great value for money.