The moment we've all been waiting for... well one of them.
After a year of caring for the trees and olives, they are suddenly ready. In November and December is the time where we harvest the olives. This is a bit later than in other regions of the world, because Alentejo summers are quite dry. A few rains need to fall to help the olives fully develop.
Then it's time to pick.
One tree at a time
We pick the olives manually. That means, tree by tree we spread out a net underneath it, we shake the trees gently, branch by branch. The ripe olives fall into the net where we then collect them and put them into crates. The crates then go straight to our mill.
It's a team effort and once the olives are ripe, they need to be picked quite quickly. So everyone on the farm chips in and we also have friends, family and volunteers who come specifically to help out during this time.
So we work hard and at the end of the day we feast together.
Timing and taste
Depending on when the olives are picked the color, flavor, and composition of the oil are different.
Greener olives that produce greener colored oil has higher levels of phenolic acid and keep longer. This oil also has a stronger flavor and pungency and ultimately greater health benefits.
Whereas the oil that looks more yellow in color is predominantly made from black mature olives. It is lower in phenolic acid with a sweeter flavor and less punchy.