Masia El Altet - The Ultimate Olive Oil Producer
There are more olive oils to count than one can imagine and finding the best among the many is a daunting thought. We set out to find an extra virgin olive oil that far exceeded all competition. With so many olive oils claiming to be 'extra virgin' our task seemed to be challenging at first. Lucky for us, the best in the world hails from Spain! On one of our trips to Spain, we came across this remarkable estate in the Alicante Mountains overlooking the Mediterranean. Masia el Altet not only produces the best extra virgin olive oil, but the estate itself, is a beauty to be reckoned with.
First and foremost, a true extra virgin olive oil must be free of defects (both physical and sensory) and have a fresh and fruity flavor. Only olives that are picked fresh, with their oils being extracted (by machine) just after harvest, can qualify to be tested for the ‘extra virgin’ designation. Then there are the more technical regulations such as the temperature used during processing and the final product having a maximum acidity (≤0.8) and peroxide (≤20) levels. All of this is regulated by the International Olive Council (IOC), which maintains the rigorous specification be met to ensure the ultimate health benefits along with the best possible tasting olive oil. Keep in mind that the US does not currently enforce the rigorous testing of the IOC. Masia El Altet, however, fits the IOC designation well under the maximum levels (it has a maximum acidity level of 0.08% and a maximum peroxide level of 2.7%) and far surpasses the normal taste tests.
Masia El Altet
Imagine if you will, the glorious mornings on slopes of the hillside with the Mediterranean sun delicately kissing the branches of the olive and you will be transported to the fields of Masia El Altet. Their olive oil is said to be a balanced and harmonious extra virgin olive oil with great personality and complexity. When we tasted this dense oil we were pleasantly surprised by the sweet fruitiness of citrus, banana, apple, kiwi, and even almond, tomato, and artichoke! Aside from the enjoyable flavor, the aroma is that of freshly-cut grass, grains, banana, green almonds in the spring, apples and peaches along with citrus, and tomatoes.
To get such a wonderful bouquet and sensational flavor, the rural fields sits on two nature reserves with a unique microclimate. The spectacular estate has very cold winters, mild summers, and short spring and autumn seasons. It is here in these fields that the workers monitor the olives daily to ensure that they are harvested at the precise moment their maturity reaches, “Pre Envero” (approximation of harvest is a bluish red color). The harvest sometimes works well into the night while gaining the best of the crop. Immediately after, the milling process begins with the extraction taking place shortly thereafter.
Masia El Altet’s love for the olive oil culture is evident in the rigorous process of growing, harvesting, and processing the olives. It is even more evident in the phenomenal scent and flavor if the extra virgin olive oil. Year after year, they continue to win acclaim in worldwide competitions. It is no wonder that we are so proud to provide such a luxurious masterpiece from Spain.
Over the years, Masia El Altet has maintained it's distinguished designation of "Exceptional" and "Off the Scale" extra virgin olive oil as noted in the numerous awards that it wins year after year. As there are too many to list, here a few of the recent awards.
- Gold Medal. Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition. (USA) "High Quality" and "Prestige"
- Grand Prestige Gold. International Mediterranean Olive Oil Competition. (Terra Olivo - Israel) "High Quality"
- Best Food Product from the Valencian Region. Valencia Region's Real Academia Gastronomica. (Valencia, Spain) "High Quality"
- Diploma Di Gran Menzione. Armonia Olive Oil Competition. Alma Trophy. (Italy) "Premium"
- 2 Gold Stars. International Taste & Quality. (Belgium) "High Quality" and "Premium"
- Prestige Gold. International Competition for Extra Virgin Olive Oil. (Argentina) "High Quality", "Premium", and "Special Selection"