top of page

Straight from the olive tree into the bottle: Casa Junius olive oil

Olive trees can become hundreds of years old and still produce many fruits.
Olive trees can become hundreds of years old and still produce many fruits.

Casa Junius, known as holiday resort, is located in the heart of the Axarquia. in other words: in the heart of olive country. And where good olives are, is also excellent olive oil.

Spain is renowned for its olive oil production. It's one of the top producers of olive oil in the world. The country's climate and geography are conducive to olive cultivation, particularly in regions like Andalusia (Southern Spain), which is the largest olive oil-producing region in Spain. Spanish olive oil is highly valued for its quality, flavor, and versatility, and it's a staple ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine. Spain's olive oil industry also plays a significant role in its economy and cultural heritage. Fortunately all of this is protected by strict Spanish laws, though there is still a lot of messing around with olive oil. Also in Greece, Italy and Maroc you see scandals yearly.

quality control for olive oil.
quality control for olive oil.

How is quality of olive oil monitored in Spain?

The quality of olive oil in Spain is monitored in various ways, both by government agencies (Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación, MAPA) and by private organizations and producers themselves. Here are some important aspects of quality control for olive oil in Spain:

  1. Legal standards: Spain has established legal standards for different classes of olive oil, such as 'extra virgin', 'virgin' and 'refined olive oil'. These standards determine, among other things, the acidity, peroxide number, and organoleptic characteristics that the oil must have to fall into a certain class.

  2. Control system: The Spanish government regularly carries out checks on olive oil producers and processors to ensure that they comply with legal standards and food safety regulations.

  3. Certification: Olive oil producers can choose to have their products certified by independent bodies according to internationally recognized standards such as ISO (International Organization for Standardization) or by specific olive oil certification organizations.

  4. Organoleptic Evaluation: The organoleptic properties of olive oil, such as aroma, taste and texture, are carefully assessed by experts during sensory evaluations to determine the quality and category of the oil.

  5. Traceability systems: Many olive oil producers, like Casa Junius, implement traceability systems to track the origin of the olives and the oil production process, allowing them to identify and correct any problems in the supply chain. These systems are also informative for the end user and must radiate confidence.

All these measures help maintain the quality and authenticity of Spanish olive oil, which is essential not only for Spain's reputation. Casa Junius also conforms to the above to produce the best olive oil.

Cheap usually means cheap

There are several reasons why bad olive oil may be sold:

  1. Adulteration: Sometimes, olive oil is mixed with cheaper oils such as sunflower oil or canola oil to increase profits. This adulteration can be difficult to detect without proper testing. Often you can see it on the dark brown color of the oil, that the oil has less quality.

  2. Poor quality control: In some cases, olive oil may be of low quality due to poor harvesting, processing, or storage practices. This can result in oil with off-flavors or higher acidity levels than desired.

  3. Mislabeling: Olive oil may be mislabeled, either intentionally or accidentally, leading consumers to believe they are purchasing a higher quality or different type of oil than they actually receive. For example: Holland is far away from the Spanish law, so you can put anything on a Dutch label.

  4. Country scam: In a blog of the : 'Believe it or not, Italy is the only country in Europe that is allowed to add up to 20% of other oils to their olive oil without having to say so on the label. The EU allows this, but only oil intended for export! Other European olive oil countries are not allowed to do this.' And further: 'In 2012 produceerde Italië +- 300000 ton olijfolie, voor de eigen markt hebben ze +- 600000 ton nodig en ze exporteren +- 400000 ton.'

Sometimes these bad oils end up in the supermarket because of price pressure in big quantities in one of the Northern European markets. The consumer often can't judge.

Within the European Union there are now guidelines for a European label on food, including olive oil. These guidelines are slowly being introduced by reliable producers / manufacturers. The countries, from where the product initially comes from, are responsible. The hope is that these guidelines will have an effect on quality, but we are still at the beginning.

Straight from the olive tree into the bottle

Casa Junius stands for quality and quality of life in both our holiday accommodation and the products (not only olive oil) we sell in our internet shop. Concerning olive oil, we are a very small producer and we are in the start up phase.

Two years ago we started to harvest our olives from our own garden. The reason: the olives were there and they looked fantastic, full of oil. The question was: how do we get the oil in a bottle. Well, we needed to do quite some homework, but at the end it was worthwhile doing! We produced our first 40 litres of our own biological oil.

Last summer we organised the wedding for Ellen's eldest daughter at Casa Junius. Most of the wedding guests were young and highly educated. They saw the charm of the Axarquia with its olive cultivation and the discussion soon started about producing oil themselves. The undersigned had the knowhow. A plan was made together with the groom and so 'Casa Junius olive oil' was born.

You can't get it more fresh and pure.

We wanted to produce olive oil 'straight from the tree into the bottle'. And so we did. Our 'early harvest' on the 26th of October was pressed next day on the 27th. 2 Months later, on the 19th of January, we produced our 'late harvest' olive oil. Minimum time was also between harvesting and pressing. And so we will continue to work. But we did more, much more.

One of our biological farmers delivering his olive to Casa Junius
One of our biological farmers delivering his olive to Casa Junius

Our farmers

All the olive we use, are not sprayed with chemicals, they are pure and biological. Casa Junius has not many trees and this year we grew 406 kg of olives. Several of the farmers in our neighborhood also grow ecological, we know their groves and see them all year around. There is a trust between us and they understand what we are doing. So we buy the olives from them as well.

The olive oil press: Monttosa

Pressing the olives at Monttosa not exceeding 27 degrees Celsius
Pressing the olives should not exceed 27 degrees Celsius

The production of olive oil is also very strict. The company Monttosa is a specialist in pressing. They don't mix our olives (single batch) with olives from anybody else. It is only your olives that are pressed. During that process after washing, the temperature of the crushed olives may NOT exceed 27 degrees Celsius. This temperature is set by law and is called 'cold pressing'. A higher temperature reduces the quality of the end product.

Furthermore no added chemical for taste or clarity are added. The pressed oil is pure. Also the filtering is very limited. Most of the natural flavors would be filtered out of the oil if you wanted to produce a clear oil. It's just like wine, sometimes there is some depot in the bottle if you let it sit for a long time. This also applies to our olive oil. Here you will notice the biggest difference between our 'extra virgin' olive oil and a bottle from the supermarket.

No blending with other oils is done before bottling. The result of the pressing goes straight into the bottle.

the label at the arrow + QR code of Casa Junius olive oil
See the label at the arrow + QR code

Casa Junius labeling, tracing back to its origin

Monttosa is a certified producer by Spanish law. So they put their label in the bottle. By doing that they guarantee that the production process is done conform the Spanish law. There are many certified companies.

At Casa Junius we also put our name on the bottle and for a reason. We initiated and controlled the whole process. But more important: On the label there is stamped a date and a batch number. Also you will find a QR code. Once you scan the QR code, we will find an internet page on the Casa Junius site. With the date and the batch number you will find much information of the olive grove where the olives grew before pressing. You will find the owner of the grove, how many litres were produced and also some pictures. You can trace back the oil to its origin.

Nature produces an honest olive product

Yes, we are proud we are producing an honest olive oil of high quality. In Spain we see more and more Spanish farmers move into biological farming. In our opinion, this is the way to do it. In some years you will produce less olives due to less rainwater in Southern Spain. In other years we are more lucky. The consumer see some fluctuation in price due to nature. But that is how it is. No compromise.

The harvest season of olives is from the end of October until mid of January. Next season Casa Junius will organise short stays in our resort to join the harvest.

3 views0 comments


bottom of page