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DO OLIVE OIL OF THE COMUNITAT VALENCIANA
Cultivation is spread throughout the Valencia Region, so olive oil production in this Community is also more or less evenly distributed, with the province of Alicante having the highest production, although it is also the one with the smallest production area (31%).
Due to its Mediterranean climate, the Valencian Community has always been an important olive-growing area and the Community has the greatest diversity of varieties in Spain: manzanilla, Villalonga, blanqueta, farga, serrana de Espadán, morruda, cornicabra, alfafara or grosal, changlot real, royal, canetera, nana, arbequina, empeltre, cuquillo, sollana, sallosina, llumeta, millarenca and borriolenca. Seventy-four different varieties have been identified in the Comunitat Valenciana, which provides a wealth of nuances and aromas.
Of the 23 main varieties grown in Spain, 6 are Valencian: Villalonga, Blanqueta, Farga, Serrana de Espadán, Changlot Real, Alfafara.
The Alicante varieties are:
This variety probably originates from the Alicante region of El Comtat, being cultivated in this region and also in L'Alcoià, the upper and middle basin of Vinalopó, and to a lesser extent in La Marina (all of them Alicante regions); in the province of Valencia it is mainly cultivated in La Vall d'Albaida, the Ayora Valley and La Canal de Navarrés, and it is scattered in other inland regions. It is also grown in the southeast of the province of Albacete.
It is a variety with a very high and constant production, although in arid conditions it is somewhat stunted. The tree withstands frost well, but not the fruit, which is very sensitive, and this, together with the late ripening, often means that in the cold areas where it is grown, ripening is not complete. Its high resistance to detachment makes mechanised harvesting difficult.
It can be considered a late variety as its optimum harvesting time is in January. The fat content of the olive evolves from an average value of 15.6% in the first fortnight of November to 22.6% in the first fortnight of January, so that the theoretical fat yield increases from 13-14% to 19-20%.
Later harvesting in search of a higher yield and/or a reduction in the bitterness and pungency of the oil results in oils of poorer quality, with a noticeable reduction in polyphenol content, oleic acid content, stability and intensity of the fruitiness.
Alfafara oil is characterised by a medium oleic acid content, which can exceed 70 % depending on the soil and climate of the area and the state of maturity of the fruit, and a high polyphenol content, which gives it medium stability against oxidation.
The extra virgin olive oil of the Alfafara variety is a spicy and bitter oil, medium fruity and with notes of green grass and aromatic herbs and green almonds.
This variety originates from Muro de Alcoy (Alicante). It is mainly distributed in the regions of La Canal de Navarrés, La Vall d'Albaida and La Costera (in the province of Valencia) and in El Comtat, L'Alcoià and Alt Vinalopo (in the provinces of Alicante). The name refers to the whitish colour of the fruit during veraison.
It is a variety that stands out for its high productivity and regularity. It has an early entry into production, with slow and staggered ripening rooted fruit that is harvested early to avoid frost damage, to which it is very sensitive, being the tree resistant. It is highly resistant to detachment, which makes mechanised harvesting difficult.
It is characterised by a high fat content and has a good yield in the oil mill. The optimum time for harvesting is in the first fortnight of December, when yield, composition and stability are combined.
Blanqueta oil is characterised by a low oleic acid content, which, depending on the soil and climate of the producing area, may be less than 60 %, and a high linoleic acid content, which may exceed 20 %.
This marked difference in composition depending on the production area is also evident in the polyphenol content and in the oxidative stability of the oils. Blanqueta oils are generally characterised by low stability.
Blanqueta extra virgin olive oil is a slightly fruity oil, with green aromatic notes of green grass and green almonds. It has notes of astringency and bitterness.
Grossal olive oil is common in the Alicante area. It is also known as Rojal de Alicante. It is a characteristic olive due to its red colour when ripe, it is very resistant to weather changes and has a high concentration of polyphenols.
It is a variety of olive cultivated in the Alicante regions of Alt Vinalopó, Vinalopó Mitjà and L'Alcoià, as well as in the Valencian Val d'Albaida, characterised by its red colour when ripe.
Genetic analyses have established a correspondence with the Alfafara variety.
Both the tree and the fruit are morphologically very similar to the 'Alfafara' variety, and only the agronomic behaviour shows some differences. The characteristics in terms of fruit composition and theoretical fat yield, as well as the composition of the oil and its characteristics, show this genetic correspondence with the 'Alfafara' variety. Its optimum harvesting time can be established according to the weather at the beginning of January. Late ripening, it is very resistant to cold and drought and has a high oleic acid and polyphenol content. It is a productive variety, although it is a bit of an alternate variety, that is to say, one year it bears a lot of fruit and the next year little or none.
The oil is characterised by a medium oleic acid content, which can reach 70% depending on the soil and climate of the area and the state of maturity of the fruit, as well as a medium polyphenol content, which gives it medium stability against oxidation.
Olive oil mills
Almazahara: Company made up of 7 cooperatives from all the Valencian provinces: Cooperativa Agrícola Católica Coop.V. (Cocentaina), Cooperativa San Cristóbal (Cañada), Coop. V. San Pedro Apóstol (Moixent), Bodega Nuestra Señora De Las Virtudes Coop.V. (Villena), Coopvall (Quatretonda), Coop. San Isidro Sierra (Les Coves de Vinromà, Cooperativa Agrícola De Villar (Villar del Arzobispo), Cooperativa Vinícola "La Viña" (La Font de la Figuera, SOCAPMA (Muro de Alcoy), Coop Beniatjar Oli Del Benicadell Coop V. (Beniatjar), Campoenguera Coop. V. (Enguera), Coop. La Divina Pastora (Jérica).
565 MSNM (Finca Caraita in Millena), Tot Oli in Vall de la Gallinera, Oli de Xàbia, Masía el Altet (Polop valley, in Alcoy), Señorío de Jaime Rosell (BeneOliva estate in Benejúzar, Vega Baja del Segura), Latzeneta (Valle De Guadalest), L'Alquería (Parque Natural de la Sierra de Mariola), Oli el Comtat La Cooperativa Agrícola católica COOP,
Las Virtudes, Almazara el Tendre (Elche), Oleum Secans surrounded by natural parks "Sierra de Mariola", "Sierra de Aitana" and "La Font Roja", Oli Travadell (Millena), Masía la Mota (Font Roja, Alfarenca variety) and Castell de la Costurera.