Nature’s Gold owns a small traditional olive farm which is situated about 160 Km south of Barcelona on the Mediterranean coast. The farm covers approximately 2.8 hectares (about 6.5 acres) set out on terraces. There are about 265 olive trees plus a dozen or so almond trees and some carob trees. One or two fig trees and grape vines also grow on the farm. There are lovely sea and mountain views and it overlooks the Ebro delta. There is a lovely feeling of peace and tranquility and at most times during the day all you can hear is the wind in the trees, the birds and the odd dog barking in the distance.
We have owned the farm for about 8 years now and have never used any chemicals or pesticides. We have even managed to stop the airborne spraying that they carry out all over the area at certain times of the year. So it is organic to all intents and purposes but not certified. The farm produces very good quality mild-tasting oil which is light golden-green in colour.
The farm is farmed according to an age-old traditional process which has been carried out in Mediterranean countries for centuries. The olives are harvested in November-December, and again in January. Nets are laid on the ground around the tree and the olives are gathered, mostly by hand, into the nets. They are then gathered into sacks and brought down to the local olive mill. There the oil is produced purely by mechanical means and no heat is applied at any stage during production (known as “Cold Pressing”). Only the first pressing is used to make Nature’s Gold Olive Oil, hence the oil can be referred to as from the “First Cold Pressing”.
The acidity of the oil is the main determining factor as to whether the oil can be considered as “Extra Virgin”. An acidity level of 0.8% or under is considered “Extra Virgin”. The acidity of our oil varies from batch to batch and ranges from 0.3% to 0.8%. We also have some “Virgin” Olive oil in which the acidity was found to be above 0.8%. Acidity levels of the batches are determined by chemical analysis by the mill just after the oil is produced.
The olives were harvested by members of Nature’s Gold staff and a few friends. This is the first time we have produced any oil from the farm and we brought it to Ireland ourselves in a van through France and onto the Le Havre-Rosslare ferry.
For a photo gallery and more information check out our olive oil website:-