The perfection derived from the marquis’ olive grove is the result of the one thousand year history of his family. This historical legacy pushes the marquis and everyone that works with him to make sure that the products that bear his crest are the best that we can produce.
The Álvarez de Toledo family has owned the Perales estate where their olive oils have been produced since 1624. The estate occupies several thousand acres, of which about 450 are dedicated to the Marquis’ olive groves and mill. Nearly 20 years ago, the Marquis decided to modernize his olive oil production and began by replacing the old groves with trees of the arbequina, hojiblanca, picual, and morisca varieties. This last type is native to the Marquis’ estate and is only grown is a small area of Extremadura.
A special mention of the morisca variety is due. It has very low yields and is expensive to use, but it is the source of the buttery feel that fills your mouth when you taste our oils. Many believe that it was the Marquis’ family that introduced morisca to Extremadura from his Andalucian landholdings. Morisca makes our olive oils special, adding a distinctive, fresh taste profile and buttery texture to an essential element of Mediterranean cuisine.
The mill, inaugurated in November of 2004, was built on the site of a 150 year-old mill, which, in turn was erected where olive oil had been produced since the Romans occupied the area over 2,000 years ago.
The old mill was of the artisan type used for centuries in the Mediterranean region. This consisted of triangular, granite milling stones that crushed the olives on straw mats, allowing the olive oil to be separated from the organic solids in a very inefficient and somewhat unhygienic manner.
The new mill, when finished in 2004, was reputed to be among the most modern in Europe, as were the harvest and production techniques, which allow the first olives to be chosen and handpicked and pressed within an hour. The oil that results from this process is tested and the best is bottled as MARQUÉS DE VALDUEZA. After a few more days of maturing on the tree under the Extremeñan sun, the rest of the olives are harvested to produce MERULA.