EVOO Stories

Discovering Spanish Extra virgin olive oil: Casa Hierro

Written by Veronica Lavenia

If all of Spain is rich in history and beauty in all its latitudes, Castilla La Mancha is among the most special regions, known for being celebrated in the novel of novels: Don Quixote de La Mancha.

A unique land of its kind, a touristic itinerary among the best known, which encompasses culture, history, gastronomy and olive growing.

In this magical casket, tradition has it that Don Quixote was born in Argamasilla de Alba, a municipality in the province of Ciudad Real. In fact, there is no clue within the book that confirms this choice. Yet, in 1863, Manuel Rivadeneyra, typographer and publisher, produced his edition of Quixote here. In 1905, the novelist and literary critic Azorín, on the occasion of the third centenary of the book, wrote La ruta de don Quijote, placing the birth of Don Quixote right in Argamasilla.

Here, a one-of-a-kind house is located, Casa Hierro. A centuries-old house where, for the same time, a limited production of organic extra virgin olive oil of the highest quality has been carried on.

When and how Casa Hierro was born?
To talk about our history, about our olive grove and its cultivation, we have to go back to the 17th century, the time of great geniuses such as Galileo, Sheakspeare or Quevedo. Here, Casa Hierro is based (an iron house, unique in the area). It gives our oil its name; an EVOO that was born from the founder’s passion for the livestock and agri-food sector. We can say that it is a very old farm and olive grove, with a lot of history and a very special symbolic value.

In which area of ​​Spain is the farm located and what is the characteristic of this geographical area to make olive production special?
The farm is located in Argamasilla de Alba, municipality of Ciudad Real, in Castilla La Mancha. Nestled in the flattest part of the La Mancha plateau, it contains a continentalist Mediterranean climate, with very hot summers and very cold winters. Ours is a traditional olive grove, characterized by its centenary olive trees, its low planting density (less than 200 plants / ha) and the presence of several trunks per tree in most cases.

What are the cultivars on the farm?
The farm has a total of 1,250 hectares and is destined, among others, to the olive grove; our flagship. However, we also have vineyards, almond trees and pistachios.

The olive grove currently has 9,350 olive trees approximately with two predominant varieties: picual (30%) and cornicabra (70%). The entire surface is cultivated in dry land and has all the requirements demanded by organic farming, another of the pillars of the philosophy of the house.

 

How did the idea of ​​oil pearls come about and what do they consist of?
Casa Hierro is the essence of its brand, its purpose, its origins. Everything obeys the passion of the producer family for gastronomy; for high quality, exquisite and gourmet products. Starting from this scenario and in the desire to make another leap towards that market more than gastronomy, we focus on the creation of these pearls of oil. The same oil, but concentrated in pearls that not only make the dish something for the sweet tooth, but also represents an explosion of taste and a mixture of textures for the palate. It is a product for special occasions, for lovers of innovation in cooking and presentation, but without losing the essence of the product; what really varies is the format; liquid gold remains intact, faithful and exquisite as ever.

Why is Casa Hierro oil special?
Casa Hierro is a special oil for different reasons. The first, because it arises from the founder’s passion, Martin Aramburu, for good gastronomy. Among other products, they highlighted his passion for oil and everything that surrounded its production. The farms, the care of the olive grove, the natural environment itself; the true conviction that our  gold could become something different and special, not just a side dish for any recipe, but could be savored and enjoyed per se. Secondly, due to its artisan character, of very careful production, down to the smallest detail: the harvest is carried out by shaking, collecting the fruits on canvases and discarding the olives that have fallen to the ground. So that the harvested olives do not rust or crush in the crushing process, they are transported for cleaning and pressed on the same day of harvest. Obtaining the oil is carried out by means of the first cold extraction, with the aim that the juice conserves all its vitamin richness. The product obtained rests in natural cellars, protected from heat, light and oxidation. And, finally, we would like to underline that “coupage” character formed by the two varieties of olives (picual and cornicabra), which make their flavor different and unexpected; with a point sweet, spicy and bitter at the same time that combine various sensory notes that are reflected in a green fruity color inside a glass bottle covered by a layer of white paint, protecting it from light and color.

LAS PACHECAS – CASA HIERRO
CTRA. TOMELLOSO A LA SOLANA KM 14,5
ARGAMASILLA DE ALBA, CIUDAD REAL

C/MIRAMAR 2, BAJO. 20004
DONOSTIA – SAN SEBASTIÁN

SPAIN

casahierro@casahierro.com

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About the author

Veronica Lavenia

PhD (former University academic).
Italian based writer and magazine contributor.
Authors of six books (five cookbooks), some of her works have appeared in the most popular International food magazine, as "Vegetarian Living"; "Veggie Magazine"; "Lifestyle FOOD"; "Australian Good Food & Travel Guide; "Chickpea"; "Gluten free Heaven";" TML", among others.
EVOO Communicator.
Founder of #evoostories and #storiedievo at @veronicalavenia_
Columnist for "The Wolf Post ("EVOO Stories; Food & Wellness; books reviews).