EVOO Stories


Written by Veronica Lavenia

There is a place in the world where time seems to be suspended and nature emerges in a game of green shades that blend with the blue of a clear and uncontaminated sky. Such an enchanting landscape is the Douro Valley, (from the name of the river that crosses it) in the north of Portugal, a land of vineyards and olive groves, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most popular destinations for nature lovers.

This amazing patch of land, known for its expanses of vineyards and still not so much for the magnificent olive groves, exactly in Santa Comba de Vilariça, is the headquarters of Olmais, an ancient organic olive farm.

Olmais is the story of the Gomes Alves family, a history spanning centuries where each generation has handed down the culture of Extra virgin olive oil to the next.

From 1600 to today, the Gomes Alves family has crossed the history of Portugal, writing its own history. Centuries have passed from black and white to color photos, in which the evolution of technology allows the Portuguese company to produce an organic extra virgin of the highest quality.

The dream, however, always remains the same: to cultivate the generous land of the Douro with love and passion to reap excellent fruits. Today, like yesterday, in the name of Olmais.



Nature in the Douro Valley has left a clear mark. The river, Douro, from which the region takes its name, has cut through the mountains to form its bed.


The typical terraces of the area and the steep slopes have made this area particularly suited to the cultivation of vines. Here, one of the oldest and most renowned wines in the world is born, “Porto”. Here, despite a hostile nature, man has been able to adapt Mediterranean crops, such as the vine, the olive tree and the almond tree, placing them on viewpoints obtained from the steep rocky slopes.


Vila Flor, located in Terra Quente, Tras-o- Montes (literally “Behind the Mountains”), in the Bragança district, is known for being defined by the Portuguese themselves as the Capital of Olive Oil. The City of Flowers, founded in 1826, which bears the name given to it by Dom Dinis, king of Portugal, and known as the “village of Kings and farmers, is the home of the Olmais olive groves.

A territory rich in history, personality, hard and generous at the same time where the Gomes Alves family has planted solid roots over the centuries like their centenary olive trees.



It was 1662 when Teresa Alvarez married Domingo Gomes. Just twenty years have passed since Portuguese independence from Spanish rule and the bride’s name clearly has Spanish origins, which is why the couple adopted the Portuguese-sounding alternative Alves as a surname.


After the Portuguese civil war (1828-1834), for their role in support of King Don Pedro, the family received some land in the north of Portugal with the task of converting it into arable land. Some of these lands are still owned by the Gomes Alves family today.

In 1910, the coup that ended the monarchy led to civil unrest and the family was persecuted by the new government. Even today, we can find signs of those times, such as a secret passage in the family home, at the time used to escape from raids. In the 1930s, the situation improved and the family returned to good terms with the regime.


In 1914, the Great War hit the weakest sections of society such as poor farmers and fishermen. The Gomez Alves family set up the manor house to feed the poorest of the poor.

In 1974, yet another regime change in the country: the Carnation Revolution, with a military coup led by young officers, brought democracy back to Portugal. Again, the family played a leading role in the events, thanks to a young lieutenant of the army, actively involved in the revolution. That lieutenant, José Gomes Alves, is today the current head of the family and owner of Quinta dos Olmais.

Today, the family owns vineyards in the original 19th century lands, and olive groves in its more recent sites.



The organic Extra virgin olive oil produced by a family so rich in experience, so strongly linked to the land, so as to strongly defend it at every change of political regime, can only have a strong and powerful personality. An EVOO that is the fruit of olive groves planted about 30 years ago and a selection of centenary trees, of the Cobrançosa, Verdeal and Madural varieties. These cultivars are unique in Portugal and their harvest is early, to give a rich, floral and complex EVOO.


Organic production, especially for an expanse of olive trees, is not at all simple, nor taken for granted. Still, Olmais accepted and won the bet with Nature. A certified production in Europe and the Americas. Not only.


The company has gone a step further, adopting cultivation methods with biodiversity corridors, no use of pesticides, minimal intervention throughout the year, providing wildlife with watering holes during the dry season, harvested only during the day, without aggressive methods.


The company has gone a step further, adopting cultivation methods with biodiversity corridors, no use of pesticides, minimal intervention throughout the year, providing wildlife with watering holes during the dry season, harvested only during the day, without aggressive methods.


The olives are harvested very early and the cold extraction begins the same day, guaranteeing very fruity and green olive oils with a balanced spiciness and a persistent bitterness.

Olmais Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a return to origins, excellent quality, in an elegant and contemporary bottle.


The Cobrancosa, Verdeal and Madura varieties produce very intense olive oils such as Extra virgin Olmais, unfiltered, with an intense fruity taste, with a strong peppery finish and a marked bitterness. Extremely complex, unique and balanced.



Lugar dos Olmais

Santa Comba da Vilariça

5360-170 Vila Flor




About the author

Veronica Lavenia

Italian based writer and magazine contributor.
Author of six books, some of her works have appeared in the most popular International Food magazines.
Her scientific papers have been published in some of the most renowned international literary academic journals.
Writer| Translator| Communications manager at "The Wolf Post", since the birth of the platform.

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