Montbrió Belvedere was founded by a Dutch family, that wanted to restore a dilapidated farm with an olive orchard (the Mas), to its former glory in the Catalan countryside.
Our olive grove is 14 hectares. Of these, 10 hectares are intensively planted with 1500 trees per hectare and 4 hectares are traditionally planted with 250 trees per hectare. The difference between intensive and traditional planting is mainly reflected in the method of harvesting. The intensively planted trees are harvested mechanically. The traditionally planted trees are harvested by hand.
All olive trees are of the Arbequina olive variety. This is a small type of olive, which produces a soft, fruity oil. It is a variant that is typical for this region.
The entire orchard is kept in a sustainable way, meaning that
– soil care is key.
– we do not use chemical pesticides. A lot of chemical pesticides pose risks to bees and other pollinators and insects, causing loss of biodiversity.
– we do not use weed killers. Weed is preferably removed by hand and only if necessary, for example, because it hinders the tree’s growth or because it competes with the tree for scarce water. Occasionally we mow the weeds and leave the residue. Under no circumstances do we want to have “bare” soil.
– we do not use chemical fertilizers, only animal manure, from a local chicken farm, and compost.
– we use active micro-organisms to improve the soil and protect the trees against diseases.
– we keep the soil covered, which improves water management and biodiversity.
– We use sustainable energy.
The olives are picked in October – November. We bring the harvest every day to the olive mill. There they are cold pressed.
Our oil is Extra Virgin olive oil. To be called “Extra Virgin” oil, the acidity of the oil must be less than 0.8 degrees. “Virgin” olive oil has an acidity of up to 2.0 degrees. The acidity is the weight of free fatty acids in the total amount of oil. In general, the lower the acidity, the better the oil. Our oil has an acidity of less than 0.2 degrees.
If you would like to know more about our sustainable way of working, help out as a volunteer, or come and help pick the olives, please let us know. We look forward to seeing you!
The farm belonged to Don Pedro. Unfortunately, his children did not wish to continue the farm. Don Pedro was forced by his age to sell the farm. We were the lucky buyers: Ronald, Lisette, Susanne en Boaz. Two city-raised parents and two amazing children, dreaming of trading the hectic Netherlands for the peace and quietness of the Spanish countryside.
Our olive orchard is 14 hectares and contains 4500 Arbequina olive trees (Arbequina is a little olive). The olive trees are planted in the traditional way. Meaning that the harvesting of the olives and taking care of the trees need to be done manually. There is not enough space between the trees for a tractor to move.
It is a lot of work, but on the other hand, harvesting by hand means that the trees and the olives are far less damaged than they would be when we would use machines. And that improves the quality of the oil!
Also, harvesting the olives in this way is a real treat. We enjoy, every November, the harvesting of the olives, when we, in the early morning and the early sun, find ourselves surrounded by olive trees, with our little rakes stripping the olives from the branches. Have a look at our photo album and taste the atmosphere and beautiful colours!
Why adopt an olive tree
You will receive 10 half a liter of delicious, very special, extra virgin Arbequina olive oil, from the orchard of Montbrio Belvedere. This oil is pressed cold, bottled directly afterwards, and delivered to your doorstep. This means that you will receive your olive oil at the latest within three weeks after the harvest. It does not get fresher than that!
- Your 10 half a liter of olive oil will be delivered in silver-colored cans. Cans are more expensive than bottles, but they protect the oil from the light, the oil stays fresh much longer. Also, they make a nice decorative gift.
- You will receive an adoption certificate.
- On request, we make you a personalized label for your cans, showing your name, logo, Christmas wish, or another text. (supplement €15,-).
- Every can will have the name of your tree on the backside.
- You will have the opportunity to take part in the harvest of the olives in November of December.
The adoption costs are € 98,- plus shipping costs, per year.
From olive to olive oil
Our most important task is, of course, taking care of the trees, and harvesting and pressing the olives. The way we care for the trees and olives, the way we harvest them, together with the quality of the soil and the climate, determine the quality of the olive oil.
Taking care of the trees
In the months of December till May, the olive trees are being pruned. It is important to open up the crown of the tree, so that sunlight can reach the branches. Pruning is a real craft. After the yearly pruning, the thick-cut branches have to be taken out of the orchard as soon as possible, as they contain little bugs that affect the olives trees. Twice a year in July and September, the trees are sprayed with copper sulfur, to fight the olive fly. We do not use pesticides. Four times a year, all trees receive a bucket of nutrition.
The trees are inspected all year round. We check their growth, to see if it’s balanced, and their health.
Harvesting, pressing, and “bottling”
From November up till January, olives can be harvested. The time of harvesting is important for the quality of the oil. An olive that is harvested later and thus is riper, will contain more oil, but has a less fruity taste. We have chosen to harvest in November of each year. This means that you will receive your olive oil before Christmas!
At least once a day, the harvest is transported to the press and pressed. For one liter of olive oil, we need 6-10 kilos of olives. The oil is “bottled” in cans. This keeps the light out, and increases its shelf life, and maintains its healthy properties. Then, we personally label the cans with the names of your tree on the backside of the can. We ship the 10 can package at the end of November to our customers. Meaning that between harvesting and receiving the oil, there are less than 6 weeks. You will never taste fresher olive oil!
Adopt an olive tree
Do you have a question for us, please do not hesitate and use the contactform below. We will respond as soon as possible. Thank you for contacting us.
By filling in this form you agree to adopt an olive tree in the orchard of Mas Montbrió Belvedere. After receiving this form we will contact you as soon as possible.