Spanish Olive Oil: The Olive Harvest in Andalucía

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In the heart of Andalucía, Spain, the month of September brings with it a cherished tradition: the olive harvest. This annual event not only marks the culmination of months of careful cultivation but also plays a significant role in the region’s culture and cuisine. In this blog, we will delve into the ins and outs of Spanish olive oil. Specifically, the olives of Andalucía, exploring their varieties, differences, and the culinary delights they inspire. If you are looking for your own property with olive grove, click here!

The Olive Harvest in Andalucía

Spanish olive oil has a world-wide fame. Within Spain, Andalucía is renowned for its olive groves, and September is the month when the olives are ripe and ready for picking. The picturesque landscapes of rolling hills covered in silvery-green olive trees come alive with the bustle of harvesters. This time-honored tradition involves the careful hand-picking of olives, ensuring that they are harvested at their peak ripeness for the finest extra virgin olive oil production.

Andalucía boasts a diverse array of olive varieties, each with its unique flavor profile, shape, and size. There are 4 main varieties. Depending on the mixture, very different flavours and aromas arise.


  • Hojiblanca: These olives are known for their mild, fruity flavor and a slightly bitter aftertaste. They are ideal for producing extra virgin olive oil and are often used in salads and dressings.
  • Picual: With a robust and slightly peppery or spicy flavor. Picual olives are one of the most widely cultivated varieties in Andalucía. They produce a high-quality olive oil that pairs exceptionally well with grilled meats and vegetables.
  • Arbequina: Smaller in size and boasting a sweet, nutty flavor. Arbequina olives yield a delicate and fragrant olive oil. They are excellent for drizzling over salads or dipping with crusty bread.
  • Manzanilla: These small, green olives have a crisp, briny flavor and are commonly used as appetizers or in tapas, often stuffed with anchovies or pimentos.

The key differences among olive varieties lie in their flavor profiles, oil extraction methods, and ideal culinary applications. Hence, understanding these nuances helps chefs and home cooks make informed choices when selecting olive oils for their dishes.

Pairing Olives with Food

Pairing Spanish olive oil with food is a form of art. The choice of olive oil variety can elevate a dish to new heights. For instance:

  • Hojiblanca: Its mildness makes it a versatile choice for salad dressings, seafood, and delicate dishes like gazpacho.
  • Picual: The bold flavor of Picual olive oil enhances grilled meats, roasted vegetables, and hearty stews.
  • Arbequina: Its sweet, nutty notes make it perfect for drizzling over fresh greens, desserts, or dipping bread.

The olive harvest in Andalucía is a celebration of tradition, culture, and gastronomy. The region’s diverse olive varieties offer a wide range of flavors, allowing for exciting culinary experiences. The art of pairing these olives with food is a testament to the rich tapestry of Andalusian cuisine, where the golden liquid extracted from these olives plays a starring role on the dining table.

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Has it always been a dream to produce your own Spanish olive oil? Do you dream of waking up in your Andalusian cortijo and go for a morning walk, admiring your beautiful olive grove? Then this is your chance! Contact us now for more information about our Andalusian country properties with olive grove. Call +34 952 89 51 39 or email Finally, you can also leave your contact details here below! Speak to you soon!


Danielle Ernstsen | 27th September 2023