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Simon Field, August 2017

One of the unexpected benefits of participating in a Savantes tasting is the occasional opportunity to experience something beyond evaluating olive oil. Such an opportunity arose when attendees at the Seville programme were invited to visit the Juan Ramón Guillén Foundation museum on the outskirts of the city. Our host was Juan González of Hacienda Guzmán, who participated in the Seville programme.

The Foundation was founded in 2011 with the purpose of bringing the rural sector closer to the public with special emphasis on the olive sector. The centrepiece is the Hacienda Guzmán from which the brand of quality extra virgin olive oils takes its name. Six centuries ago, Hernando, the son of Christopher Columbus, produced olive oil on the estate and exported it to America.

Hacienda Guzmán

The stately house is the home to the olive oil museum with a massive beam olive oil press and many of

the accessories necessary for the production and distribution of the product.

Adjacent are the stables and a building housing a modern centrifugal olive press, the ancient and the modern side by side.

  

The stone mill and presses

More ancient than all the grand edifices and machinery is the olive tree which is reverentially preserved in the Olivoteca containing 150 different varieties from five continents. For the producer and taster of olive oil this is a very special opportunity to see the many varieties from which comes the range of oils we present at Savantes. With ripe fruit on the trees it was possible to taste the differing flavour characteristics of each. One day perhaps, small quantities of oil could be pressed from each variety to give an extraordinary opportunity to taste flavours from each cultivar grown in one location. That would be a unique experience.

 

The Olivoteca – Olive Tree Arboreteum

After an enlightening tour from Juan the final piece of knowledge gleaned was the unusual shape of the fruit from the Zarza variety. One could even mistake them for blueberries – until tasting them!


Tree and fruit of the Zarza variety of olive

Thank you, Juan Gonzáles, Hacienda Guzmán and the Juan Ramón Guillén Foundation for this edifying experience. We wish you continued success in your universal promotion of the olive tree and extra virgin olive oil.

For further information and a video, go to www.fundacionjrguillen.com