Extra virgin, cold pressed and other vocabulary that we know in connection with olive oil - it seems to say on every bottle whether it is 4 euros or 80 euros per liter - so how do you distinguish between a bad and a good olive oil?
Who hasn't asked themselves that? Striving for perfection and always having the very best of the best is in our nature. However, as in any competition, the air at the top is thin and differences can only be sniffed out or tasted by a trained sommelier.
If you consider that most of the olive oils that are sold in our supermarkets would not even be used as lamp oil in southern countries, and that some of them are even contaminated with mineral oils and would have to pass any quality control, you could The average Central European is already thrilled with every handmade olive oil from a stone mill.
Good olive oil is created when undamaged fruits are processed as quickly as possible using a modern mill and then consumed as quickly as possible or stored well.
In recent years, the industry, with its ultra-modern vacuum mills, has contributed to the quality of olive oil reaching new dimensions almost every year.
China is on the rise and will be the largest producer of olive products in the next few years - Spain will be dethroned after eternal autocracy.
There is a lot happening in the olive sector.
However, the question of which is the best olive oil in the world can only be answered relatively. It's similar to wine - Chardonnay is the most cultivated white grape variety in the world, while red is Cabernet Sauvignon - these varieties are therefore often represented in the top positions.
If we translate the whole thing into olive oil language, we come to the popular Arbequina variety - this variety is the most cultivated in the world. Our member Franz Bräuer from Olivenhof has also occupied his mountains in the Wachau with it. Traditional and ultra-dense plantations of this variety can be found from the USA to China. The range of pure “Arbequina” olive oil is huge.
As described above, the speed and mechanical standard in olive oil production is very important - if we look at companies in the USA or China, such as La Panza Ranch, or Corto Olive where the olives are harvested with huge harvesters, selected with sensors and are processed into oil directly on the farm in a very short time, it becomes clear that a small business that processes its fruits by hand cannot keep up.
Even though Chardonnay is the most widespread grape variety in the world, we in Austria are also world-famous with Riesling and Grüner Veltliner and don't have to hide ourselves - and this is exactly where the "Casaliva" variety comes into play.
Cultivated much less frequently, this variety usually achieves top rankings at olive oil tastings. It is considered frost hardy and also bears slightly larger fruits compared to Arbequina. We ourselves are monitoring the Casaliva variety as the leading variety in the Lake Garda area and are testing whether it could be suitable for planting in Austria.