SAOV — Portugal

   

The Iberian Peninsula, which encompasses both Spain and Portugal, has had olive trees for thousands of years.

    Archaeological evidence suggests that olive trees were first brought to Andalusia during the Bronze Age, between 2700 and 2400 BC. The first olive groves were planted by Phoenicians in 1050 BC, and olive oil became a cultural staple soon after. Throughout the ages, the Iberian Peninsula has seen many influences—from the Romans to the Arabs and Visigoths—and each has left a lasting impact on the culture surrounding olive oil. The Roman Empire is widely credited for the spread of olive oil throughout the Mediterranean, while the Portuguese and Spanish words for olive oil (azeite and aceite, respectively) are both derived from the Arabic al-zait, which means “olive juice.” 

An olive orchard at the SAOV Estate.

 

In Portugal, there are six olive oil producing regions that have a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO): Azeite do Norte Alentejano, Azeite de Moura, Azeite de Alentejo Interior, Azeite de Trás-os-Montes, Azeite do Ribatejo, and Azeite da Beira Interior.

    Nestled deep in the Ribatejo region of Portugal, SAOV's Pouchão Estate was established in the 18th century. The Azeite do Ribatejo PDO, near the Tagus River in central Portugal, is known for producing olive oils with a hint of sweetness. A blend of old and new, SAOV combines modern agricultural technology with generational experience from the estate. Portugal's Mediterranean climate enables them to grow multiple varieties of olives, including Galega, Cobrançosa, and Arbosana on 236 hectares.

Parts of SAOV's Pouchão date back to the 1700s.

 

Olives on a tree, just waiting to be picked!

 

An up-close look at SAOV's orchards in the Ribatejo region.

 

Using a modern mill, built in 2009, they carefully oversee every facet of olive oil production—from harvest to milling, quality is the heart and soul of SAOV's mission.

    This attention to detail does not go unnoticed: at the New York International Olive Oil Competition, they received highly coveted gold medals in 2013, 2015, and 2016 and a silver medal in 2014. 

SAOV's cutting edge mill—where the magic happens!

 

A row of olive trees, meticulously cared for by SAOV.

 

Currently, two of our Ultra Premium EVOOs are lovingly crafted by SAOV—the Arbosana and the Cobrançosa.

    The Arbosana, a medium intensity oil, has the sweet & confectionary notes characteristic of a Ribatejo olive oil. Extremely balanced, this oil has bold notes of green almond, banana, and berry. With a creamy mouthfeel and a nice peppery finish, the Arbosana is an excellent EVOO for everyday use.

    The Cobrançosa is a complex, robust intensity EVOO. Layered savory notes of green herb and nettle give way to a hearty peppery finish. Balanced with low bitterness, the Cobrançosa has been a favorite Northern Hemisphere harvest oil for years. 

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