We always seem to leave vacation with at least one memorable event. I thought getting the rental car stuck in a pedestrian-only walkway was it for this trip, but turns out more was to come! I had grand plans of finding some wineries to visit outside of Seville during the wedding weekend festivities. After the first two evenings of activities, I decided more wine was a poor choice. So, what about olive oil? Oleotourism is big here! I found The Basilippo Cultural Center of the Olive Tree online, which was located about 30 minutes outside of Seville in the countryside.
We had not planned this excursion in advance, but rather just showed up at the olive grove estate since the website said you could walk the grounds without a guided tour. Well, we met the grandfather of the family operation upon entering, who spoke no English. He insisted on giving us a very in-depth tour all in Spanish. This was a true test of 7 years of Spanish classes…Thankfully he spoke slowly and reworded each point until we understood. What a patient man!
Despite the language barrier, we learned quite a bit about how olive oil is made. This estate covers all aspects of production from growing the olives, harvesting, processing, and bottling. We saw the difference between early and late harvest olives and what type of oils they produce.
Basilippo does not use pesticides, so they rely on natural methods of warding off insects, like growing patches of rosemary right below the trees. The estate also had fruit trees and fresh lavender throughout, which we were encouraged to sample. If the experience wasn’t authentic enough, we met his family who lives on-site and the grand kids played the piano for us.
The family created a museum to show the history of olive oil and a more in-depth description of production. Our tour guide insisted on us getting a picture with the harvesting baskets and hat. Next to us is the mechanism used to macerate the olives to obtain liquid. Again, that’s at least what I THINK he said!
We were able to sample at the end of the tour and it truly was out of this world! They produce an orange olive oil that has a suggested use over chocolate ice cream. Yum!
If you find yourself in Seville, I highly recommend taking a drive out to Basilippo to learn more about olive oil and sample some of the best oils around!
+34 955 740 695 / +34 678 881 506
Hacienda Merrha. Ctra. Viso-Tocina (SE-3201), Km 2 41520 El Viso del Alcor (Seville) Spain
weekdays 10:00-14:00 and 16:30-19:30 h. Saturdays 10:00 to 14:00 h (July and August 8:30 to 15:00 h. weekdays)