Olive oil from “Bajo Aragón”
“Bajo Aragón” Olive Oil is understood to be Extra Virgin Olive Oil from olives grown, processed, bottled and marketed in this region. Extraction procedures shall be exclusively mechanical. Mechanical processes means grinding, beating, pressing, centrifuging, decanting and filtering, without the product undergoing any processing which alters its natural characteristics. The characteristics that distinguish Aceite del Bajo Aragón can be defined through three points: appearance (Clear with no indication of cloudiness, colour (yellow with nuances of golden yellow to old gold, which are characteristic of the Empeltre variety) and taste (smooth, fluid oil, very pleasant on the palate with flavours that recall the fragrance of the olive tree).
The beginnings of the oil-producing activity in Southern Aragon are lost a long way back in time, although the appearance of the activity goes hand in hand with the appearance of olive-tree cultivation in the area. The area devoted to cultivating this tree gradually increased and at one point amounted to over 80,000 has. At present, due to various factors that will be dealt with in subsequent sections, the area has been decreased to 37,000 Has., of which over two thirds are cultivated in the province of Teruel and the rest in the province of Zaragoza.
60 % of the farming establishments are family farms, with less than 20 Has of crop being farmed and extensive division of land into plots. The average area of the family farms on unirrigated land is less than 2.5 Has. and olive growing is often combined with the growth of almond trees or cereals. On irrigated land, with an average area ranging from 1 to 2 Has., the farmers also tend to devote themselves to other crops such as late peach trees or almond trees. These combinations coincide to a great extent with the area in which the olive tree is grown.
Very productive olive variety, with early fruiting and black olives, native to “Bajo Aragón”. Of all the varieties covered by the Regulatory Council, Empeltre participates in the production of protected oils in a minimum proportion of 80% and Arbequina and Royal may never exceed 20%. With this guarantee, the Designation of Origin protects and promotes the use and consumption of the Aragonese lowland olive par excellence.