History

The prevailing method of olive oil production comes from Jaen in Andalusia, dating back to the founding of Spain under the Roman Empire. In the Roman era the province of Baetica, which covers what is now known as Andalusia, was the principal province of olive oil production during Golden Age of the Roman Empire. The Testaccio hill in Rome is an example of the glory of what was one of the richest and most fertile provinces in the Empire. The Testaccio, or mountain of pots, is an artificial hill of 250m x 150m base width and more than 50m high, formed by the millions of remains of amphorae olearias (olive oil), thrown on it for almost three hundred years, from the reign of Augustus Caesar until the middle of the 3rd Century AD. More than 90 % of the hill corresponds with the amphorae found in Andalusian soil. The popular tradition of the capital of Italy, which holds the hill as a testament to the glory of Rome, upholds the legend which tells of it being the place where the taxes of all the provinces to the imperial city were thrown, the amphorae coming from Andalusia. In the enormity of the Testaccio, the inhabitants of the city saw a symbol of the power of Ancient Rome and of the economic prosperity of the great empire. Nevertheless, the popular tradition betrayed itself: the Testaccio is formed more by the tax and the wealth of a substance found of on one province, the Baetica/Andalusia, than anything from anywhere else, the deposits of which pale in comparison.

In antiquity, as nowadays, the centre of Andalusian production was in the valley surrounding the Guadalquivir River, although in that time the more was extracted from the western banks than nowadays (what with the currently excellent predominance of the Province of Cordova).

At present Valle de Olid Extra Virgin Olive Oil comes from the Province of Cordova and has been marked Denominación de Orígen Lucena. This is because of its excellent natural properties, making it one of important and special products from the Iberian Peninsula.

History