Don Andres Martinez Bordiu Ortega is the Count of Morata de Jalon and his olive estate is called Arroyovil, which is located in the foothills of the snowy Sierra Magina Mountains near the city of Jaen, Spain.
Age-old groves of Picual olive trees drape the undulating hills of Arroyovil, and this is where Don Andres has achieved his lifelong dream, of farming olives for oil.
The estate covers some 100 hectares. Between the olive grove the hills are covered with low mountain scrub, where you can see partridge, rabbit, and birds that are comfortable enough, raising their young, in the grass on the middle of the olive trail.
The weather during this time of year is mild and sunny during the day, and the nights are cool and clear.
On the estate, there is a rural retreat called La Cateta de Arroyovil, where visitors can experience the calm and quiet of living, in the middle of an Andalucian olive grove.
Arroyovil is accessed from the Ubeda Baeza highway, and the turnoff is about 15 kilometers, from the town of Mancha Real, where Don Andres was born in 1919.
As owner of the estate, Don Andres is actively involved in the production, and marketing, of the Conde de Argillo brand of Spanish extra virgin olive oil, which was named after the title of his father, the Conde de Argillo (Count of Argillo).
But Don Andres has not always been an olive farmer. He was the president of Westinghouse Spain, until he left corporate life to pursue his first love – the production of high quality Spanish olive oil from picual olives.
Don Andres says, “the challenge is producing handcrafted olive oil, year after year, that reaches the required quality”.
He says, the Conde de Argillo brand is not for all markets. Instead it is intended for a limited and select clientele, that wants genuine Spanish olive oil, made in Spain, that demonstrates the same qualities season after season.
Olive oils must have unique character, just as wines of various vintages have unique character. The smell, flavor and appearance of the olive oil, should reflect the differences, in the various olive varieties and crops.
The part of Andalucia, in which Arroyovil is situated, appears at first glance to be arid, but the springs that feed the olives in the valleys from the Sierra Magina mountains, are of the highest quality water.
Undoubtedly, the combination of climate, water, soil and the grove managements at Arroyovil, are responsible for the distinctive characteristics, of the Conde de Argillo brand olive oil.