At Hitos we are committed to producing the best EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL in the world. The key is to take the olives to the mill immediately after harvesting in the field and process the olives without the use of chemicals or excessive heat. Our cold pressed extra virgin olive oil comes from the first pressing of the olives, at the ideal temperature of around 18 ° C, within 12 hours after harvesting.
Therefore, our oil epitomizes the term “cold pressed” or “cold pressed for the first time” (terms that are often used in a non-flexible way in the industry).
Casas de Hitos is located in Extremadura, where the climate is predominantly Mediterranean, except to the north, where it is continental, and to the west, where the influence of the Atlantic softens the climate.
In general, Extremadura is characterized by very hot and dry summers with large droughts and long and mild winters with oceanic influence due to its proximity to the Atlantic coast of Portugal.
Finca Casas de Hitos is also located in an exceptional natural environment, in the river basin of the Guadiana River, surrounded by places such as the Monfragüe National Park, the Orellana and Sierra de Pela reservoir and the green road of Las Vegas del Guadiana and the Villuercas.
Finca Casas de Hitos has an area of about 2,000 hectares of olive grove, in hedge or super-intensive, with north-south orientation to favor the sunny fruit.Currently, 120 hectares are being qualified for the elaboration of EVOO with ecological certificate .
We grow the varieties picual, arbequina, arbosana, sikitita and ergot . We apply the principles of Precision Agriculture: we carry out an exhaustive monitoring of our olive trees, using technology to obtain accurate information (temperature, soil moisture, etc.) that allows us to effectively manage crops, optimizing resources.
This methodology has multiple benefits, both from the point of view of agricultural practices and from the environmental point of view.
Through weather stations equipped with humidity probes and temperature sensors, we can apply appropriate treatments to the specific needs of the soil, perform better control of pests and diseases, adapt irrigation to the real needs of the crop, etc.
In this way, and through modern fertigation systems, we increase the benefits of agricultural activity for the environment and optimize the use of resources (water, fertilizers, etc.).
It is also important to note that, in Casas de Hitos, we have been carrying out plantings on soil in direct sowing for more than 25 years, carrying out conservation work without tilling the land.
The time elapsed between harvesting the olive in the field and obtaining the oil ready for packaging or storage is less than 4 hours.
After depositing the olive collected in the hoppers of the mill, it is cleaned to remove leaves, stems, etc.
The milling is done cold, in a mill with speed control and outlet temperature. In this phase the structure of the vegetal tissues that make up the olive is destroyed, obtaining the olive paste.
The mixing is the most differentiating phase of the whole process carried out in Casas de Hitos, and key to obtaining a EVO of super-premium quality . It is performed cold, at about 21 ° C, without adding water. Its objective is to facilitate the gathering of oil globules, formed during milling, in larger drops. The new system used significantly reduces the beat time, minimizing the possibility of oxidation of the olive paste, which is critical to obtain a unique EVOO.
The olive paste obtained is subjected to decantation by horizontal centrifugation with multiphase technology, without the addition of water, the solid part being separated from the liquid. Three parts are obtained: oil, pomace (with a high percentage of bone) and olive pulp (used to make compost).
The oil passes to a vertical centrifuge, where the separation of liquids (oil and water) is produced by decantation, without adding water.
In all phases, samples are taken to carry out a continuous analysis of the process, with controls
of quality and measurement of the temperature of entry and exit in each phase.
Finally, the oil is filtered, with cellulose plates, for better preservation. Olive oil is a living product, so you have to be especially careful when storing it.
In Casas de Hitos we keep the EVOO in stainless steel tanks with a capacity of 27,000kg. and nitrogen inertization system, avoiding oil contact with oxygen. In addition, the enclosure has an automated air conditioning system that maintains the temperature at all times between 15ºC-18ºC.
We have an exclusive automated system that allows us to know at all times all the details of both the origin and the process of elaboration, storage and packaging of MILESTONES, so traceability is guaranteed.
Throughout the elaboration process we are committed to the biodiversity and the environment, contributing to its sustainability.
We have recently been certified as a CO2-free company.
In our farm, olive and almond trees coexist with the characteristic holm oaks of the Extremadura meadow.
In the olive grove we apply the principles of Precision Agriculture, one of the pillars of sustainable agriculture. By providing the most appropriate treatments at the optimal place and time, we benefit the crop, the soil and the water tables and, therefore, the entire agricultural cycle. With this philosophy, we respect the cultivation, the land and the farmer himself, guaranteeing in time our production. And so we have been acting for more than 25 years with plantations on direct soil, conserving the land without tilling it.
We also practice a zero waste policy , reducing, reusing and recycling the waste generated to the maximum. On the farm we produce our own compost from the remains of pruning and the pulp of the olive.
Very important is also the optimization in the use of scarce resources, such as water. Our olive grove has an automated and monitored fertirrigation system installed that allows us to be very efficient in the use of both the water coming from the canal and the river. In addition, in much of our farm, by its own orography, we do not need to pump the water towards the olive trees; and we use solar energy to pump in those areas where it is necessary.
Another example of our commitment to sustainability and the environment is the use of Polaris Ranger electric vehicles for field maintenance. They work with rechargeable batteries with solar energy and we have been pioneers in the import for agricultural use of them in Spain. Therefore, performing daily work inside the olive grove with these vehicles totally eliminates the emission of exhaust gases into the atmosphere, thus contributing to a better environment for our environment.