The variety of olives produced in Spain is combined with the great variety of existing microclimates throughout the country to produce an extensive variety of oils.

For example, the Picual variety of olive, characteristic of the mountainous regions of Granada, produces oils with body, sweet with a light bitter flavor, while the Hojiblanca variety of olives from Málaga produces sweeter oils, with a light spicy flavor.

Following, you will find a description of the production areas, with their distinct characteristics, and the types of olives and oils they produce.

The Andalucian region occupies the southern third of the peninsula, and it produces approximately 75% of the total olive oil produced in Spain.

The Andalucian Community is composed of eight provinces, from east to west: Almería, Granada, Jaén, Córdoba, Málaga, Seville, Cádiz, and Huelva.

The general climate is typical of the mediterranean, with hot, dry summers, winters with mild temperatures, and irregular precipitation. Nevertheless, due to the extensive territory which Andalucia covers, there are areas with diverse climates, from desert areas to mountains with high rainfall, from snowy mountain ranges to a large coast, as well as other natural microclimates. An important detail to note is that throughout the year many areas of Andalucia enjoy over three thousand hours of sunlight.

The production of olive oil is extended throughout the region, athough it is concentrated primarily in the provinces of Jaén and Córdoba. It is interesting to note that the province of Jaén produces more olive oil than all of Greece, another large producer of olive oil in the world.

The types of olives cultivated in Andalucia for the production of oil are: Picual, Hojiblanca, Lechín, Verdial and Picudo.

The Castilla - La Mancha region is located in the center of the peninsula, to the south of Madrid. Depending on the year, this region produces about 14% of the total olive oil produced in Spain.

The Castilla - La Mancha Community is composed of five provinces, from north to south: Guadalajara, Cuenca, Toledo, Ciudad Real, and Albacete.

The general climate is markedly continental, with this characteristic decreasing toward the west and as the altitude increases above 1000 meters. Rainfall is not abundant, especially in the interior of the sub plateau, although the influence of the Atlantic in the western region causes an increase in rainfall.

The production of olive oil extends to the southeast of the region, concentrating in the provinces of Toledo and Ciudad Real.

The variety of olive that is cultivated in this community for the production of oil is Cornicabra, although in the southern region bordering Andalucia there are small areas that cultivate the variety known as Picual.

The Extremadura region is situated in the southeastern part of the country, on the border with Portugal. This region produces approximately 6% of the total olive oil produced in Spain.

Extremadura is composed of two provinces, Caceres in the north and Badajoz in the south.

The general climate is continental, with warm winters, softened by the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, and with scarce rainfall in the fall and winter. Summers are hot, reaching temperatures well above 30ºC (80ºF).

The production of olive oil extends equally throughout the region.

The types of olives that are cultivated in Extremadura for the production of oil are Cornicabra, Carrasqueña and Morisca.

The Catalonian Community occupies the northeast corner of the peninsula and produces approximately 4% of the total olive oil produced in Spain.

Catalonia is composed of four provinces, beginning in the northeast: Gerona (Girona), Barcelona, Lérida (Lleida) and Tarragona.

The general climate is moderate, common to a mediterranean region, but with some contrasts: areas with a high mountain climate in the Pyrénées and a cold and rustic coast in the north, and softer, gentler climate in the south at the last stretch of the Ebro river.

The production of olive oil extends throughout the western region, bordering Aragón. The types of olives cultivated in Catalonia for the production of oil are Fraga, Empeltre and Arbequina.

Other regions, such as Aragón and Valencia, produce, depending on the year, about 1% of Spanish olive oil. Smaller quanitities of olive oil are also produced in Navarra and La Rioja.

The areas of production referred to above correspond to the basin of the Ebro river, as well as the central areas of the mediterranean coast with a moderate, humid, mediterranean climate.

The types of olives cultivated in these areas are Blanqueta, Fraga, Empeltre and Arbequina.

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