Olive oil from Santa Catarina is among the best in the world

All the dedication, work and knowledge put into the development of the extra virgin olive oil “Vienzo Blend Intenso” by the Santa Catarina company Quinta do Vienzo, the first to process extra virgin olive oil on Santa Catarina soil, were internationally recognized this month.

The company, located in Rancho Queimado, won the Silver Medal at the “Brazil iOOC – International Olive Oil Competition”, a competition held simultaneously in São Paulo and Portugal, which tested more than 100 oils from various countries. Judges from three continents tasted and chose the best from the registered countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Greece, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, the United States and Uruguay.

For the producer couple Jester Macedo and Patrícia Macedo, this award is the recognition of a lot of dedication that shows that they are on the right path to have a highly differentiated product that meets the most demanding quality standards in the market. “It was the second time that we participated in a competition and in both we were awarded”, says the olive oil sommelier and partner of Quinta do Vienzo Patrícia Macedo.

first prize

The other award that Quinta do Vienzo received was in 2020 at Brazil iOOC, with a silver medal in the Silver Award with the Arbequina Monovarietal Extra Virgin Olive Oil. All this with only 4 years of production.

The brand has also had the product nominated as the second best olive oil in Brazil by sommelier and olive oil specialist Sandro Marques, in 2020. Marques is considered one of the greatest olive oil connoisseurs in Brazil.

Olive oil

Olive oil is the juice of the olive. To extract it, only a few mechanical processes are necessary: ​​harvest the olive, separate the leaves, wash, grind, beat (agglutinate the oil droplets), centrifuge (separate the water from the oil and the solids) and filter. To produce 1 liter of olive oil, just by mechanical processes, approximately 10 kg of olives are needed.

Olive oil can be classified into three types:

  • extra virgin olive oil – Obtained by cold extraction, only by mechanical processes and with acidity up to 0.8%. This olive oil has many health benefits.
  • virgin olive oil – is also obtained only by mechanical processes, but has a higher acidity, between 0.8% and 2.0%.
  • Olive oil – These are refined oils, where chemical processes and additives are used in their production. This oil has few, if any, health benefits.

Tip: At the time of purchase, you should prefer those with packaging that have some barrier against light, as the incidence of light can oxidize the oil. Dark glass and secondary packaging can have this objective of avoiding exposure to light. Products with the most recent manufacturing date should also be preferred. The younger the oil, the better!

Benefits of olive oil:

Among the edible oils sold worldwide, olive oil is one of the most important and oldest in the world and is widely used in Mediterranean cuisine.

  • It is rich in polyphenols, which have antioxidant action, help prevent cardiovascular diseases, protect against some types of cancer, and play an important role in the production of compounds that mediate inflammation in the body.
  • It is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, mainly oleic (omega-9), which have properties to reduce blood concentrations of LDL (or “bad” cholesterol) and increase HDL (“good” cholesterol).
  • Assists in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins from the diet (vitamins A, D, E, K)
  • anti-inflammatory action
  • No chemicals are added to speed up the extraction, so the result is a good quality, unfermented, low-acid product.
  • Source of vitamin E (which helps in the immune system, bone and muscle health and also in weight loss)
  • Does olive oil make you lose weight? By the effect of increasing the feeling of satiety, as it takes longer to be digested. In addition, the anti-inflammatory action of olive oil may aid in the treatment of obesity, a pro-inflammatory disease. For these purposes, olive oil must be associated with the practice of physical exercises and a balanced diet, because despite being a good fat, if consumed in excess, olive oil makes you fat.
  • Contributed – Sendy Speck – nutritionist in Florianópolis.

Cold harvesting and production

The harvest and production of olive oil takes place in February and March and the entire process is carried out next to the orchard, which guarantees the quality of the product. The harvest is very early, as soon as the sun rises to avoid heating the fruits. “The excessive heat of the olives ends up impacting the quality of the oil. So we started harvesting at 6 am and finished around 11 am, where the weather is still cool in Rancho Queimado”, explains Jester Macedo, who is also an agronomist.

The Macedo couple actively participate in the entire process: from planting to extraction. Constantly seeking excellence in the entire process, from the care of the soil, to the packaging and storage of the product.

Photo: given

The extraction of Vienzo olive oil is carried out cold, and it needs to happen right after the olives are harvested. The process is fast: it takes just over an hour to extract the oil from the fruits. This care is essential to ensure low acidity and high quality extra virgin olive oil. That is why the Quinta do Vienzo property stands out with the installation of the mill right next to the olive trees.

Another highlight of the company is that all processing is done in an air-conditioned environment, where the room temperature is below 20°C. No heat source is added during processing, which would drastically reduce the quality of the oil. The storage tanks are inerted with nitrogen (a way to reduce the exposure of the oil to atmospheric air. Adding nitrogen to the stainless steel tanks reduces the concentration of oxygen and, therefore, the oxidation of the oil), thus ensuring greater control of the quality of the product. produced olive oil.

Sustainability is also among the company’s concerns. “With sustainable management, the culture of olive trees is integrated into the environment and all care for the land is taken so that our olive trees grow healthy”, says Jester.

The property currently cultivates seven varieties of olive trees: Arbequina, Arbosana, Koroneiki, Picual, Manzanilla, Frantoio and Grapollo.

About Quinta do Vienzo

Quinta do Vienzo is the first company to process extra virgin olive oil in Santa Catarina. The company is located in Rancho Queimado, a municipality located 68 km from Florianópolis, at the foot of the Santa Catarina mountain range.

The producer couple Jester Macedo and Patrícia Macedo began to realize their dream of producing quality olive oil in SC in 2011, when they ordered the first 700 olive tree seedlings. In 2019, the first harvest at Quinta do Vienzo took place, when 1,300 kilos of olives were harvested and the first 120 liters of extra virgin olive oil were produced, cold extracted in the company’s mill (where the oil is extracted), strategically located next to the orchard. .

So far there have been 4 consecutive harvests and the number of olive trees has risen to 3,000. The 2022 harvest was the company’s record so far, with 7 tons of olives that yielded 650 liters of oil. The expectation for the next crop in 2023 is even better according to the couple Jester and Patrícia, who are already making long-term plans. “Despite the challenges and lessons learned, we came to the conclusion that we could obtain good results with this culture in Rancho Queimado. Our harvest expectation for 2023 is 15,000 kilos of olives and in 2030 our goal is to harvest 50 tons and produce around 5,000 liters of extra virgin olive oil”, reveals Patrícia.

All this dedication has also brought recognition to the company, which in just four harvests has already received two international awards. Silver Medal at the “Brazil iOOC – International Olive Oil Competition” in 2022 and 2020, in addition to being nominated as the second best olive oil in Brazil by sommelier and olive oil specialist Sandro Marques in 2020, one of the greatest olive oil connoisseurs in Brazil.

Rural tourism

Tourism in Rancho Queimado has been growing a lot, thanks to the various attractions in different segments such as gastronomy and hotels. The producer couple also invested in tourism through guided tours of the Quinta do Vienzo orchard, adding value to small production and bringing knowledge to anyone interested in knowing how extra virgin olive oils are made.

During the harvest period, in February and March, visits are more frequent and tourists can even participate in the harvest and see the olives being processed up close, in addition to tasting a freshly extracted oil. In the other months of the year, Quinta do Vienzo carries out a visit per month, with prior appointment, and pre-established dates. “It is important that our customers can closely monitor our process. Thus, they will be sure of the quality of the product they are consuming”, says Patrícia. The Brazilian consumer has become increasingly demanding in their taste and has sought more and more knowledge about the products they consume.

The off-season visit schedule includes a visit to the olive grove, a visit to the mill with explanations about the processing and tasting of the oils with breads, cheeses and fruits. The value is R$ 45 per person. The next tasting visits will be on 24/09 and 22/10. Those who take advantage of these dates will be able to see the orchard in full bloom, as the olive trees are in full bloom that started in July.


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The article is in Portuguese

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