As a rule, the season of collecting olives for culinary consumption begins at the end of September, although the main part of the collection of olives for the production of oil is carried out in November, December and January. Depending on the date of collection, EVOO can be obtained with different characteristics. For example, most intense fruit shades are obtained thanks to olive oils from a very early harvest. To obtain these oils, olives are usually harvested in October and early November.
The main varieties in Spain are Manzanilla Sevillana, Hojiblanca, Gordal, Verdial de Badajoz. The best olives are harvested just before envero – this is the stage of fruit ripening, at which the olives turn from intense green to yellowish-green, and a thin layer of natural wax appears on the surface. This is the perfect time to collect table olives, which you will use in salads and hot dishes.
It is curious that in the past, olives were harvested one by one from the ground by hand. That is, they waited until they fell off themselves, mainly in January. Now the collection of olives is still not the easiest work, although it is mechanized. The best oil is obtained from olive fruits harvested on the same day (during 24 hrs.), so the production process should be well planned. To obtain high-quality oil, it is necessary to collect olives from the tree, and not overripe ones from the ground. For this purpose, there are special combines, umbrellas, and many other equipment.
Weather conditions can significantly affect the olive harvest. When it rains, tree harvesting is not feasible, and heavy machinery can get stuck, since olives grow mainly in soft clay soils.