Casa De Santo Amaro is one of the oldest Olive Oil producers in Portugal. Located in Sucçães, a ten-minute drive from Mirandela, they produce a stunning range of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) within the PDO Tras-Os-Montes.
Tras-Os-Montes is a PDO since 1996 in the EU.
FV: António, you are the 8th generation producing Casa Do Santo Amaro EVOO, can you tell us more about your story?
"Casa de Santo Amaro was founded in 1687 and is now in the possession of the family's eighth generation. Since the middle of the 19th century olive and olive oil production have become of great economic importance for "Casa de Santo Amaro", and until 2006 the production was usually sold in bulk.
Based on the production of its own olive groves, in 2006 the Family decided to bottle the olive oil used in the own winery and sell it under the brand name "Casa de Santo Amaro", with the reference Prestige, Praemium, Grande Escolha, Clássico & Selection.
During the year we treated the olive trees on the farm, picked the olives at the end of October and immediately extracted the olive oil in our olive oil mill. The storage and bottling is done by us in our facilities. We send it directly from our premises to your table, under the Farm-to-Table concept with a high quality standard. "
"We don´t believe in any other way to make Extra Virgin Olive Oil of high quality, pure juice of fresh and healthy olives, with unique characteristics marked by the terroir and the autochthonous varieties that give rise to it."
FV: Tras-Os-Montes is a region of excellence when it comes to EVOO, what make this terroir so special?
"The Trás-os-Montes region has different terroirs. Our olive groves are 320 to 360m above sea level. Mirandela has a huge thermal amplitude, cold in winter and very hot in summer, typically Mediterranean. Our land isn´t very fertile and none of our olive groves have irrigation system. These conditions lead us to have low productivity, but with a quality of excellence. As we only have olive trees of autochthonous varieties, already prepared for these difficult conditions. The sacrifice of olive trees, water stress and nutrients, becomes quality in the Extra Virgin Olive Oil obtained."
FV: Can you tell us what the main varieties of the appellation are & in your opinion what do they bring to the Olive Oils?
"The olive trees of our farm are all of the autochthonous varieties of Trás-os-Montes, namely: COBRANÇOSA, VERDEAL TRANSMONTANA and MADURAL. The perfect olive oil is the blend of these three."
"The Cobrançosa Variety gives the notes of cut grass, green tomato and a lot of freshness, being that in the mouth we feel the bitterness, notes of dried green fruits and a harmonious and prolonged spiciness."
"The Madural Variety gives the notes of green apple, tomato and a lot of complexity, being that in the mouth we feel the slight sweetness, followed by the slight bitterness, notes of dry fruits a little ripe and a harmonious and prolonged spiciness."
"The Verdeal Transmontana Variety gives notes of green nuts such as almonds and walnuts, and in the mouth we feel the slight sweetness and slightly bitter, notes of more mature nuts and a more intense and prolonged spiciness."
FV:Can you tell us about the YEP (YOUNG EVOO PRODUCERS) project?
"YEP - Young EVOO Producers was created in late 2016, bringing together in its formation a group of “Young” olive oil producers, whose elementary principles are based on four common denominations: Quality, Terroir, Excellence and Irreverence. To be Young is to feel irreverence and joviality regardless of physical age, it is a state of mind that is sublimated in the existence of the EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) that unites us as Producers. We find ourselves daily in mutation, from Olive Growers to Producers.
Label makers to Sellers, from Promoters to Marketeers, but despite this enormous effort, we all come together for the same passion for the land and for a product of excellence, the Extra Virgin Olive Oil. This project is now in its initial phase and has a well-defined geographical area, the Northeast of Portugal (.NE). In the future, it is our intention to turn it into a National (.PT) project by bringing together other producers with the belief in the same common denominators.
Ambition: To promote excellence in the form of YEP´s Olive Oils, and to introduce them to the world.
Trust: To restore confidence in the Olive Oil market by providing it with quality assurance
Diversity: To promote different terroirs and cultivars making each of our Olive Oils unique in essence, but in any case subject to respect to a common set of ruling values and principles.
Irreverence: To remain Young by maintaining a jovial state of mind regardless of physical age, it is a state of mind that sublimates into the existence of EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) that binds us all together as Producers.
Passion: To come together for the passion of the land and of its Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Quality: To produce premium Olive Oil, with due respect for the roots of our Olive Groves and the hard work of our ancestors
To enhance the Trás-os-Montes EVOO by demystifying, stimulating and protecting the role of olive oil in our national economy as a means for export and by introducing the Farm-to-Table concept to the consumer
To be a worldwide reference in the promotion of high quality EVOO.
Thanks to Antonio, we got a better understanding of the beautiful Tras-Os-Montes PDO. If you are going to Portugal and don't get a chance to go to Tras-Os-Montes region, we advice you to stop in Oliva & Co in Porto. This shop has a selection of the Best Extra Virgin Olive Oils from Portugal.