The Great Duernas Family
Our oil mill stands right in the middle of a sea of olive trees. At Finca Duernas, we are well aware that the real producer is the olive tree – that’s why the whole process centres around looking after the olive grove with the utmost care and attention.
Right in the middle of the farm stands a small chapel, the ‘Hermitage of Santa Cruz’, where families not just from Finca Duernas but from all the neighbouring farms used to gather to hear mass – in fact, the chapel is still used to this day for religious worship.
A large cooking pot wedged over the fire was stirred slowly by the cook of the great Duernas family. The ‘water boy’ heaved the water in his clay pots over to the labourers who were toiling away in the fields, who, at the end of the day, could call in on the shoemaker to fix their boots in a small workshop situated on the ground floor of the farm.
Animals and carts were the only means of transport in those times, and they also pulled the machinery used to till the land.
These objects are now used as decorative elements on the walls of the farm.
Striving for excellence
At Finca Duernas, the harvest begins two months before the traditional olive harvest time, because the fruit is collected at its optimal moment of ripeness: a time known as the envero. Since the mill is right in the centre of the olive grove, the olives can be pressed straight away, and this prevents the fruit from being subjected to any type of oxidation. Milling time is so short that, at Finca Duernas, the time it takes for the olives to be picked from the tree up to the oil being stored in the cellar can be as little as one hour, thus preserving all the natural properties of the extra virgin olive oil.