Last week I was at the Marbella Club Hotel, probably the last bastion of classic glamour on the coast. I was there for the launch of an olive oil, ‘Belvis de Las Navas’, said to be Marbella’s first certified organic Olive Oil.
Here in Spain and particularly in Andalucía, olive oil is taken very seriously – it really is treated as liquid gold. Yet as I have mentioned before on this site and also in published articles, all too often Spain’s olive oil has lacked the credibility and recognition it deserves outside of the country. In the past, and continuing to this day, much of Spain’s exceptional harvest is shipped abroad to countries such as Italy where it is pressed, packaged and sold as Italian.
Finally Spain is beginning to package and market its olive oil with the style and respect it deserves. A favourite amongst chefs, cooks and foodies across the world, Andalucía’s olive oil is truly a gourmet product. So I was excited to learn of the launch of a new, organic, high end extra virgin oil.
‘Belvis de Las Navas’ is an olive oil launched in conjunction with the Marbella Club, as the venture is driven by Sandro Gamazo Hohenlohe, who is the son of Xandra Gamazo Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Marquesa de Belvís de las Navas. The Marquesa is a direct descendent of ‘Piedita’, the Marbella Club’s matriarch, and mother of Prince Alfonso Hohenlohe who founded the Marbella Club Hotel.
So it’s great to see this gourmet, organic olive oil presented at the iconic hotel.
The fascinating story behind this new oil is not only the aristocratic connection, but also about the olive trees.The grove is located on the Sandro Gamazo Hohenlohe’s Finca in Istan, where they have discovered some rare and ancient olive trees.
Many were wild trees, previously unidentified olive varieties that are unique to the region.
The olive oil they produce is truly unique to this southern part of Andalucía since it includes wild strains of olive, the ‘Acebuchina’ which blends beautifully with the diverse varieties of olives that have been cultivated in these hills since Moorish times.
Not only is the product organic and of an exceptional quality, but it is presented in a beautifully designed ceramic bottle. Sandro’s wife, Marie Caroline is a designer, specialising in interiors. Her creativity and exquisite aesthetic is seen in her design for the ‘Belvis de Las Navas’ brand.
As readers know, I am an evangelist for Andalucía, for its natural heritage, culture and for its food. I am so pleased to see such passion and creativity invested in this project and I truly hope that the oil is a great success and leads to further interest and recognition of the fine extra virgin olive oils of Spain/
For more information, visit the ‘Belvis de Las Navas’ website; it’s been beautifully produced and has some wonderful photography too, some of which I have used within this article.
BELVÍS DE LAS NAVAS
Finca Llanos de Belvís
The beautifully presented invitation, echoing the oil’s innovative, eco packaging