I firmly believe that if you’re going to have good wine in your house, you should have good olive oil too. For cooking with, for serving with nibbles, for dressing salads… it’s totally worth seeking out the good stuff.
So I asked my good friend in Spain, sommelier-turned-winemaker Franck Massard, for a local oil recommendation.
He told me about a group of young friends - Mirentxu, Ramon and Domunique - who’d started a new business during the pandemic, regenerating abandoned farmland in the Priorat and producing amazing quality oil, fruit and vegetables.
My interest was immediately piqued: - I love Priorat - the wines and gins I’ve had from there are so intense in flavour. - These sound like exactly the sort of guys that Winespark is all about entrepreneurial, passionate, resourceful.
Mirentxu, a proud Basque girl, wants to reach a sustainable life… that is to produce a chunk of what you need to survive.
It’s a difficult journey - Priorat is a hard place to make anything, due to its mountainous terrain, harsh weather and difficult-to-access olive groves tucked away in the hills.
Throw in a low price the locals are willing to pay for things like oil, and they have their work cut out.
The oil Mirentxu has sent us is her first export outside of the region, let alone the country. But if we can get behind her project, we can help make it viable and promote small, artisanal production in a world that needs it more than ever.