Olive Oil Regions

  • Olive Growing Regions

    Just like wine, there are many countries producing a vast array olive oils. Different varieties, different terroir, different weather and different consumer taste preferences go into olive oils from different regions, even within countries. Scroll down to explore the primary producing countries of olive oil…

Spain

Coverage/Geography:    Total hectares (2013 est.) = 2,584,459

Major regions:    Andalusia (60%), Castilla-La Mancha (15%), Catalonia (4.49%)

Common varieties:  Hojiblanca, Picual, Arbequina, Cornicabra

2012/13 Production:    616,300 tonnes

2012/13 Consumption:   513,000 tonnes 

Interesting facts:   Spain is the largest producer of olive oil in the world and has over 300 million trees planted.

Spain: Andalusia

Coverage/Geography:    Total hectares (2013 est.) = 1,554,771

Major regions:    Jaén, Córdoba, Granada, Malaga

Common varieties:  Hojiblanca, Picual, Picudo, Lechin, Verdial

2012/13 Production:    476,224 tonnes

 

Interesting facts:   814 olive oil mills produced over 77% of Spain’s total production volume (2012-2013).

Spain: Castile – La Mancha

Coverage/Geography:    Total hectares (2013 est.) = 406,751

Major regions:    Toledo, Guadalajara, Valdepeñas, Ciudad Real

Common varieties:  Cornicabra, Picual

2012/13 Production:    42,930 tonnes

 

Interesting facts:   Toledo was the capital of Castile, then unified Spain and then of the Spanish Empire until the 16th century.

Spain: Catalonia

Coverage/Geography:    Total hectares (2013 est.) = 116,044

Major regions:    Barcelona, Girona, Tarragona, Tortosa, Lleida

Common varieties:  Arbequina, Empeltre, Verdial, Farga

2012/13 Production:    27,723 tonnes

 

Interesting facts:   The famous arbequina variety was brought to Catalonia from  Mallorca after the island was conquered by the Moors.

Italy

Coverage/Geography:    Total hectares (2013 est.) = 1,144,442

Major regions:    Puglia (37%), Sicily (10%), Calabria (28%)

Common varieties:  Coratina, Leccino, Nocellara, Frantoio

2012/13 Production:    415,500 tonnes

2012/13 Consumption:   590,000 tonnes 

Interesting facts:   Italy is one of the world’s largest importers of olive oil.

Italy: Puglia

Coverage/Geography:    Total hectares (2013 est.) = 375,000

Major regions:    Foggia, Andria, Lecce, Bari, Salento

Common varieties:  Coratina, Ogliarola Barese, Leccino, Frantoio

2012/13 Production:    190,160 tonnes

  

Interesting facts:   Puglia has five PDO regions recognised at EU level: Dauno, Terra di Bari, Collina di Brindisi, Terra d’Otranto, Terre Tarentine.

Italy: Calabria

Coverage/Geography:    Total hectares (2013 est.) = 183,759

Major regions:    Catanzaro, Cosenza

Common varieties:  Coratina, Leccino, Frantoio, Tondina, Moresca, Carolea

2012/13 Production:    142,326 tonnes

  

Interesting facts:   Greek colonists landed on this coast around 7th century BC; it is possible to see a monumental olive tree near Cosenza called “u’tata ‘rannu” (“the big father”) a centuries old tree which seems to come from the Greek era.

Italy: Sicily

Coverage/Geography:    Total hectares (2013 est.) = 160,303

Major regions:    Palermo, Trapani, Catania, Ragusa, Messina

Common varieties:  Nocellara Etnea, Tonda Iblea, Moresca, Biancolilla

2012/13 Production:    48,850 tonnes

  

Interesting facts:   Sicily includes six PDO regions: Val di Mazara, Valdemone, Valle del Belice, Valli Trapanesi, Monte Etna, Monti Iblei.

Greece

Coverage/Geography:    Total hectares (2013 est.) = 1,100,000

Major regions:    Peloponnisos, Hlkidiki Peninsula, Crete, Delphi

Common varieties:  Koroneiki, Mastoidis, Megaritiki, Kalamon

2012/13 Production:    360,000 tonnes

2012/13 Consumption:   200,000 tonnes 

Interesting facts:   Famed for PDO Kalamata that is most commonly made from Koroneiki olive oil.

Portugal

Coverage/Geography:    Total hectares (2013 est.) = 346,778

Major regions:    Castro Verde, Estrela, Portalagre, Mirandela

Common varieties:  Cordovil de Serpa, Verdeal  Alentejana, Lentisca, Galega Vulgar

2012/13 Production:    59,100 tonnes

2012/13 Consumption:   74,000 tonnes 

Interesting facts:   Inland dam projects have allowed Portuguese olive production to grow rapidly in recent years.

Australia

Coverage/Geography:    Total hectares (2013 est.) = 30,000

Major regions:    South-Eastern Australia (Victoria, South Australia), South-Western Australia, Hunter Valley, South Queensland

Common varieties:  Arbequina, Barnea, Coratina, Koroneiki, Leccino, Frantoio, others

2012/13 Production:    10,000 tonnes

2012/13 Consumption:   36,000 tonnes 

Interesting facts:   Over 70% of olive trees in Australia are concentrated in ~20 large groves.

United States of America

Coverage/Geography:    Total hectares (2013 est.) = 12,171

Major regions:    California

Common varieties:  Manazillo, Arbosana, Arbequina, Sevillano, Mission

2012/13 Production:    10,000 tonnes

2012/13 Consumption:   293,000 tonnes 

Interesting facts:   The Mission olive has been included in the Ark of Taste, an international catalogue of endangered heritage foods maintained by the Slow Food movement.

Tunisia

Coverage/Geography:    Total hectares (2013 est.) = 1,704,000

Major regions:    Sfax, Sahel, Korba, Gabes

Common varieties:  Mission, Chetoui, Chemchali, Jerobui

2012/13 Production:    220,000 tonnes

2012/13 Consumption:   40,000 tonnes 

Interesting facts:   Excavations at Sbeitla and Thysdrus, and mosaics discovered in Sousse show a widespread culture of olive trees throughout Tunisian history.

Morocco

Coverage/Geography:    Total hectares (2013 est.) = 940,000

Major regions:    Marrakesh, Meknés, Taza, Tetouan

Common varieties:  Picholine, Marocaine, Meslala, Menara

2012/13 Production:    100,000 tonnes

2012/13 Consumption:   129,000 tonnes 

Interesting facts:   Evidence reveals that olive cultivating dates back to Phoenican and Roman times.

Syria

Coverage/Geography:    Total hectares (2013 est.) = 650,000

Major regions:    Aleppo, Idlib, Lattakia, Tartous

Common varieties:  Sorani, Khoderi, Zaity, Doebli

2012/13 Production:    198,000 tonnes

2012/13 Consumption:   135,500 tonnes 

Interesting facts:   The olive is suggested as having been first a native of the lands of greater Syria (nearly six thousand years ago) before spreading to the rest of the Mediterranean basin.

Turkey

Coverage/Geography:    Total hectares (2013 est.) = 799,000

Major regions:    Izmir, Balikesir, Aydin, Adana

Common varieties:  Ayvalik, Cakir, Domat, Memeli, Uslu, Izmir Sofralik, Erkence, Gemlik, Memecik

2012/13 Production:    195,000 tonnes

2012/13 Consumption:   160,000 tonnes 

Interesting facts:   The 649th edition of the historical Kirkpinar oil wrestlings took place in 2010.  On the first day, about 500kg of olive oil was used to cover the wrestlers’ bodies.

Chile

Coverage/Geography:    Total hectares (2013 est.) = 25,000

Major regions:    Conquimbo, Concepión, Santiago

Common varieties:  Manazilla, Arbosana, Arbequina, Picual, Coratina, Frantoio, Leccino

2012/13 Production:    28,000 tonnes

2012/13 Consumption:   19,000 tonnes 

Interesting facts:   Olive growing is a recent trend in Chile, despite the influence of Spanish colonisation, which favoured the growing of grape vines over olive trees.

Argentina

Coverage/Geography:    Total hectares (2013 est.) = 95,000

Major regions:    San Juan, La Rioja, Catamarca, San Rafael

Common varieties:  Arbequina, Barnea, Coratina, Frantoio, Manzanilla, Picual

2012/13 Production:    17,000 tonnes

2012/13 Consumption:   6,000 tonnes 

Interesting facts:   Over half a dozen festivals are associated with olive production across the country, although it is a relatively new producer.