In the small village of Canena, in the heart of the Andalusian province of Jaén, stands the Castillo de Canena. The 15th century castle, originally built without royal permission and converted to a magnificent palace in the 16th century, is a monument to the great history of the area. It’s also the namesake of one of the most renowned extra virgin olive oil producers of the Jaén province and the Vaño family home.
Castillo de Canena produces a variety of high quality extra virgin olive oils from their grove, the Conde de Guadiana, using cutting-edge techniques, while still maintaining the traditions passed down through the family over generations. The first documentation of the family’s ownership of the land and the olive groves dates back as far as 1780, and the company strives to continue the family heritage.
Seventy-five employees are led by three Vaño family members including President Luis Vaño, General Manager Francisco Vaño and Commercial and Marketing Manager Rosa Vaño. The company is dedicated to producing the highest class of olive oil and Castillo de Canena olive oils have earned broad respect throughout Spain and the rest of the world. Their oils have won numerous awards, including the SOFI Award won by the Family Reserve Arbequino, and they were included among the 20 best olive oils in the world by Marco Oreggia’s Flos Olei Guide in 2010.
Extra Virgin Olive Oils
The best of each year’s Picual and Arbequino harvests are reserved for the Castillo de Cadena Family Reserve, the very first olive oil produced when the company was formed. This is joined by the Villa Fortuna extra virgin oil, harvested from picual olives and named in honor of an ancient Roman home, the ruins of which lie among the family olive groves.
Aside from these more traditional oils, Castillo de Canena has developed the First Day of Harvest oil which is the product of milling the very first crop of the year, and is said to deliver more intense flavor and a higher sensory experience.
Further proving their depth for innovation and creativity, Castillo de Canena launched a new concept in extra virgin olive oils under the name 21st Century Oils. The first of these oils is the Early Royal, an early harvest oil produced from the Royal variety of olives, native to Jaén, but on the brink of extinction due to its low yield and difficult harvesting. Castillo de Canena moved Royal plants from a small mountain grove to their own estate to produce this unique oil.
The second oil in the 21st Century Oil series is the Horizontal Tasting. It’s a set of three Arbequino oils, from the same trees, harvested using the same methods in October, November and December. This collection showcases the differences in colors, flavors and aromas over harvest time.