Esporão Celebrates 50th Anniversary with Top Awards for Organic Olive Oils

What started as a family winery expanded into significant olive farming and oil production after a friendly challenge from an uncle to a nephew.

As Esporão celebrated its 50th birthday this year, the Portuguese company added two Gold Awards at the NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition to its growing collection of accolades.

Carrilho ascribed their success to Esporão’s mission: "to make the best products from what nature provides." "Esporão’s olive oils aim to adopt the expression of the land they come from, produced exclusively from olives of the Alentejo region, using native varieties," she explained.

She also praised the efforts of the company’s 60 olive farming partners, who “help us preserve the native varieties and the traditional agriculture of the Alentejo.”

In 1950 the company’s current owner, José Roquette, and Joachim Bandeira bought a 1,840-hectare estate in Alentejo, Portugal’s largest olive oil-producing region.

Esporão’s boundaries have been unchanged for centuries – since 1267. “It has unique agricultural conditions: wide temperature variations, seven different types of soil and extraordinary biodiversity,” she said.

“Esporão’s first two decades are a story of fight, faith and a vision so powerful that it has left indelible marks on the modern history of Portuguese wine,” Carrilho said.

Since then, Esporão’s wines have been exported internationally and have won multiple awards. Carrilho said the estate is now home to 441 hectares of vineyards with 40 grape cultivars.