La Riojana is best known as the co-op of grape growers that produces the popular Riojana wines. In 2016, we began purchasing another product from the co-op: organic, fair trade olive oil.
Many farmers in La Rioja province grow olives as well as grapes; the province is the biggest olive oil producer in Argentina. The co-op has facilities for making the oil and for bottling it. Before partnering with us, they sold it domestically, because exporting it meant selling in bulk for low prices, which don’t benefit the growers.
Riojana olive oil is special for many reasons: not only are the farmers paid a fair wage for their olives, and the communities paid fair-trade premiums for community projects, but the oil has a unique flavor. The flavor profile results from the altitude: the olives are grown at 3000 feet. Most olives in the world are grown at lower altitudes. There is a historic 400-year-old olive tree still producing olives in Argentina, but most of the trees in La Rioja were planted 100, 70, or 30 years ago; 30 years ago is when production exploded in the province.
Learn more about the Riojana olive oil on our blog.