Finca Coto de Campomanes is named after its first owner, Pedro Rodriguez de Campomanes (Count of Campomanes, 1723-1802), who was granted the land by King Carlos III in 1771 to thank him for the services he rendered as Minister of Finance, President of the Cortes, the Council of Castile and the Royal Academy of History. The farm is currently run by the eighth generation of the same family, which has always been committed to developing a sustainable project for the countryside, a mindset that has been passed down from generation to generation.
Finca Campomanes is located in Mérida in the province of Badajoz. Part of the land is actually a nature park that is home to the Cornalvo reservoir, which features a second-century Roman dam and provides water to several villages around the farm.
One of the idiosyncrasies of Campomanes is the diversity of its surroundings, with hectares of olive groves, farmland, holm and cork oak pasture, and some mountains. This is the perfect environment not just to produce a high-quality oil, but also to host a diverse fauna, mainly sheep and pigs, which provide us with manure that we use as a natural fertiliser on the farm.
As the farm is near villages such as San Pedro de Mérida, Trujillanos and Mirandilla, and has such a diverse economic activity, we're renowned in Mérida for employing locals when necessary, which in turn favours the development of the area. Five families live and work on the farm. We have workers from Colombia (now Spanish nationals) and from the nearby villages, who have been with us for more than twenty years and are like family now. What's more, we receive advice on the farm's lines of business from leading experts.
Much of the work done at Campomanes is related to the olive grove, which covers 130 hectares of rainfed land with some olive trees that are over two hundred years old. We're currently in the process of converting to organic. The premium multi-variety (Manzanilla Cacereña, Cornezuelo, Verdial) extra virgin olive oil comes from trees that are only irrigated with rainwater, with the average annual rainfall being 450 litres.
Given the age of the trees, we're very careful when we prune and harvest them, using the traditional method of shaking. The suckers are cut off by hand and used as food for the sheep.
Although it may give a lower yield, we collect the olives at the beginning of the season, which gives us a high-quality oil.