Orovalle Extra Virgin Olive Oil Produced in Pinos del Valle

About the Olive Oil Production Cooperative HERE IN PINOS DEL VALLE – SCA San Roque

We thought our followers might be interested to read about the Olive Oil Mill which is located at the top of our village here in Pinos del Valle.  The mill has recently started producing a premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil called OroValle and have a website with lots of information about the production process and the cooperative itself.  As the website is in Spanish we thought we’d give you an outline in English but if you’d like to know more just visit the website and use good old google translate to read the contents in English (or any other language for that matter).

The Cooperative San Roque can be found on the top road (Juncal) of Pinos del Valle, and is the producer of the Orovalle brand of extra virgin olive oil.

The Cooperative was created in 1943 and is comprised of over 200 farmers from the local area, who, following the tradition of their ancestors, care for the land and its produce with the same passion as those before them. The current mill has adapted to modern times, providing the most modern technology to guarantee quality of the product, and always meeting the most demanding of regulations. For more information about the San Roque mill and how they produce this liquid gold please visit their website:


Orovalle Extra Virgin Oil

This premier olive oil comes from the ancient olive groves of the Lecrín Valley here in the heart of Granada. Among the many treasures that this paradise offers, the most precious of fruit stands out – the olive. The Extra Virgin Olive Oil Orovalle, is produced at the Cooperativa San Roque in Pinos del Valle. This product is excellent quality and the taste obtained comes from the Lechín olives used.

ABOUT The Lecin Olive

This is a productive variety of olive with great adaptability – it tolerates cold and drought and its maturation is later than other varieties. Its small fruits offer great resistance to detachment, making harvesting difficult and expensive. Its pale yellow oil contains a good level of healthy fat with a sweet and very fluid flavor, which is well renowned in the area.

Orovalle is characterized as Lechín monovarietal. Its origin comes from the cultivating of centuries-old olive trees of the Lecrín Valley, which alternate on the terraces with citrus and other fruit trees. This gives the oil its unique personality with a different flavor and aroma to that of other oils. For more information about Orovalle olive oil please visit their website.


For anyone visiting Pinos and wanting to take some of this unique product with  them to savour at home, bottles can be purchased directly from the San Roque Cooperative at the top of the village – a half litre bottle costs 6 euros.


HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE.  Hope you all have a great Christmas and our very best wishes for 2010.

We had a great time seeing family & friends at the beginning of December when we flew back to the UK for 4 days and enjoyed our stay at the Swan Inn in Mountsorrel – especially as it is our old stomping ground where we used to drink regularly when we lived in the next village.  Hubby made sure he consumed plenty of Theakstons Old Peculiar to make up for a lack of real ale available here in Spain!!!  We also sampled some excellent Christmas ales & Old Rosie cider at Weatherspoons in Loughborough!!!  It was lovely catching up with friends and generally having a chill out time away from the work on the house and the satellite work.

This December has been much busier with satellite tv work than previous years in the run up to Christmas and has kept us busy since our return from the UK.  Today (23rd) we have nothing booked in and so I am due to make my batch of 70 mince pies to distribute between our Spanish neighbors.  In the meantime hubby is carrying on with the work on the new guest bathroom which is virtually finished now and after Christmas I need to put a second coat of paint on the guest bedroom walls and then tidy it up and move the bedroom furniture in there from upstairs.  At least by the start of the new year we’ll have a new guest bedroom & bathroom finished ready for family & friends who want to visit.  The next job after that will be to remove the floor to the azotea (top floor of the house) and replace with a solid concrete & beam construction with new staircase.  The last really big messy job to do.  There is still lots to do but not quite so big as replacing a whole floor area.

As I type I can report that after a VERY dry autumn the rain has arrived with gusto – we’ve had nearly a week of solid rain and so far Xmas Day is looking dry (possibly) before more rain arrives.  The farmers are all sighing with relief and we are hoping that with all this recent rain the snowboarding conditions on the Sierra Nevada will be good for Xmas Day (if we can get up there – hopefully the roads will be cleared but we have snow chains ready if needed – not that we’ve used them before – not the easiest of things to fit, especially with cold hands).  We bought our Xmas Day steak back with us from the UK and went to our favorite family run butchers in Syston – Gamble & Hollis.  We panicked when we saw that their old butchers shop had closed but after walking through Syston we saw they’d moved to new, larger premises on the main road near the brook, and felt a waive of relief that they were still around (they are always busy and their meat is very good, the shop is always busy and so we were sure they hadn’t closed down).  We also have some parsnips now for our Xmas Dinner thanks to one of our regular customers who we went to do some work for yesterday – they visit Gibraltar on a regular basis and had some parsnips that they bought back from Morrisons and kindly gave us some.  We bought a Xmas pudding back with us as well as the steak and so now have everything we need for our perfect Xmas Dinner (you can get frozen brussels here so no problem there)!!!

Fred & Ginger are still with us and our neighbor Louis fed them for us when we were away and made a shelter for them to use.  They weren’t far away when we got back and were soon up the stairs to their comfy dog beds near the fire!  Since Ginger had her op (to prevent more puppies!) she’s put on weight and is looking good.  Fred unfortunately has been diagnosed with Leishmania (a parasitic blood infection which cannot be cured, infection carried by sandflies) and struggles to put weight on but he does eat so he’s keeping him self nourished.  He gets tired very quickly now and if he goes out running in the campo with Ginger for the day the following few days he spends sleeping and regaining his strength.  However despite his illness he’s doing well and we are making sure he is looked after well.  We know he won’t have a long life now but at least he’ll have a comfortable one compared to this time last year when they were sleeping rough in the campo.

Well that’s about all for now.  Hope you have a great Christmas and I’ll update the blog again in the new year.

Lots of love


I can’t believe it’s been 3 months since my last posting – where does the time go!  Well Spring arrived and the countryside was a riot of colour and smells – almond & orange blossom, lilac, roses, wild lavender to name but a few.  After such a cold wet winter the campo sprang into life once the weather warmed up and everywhere this year is so green and lush.  The Beznar reservoir is virtually full (not seen for many a year as there has been very little rain over the last few years) and the ski resort has had it’s longest and best season on record.  This years Fiesta de la Cruz at the beginning of May was full of colour with the locals in traditional dress and loads of decorated wagons (more than other years I can remember) and the weather was perfect.  The traditional free paella & beer went down well with the locals and the village was full of visitors.

We can now report that the olive press we donated back in May 2006 to the local town hall has now gone on display at the top of the village and we have been told that the full set of millstones we also donated will be used to form the new water feature/fountain in the lower part of the village.  We are so pleased everyone can now enjoy these as they are part of the villages rich history.

My friend came out for a week and the weather was just about right for her visit – not too hot and not too cold – just right for sunning on the terrace.  We had a nice trip to Seville and got to see the Plaza de Espana – very impressive, although the moat was drained of water so no boats on it but we did see the restored Wacky Wagons used in the 1992 Feria which are dotted all around the plaza.  We tried to track down some of the bars we visited on our last trip in 2006 but they seemed elusive to find so tried out some different ones.

One of the other places we visited was the Spa Baths in Lanjaron and partook of some of their treatments – very nice.

Work has been progressing on the new guest bedroom & ensuite bathroom on the ground floor and we’ve also fitted a new flue for the new log burner/central heating system and some of the pipework.  We’re not sure it’ll be up and working for this winter but will do our best.  We’re also working on the new entrance porch and front door which hopefully will be done by the autumn (there are other things we need to get on with during the dry months on the outside of the house so work on the inside will grind to a halt soon).  We’ve got nearly all the new windows in now and new balcony doors and they have made such a difference – no draughts and easy to clean!!

We’ve been semi adopted by two lovely local dogs (brother & sister & we’ve named them Fred and Ginger) who’s owner doesn’t seem to want them anymore, so between us and our neighbour we feed them and give them some love and affection.  If we are working in the house then they come inside and snooze on the mats and if I go for a run they sometimes come with me.  They are a cross between a spaniel and a podenco hunting dog and considering they are street dogs they are unbelievably well behaved. Unfortunately Ginger is on heat now and has had all the local dogs after her so no doubt she’ll be pregnant before too long.  What will happen to the pups we don’t know – our neighbour might be able to find them homes.  As we haven’t got any land it would be difficult for us to take them on so we do what we can by helping to feed them and giving them some attention.

The temperatures are now on the up and after a couple of cool days this week we are now on the way back up to 30 degrees plus so can safely say Summer Has Arrived!

Well that’s all for now – hope everyone has a great summer and we’ll update the blog sometime in the autumn.  In the meantime any friends or family can keep up to date with us on Facebook and check out some of our photos.

Hasta luego

Spring Has Arrived with the Almond Blossom

After having experienced the wettest and perhaps coldest winter for many years it appears Spring has arrived at last with the stunning sights and smells of the almond blossom in and around the village of Pinos.  Walking in the campo during February is a wonderful experience with the hillsides a swath of white and pink and the heady scent of blossom in the air – it lifts the spirits every time you venture out doors.  The orange and lemon trees are heavy with fruit and the olives are ready for harvesting.  The cooperative at the top of the village is busy with local farmers bringing their olives to the mill and cars are parked up along the road waiting to off load their harvest.  The countryside is waking up after the winter and starting to come to life – soon the locals will be harvesting the oranges and by April/May the countryside will be a riot of colour with the wild flowers in full bloom.  As we’ve had so much rain this year the hillsides are looking lush and green and the reservoir is well over half full and still filling up.  Once the snow high up the mountains melt it will no doubt be nearly full – relieving three years of drought the area has been experiencing.  Between now and May is, in my opinion, the best and most colourful part of the year here in the Lecrin Valley and if you are an outdoors person into walking, biking, birdwatching, painting etc. then this is the time of year to come and visit! We consider ourselves very fortunate to live in such a beautiful place.

Direct Hit On The Hermitage

At the beginning of February we had some prolonged heavy rains (about the same time everyone in the UK was battling with winter blizzards and the heaviest snow for 18 years) and in the early hours of Monday 2 February the rain was accompanied by thunder and lightening, then suddenly just as we were dozing off to sleep there was a flash of lightening followed immediately by a loud crack of thunder and we both said “f**k that was close I wonder what it hit”.  Eventually we dozed off to sleep and it was only later on the next day that we discovered that the lightening had hit the hermitage above the village and totally destroyed the cross and the roof.  The following day I, along with quite a few other villagers, decided to take a walk up and look at what was left.  There was a sign at the bottom of the track advising people to stay away in case anymore of the building collapsed and there was a fence across the path, however this didn’t stop anyone as we all know where the back way up to the path is and soon there was a steady stream of villagers climbing up the hill (this climb isn’t for the faint hearted as it’s pretty steep and takes about 45 minutes but they’re a fit bunch around here).  When we finally arrived at the top of the hill we could see first hand the damage the strike had caused – I didn’t fancy climbing right up to the remains of the building and stayed at the bottom of the steps but quite a few took their life in their hands and went right up into the wreakage.   I took a few photos and thankfully only a few weeks before had climbed up there and taken some of the building in all it’s glory, so at least I have some before and after shots now.  Apparently the hermitage had been hit by lightening once before and had caused a crack in the walls but other than that it stood firm, however this time it wasn’t so lucky.  The local council have now opened an account at the village bank for anyone to deposit a donation towards the restoration of the hermitage but it sounds like it could be a year or so down the line before they have enough funds to carry out the work.  Due to the hermitage’s location and having no road access all materials have to be hauled up on donkeys, or on the backs of the builders and thus makes the rebuild costs all that much higher due to the amount of labour required.  Lets hope when they finally rebuild it they think to put a lightening conductor up there to avoid a repeat destruction!