Olive oil is one the most important components of Spanish cuisine. We cook with it, fry with it, pour it over our salads, and even bake with it. And like wine (also important in Spanish cuisine!), it’s a unique product with so much variation and incredible nuances. So when you take your trip to Spain, you don’t want to miss out on getting your nose into its incredible properties. You’ll certainly get your share of this delicacy as you eat your way through the country, but a proper olive oil tasting will help you gain some serious insight and appreciation for the liquid gold. And an ideal place to learn to taste olive oil in Spain is with Alexis Kerner at The Olive Oil Workshop here in the region where it’s most produced…the south!

Who produces the most olive oil?

When you think about the best olive oil in the word, your first thought probably goes to Italy. Even though Italy does indeed produce some truly phenomenal olive oil, there’s a good chance the olive oil you’re consuming at any moment in time actually comes from Spain. Not only does Spain produce more olive oil than any country in the world, but it actually produces over half the entire world’s supply of the stuff. So why has Italy become so famous for it? Well, Spain ships off a good amount of their oil to Italy, where big Italian companies bottle and send it around the world with Italian-esque labels. Just check the fine print on the back of the Italian-looking bottle of olive oil you bought at the supermarket. Chances are, it will include olive oil from Spain.

Of course, big production doesn’t always mean quality. But Spain also succeeds here too, with so many specialty bottles gracing lists of the best olive oils. In 2022 for example, there were 4 Spanish bottles on EVOOLEUM’s list of top 10 best olive oils in the world! And guess who serves on the EVOOLEUM panel? None other than Alexis Kerner!

What part of Spain has the best olive oil?

There are a number of olive-producing regions all over the country, but there’s no doubt that Andalusia produces some of the best olives in Spain. After a drive through the endless sea of olive groves in the Andalusian countryside, you won’t be surprised to find out that the region actually produces about 3/4ths of the country’s olive oil. And where did some of the very best olive oil in 2022 come from? None other than Andalusia. So if you’re looking to taste olive oil in Spain, you know exactly where to head: that’s right, south!

Olive oil tasting

What happens at an olive oil tasting?

You’ve heard of wine tastings, but have you ever heard of an olive oil tasting? Like grapes, olives come in many varieties, are grown with care, harvested at certain times of the year, and extracted and prepared with serious attention.  At an olive oil tasting with The Olive Oil Workshop, you’ll get a deep dive on Spain’s award-winning product from certified olive oil taster and expert Alexis Kerner.

Here, you’ll learn more about the history and process behind each bottle. You’ll also figure out just how to properly taste it while trying  different types of olive oil from various olives and producers around the region. “My main goal as a taster is to educate the consumer and to empower them so that when they go home they know what to look for and how to use the product,” says Alexis. “I try to take the mystery out of olive oil.” It’s a fascinating and immersive experience you can’t miss.

What is an expert olive oil taster?

Expert olive oil tasters are like the sommeliers of olive oil. Alexis, for example, has an official title as Expert Olive Oil Taster from the University of Jaén and the International Olive Oil Council. She worked for the Andalusian government and gained unique insight into the region’s vast world of olive oil, from production processes to flavor profiles. She has 10 years of experience imparting olive oil courses and even serves as a judge for a number of olive oil competitions all over the world. In other words, she’s made quite the name for herself at an international level as an olive oil taster.

Olive Oil Workshops in Seville

Want to taste olive oil in Spain and go home knowing more about how it’s made? Alexis takes clients out to local mills in Andalusia to learn about the production process from grove to bottle. During this activity, you get an insider’s look at a farm-to-table manufacturing process, learn about the history behind the product, and participate in a professional, hands-on tasting where you will walk away with knowledge you can take back to your own kitchen. For a shorter introduction to olive oil, Alexis also offers her workshops around town in Seville and in her home. Regardless of where you taste, Alexis’s main goal is to empower you as the consumer. And in the process, she’s helping small and medium producers and supporting the local economy.

Ready to add a little olive oil education to your itinerary? Let us know and we’ll set up an unforgettable expert olive oil tasting with Alexis that will totally change the way you see olive oil forever.