Some call it the Middle of Nowhere, others call it the Centre of Everything.
If you read our previous Blog Post then you know that we recently stayed at the amazing Hacienda Zorita WIne and Spa Hotel. Whilst there we had the amazing opportunity to tour their organic Farm and find out how they made some of their most delicious products. From Goats Cheese to Olive Oil and Iberian Ham to Balsamic Reduction. As a Food Business Owner and an Avid Chef, I love to find out where my food comes from. It makes me connect more to the dish I am creating when I know our products history. I turn into an inquisitive child, when I find out things I've never even considered before, I just cannot help but ask questions. It didn't hurt that I was finding out these facts in such an outstanding and authentic location. Everything is styled exactly like the Hotel so you instantly felt like you were at home. I also love that the same staff are sued at both locations, you can tell that they all love their jobs.
The Hacienda Zorita, Organic Creamery
The day begins like most at this Hotel at a leisurely place, we are on holiday after all so they understand that the last thing you want to do is rush! You meet at the Reception at 11am before you take your first drive to the Creamery. Be warned you are expected to drive when you do this excursion, so mention at booking if you don't have a car; just be safe. Now if you do have a car we were told not to worry about the Police as long as we followed our guide back to the hotel! This makes sense when you consider that all of the Cheeses are paired with Wine, and it is generously poured during lunch.
Rough Schedule of the Day
11am Meet at Reception, for an introduction to the day and what you should expect.
11.15am Arrive at Hacienda Zorita's Organic Creamery, where some sheep are kept and the Cheese is made
11.20am Meet the Sheep, Explore the outside of this unique creameries architectural design. Smell the Thyme that is used in their Goats Cheese.
11.30am Start your tour of the inside of the creamery, your guide will talk you through the Cheese making process and how their techniques differ from others in the area. *Make sure you walk all the way to the end of the creamery for its stunning views.
12pm Take a short drive up to the Hacienda Zorita Warehouse, meet the dogs and admire the breathtaking views. Make your way into the warehouse.
12.10pm The Curing Room where the beginning of your Iberian Ham education will begin
12.30pm Balsamic Reduction Ageing Room with a
1pm Cheese and Olive Oil Tasting, where you pair wines with their award winning cheeses.
2pm Take a short break to wander around the grounds to clear some room Lunch!
2.30pm Lunch, an amazing spread of their products shown off in their purest of forms. Tip Leave some room for the Cheesecake you won't regret it.
3.30pm Take a short ride out to where the Iberian Pigs are kept, you then go on a walk through the grounds to an amazing viewpoint.
4.30/5pm Follow your guide back to Hacienda Zorita's Hotel
Fun and Interesting Facts we Learnt on the Day
- The Sheep and Goats are bred on site but not milked, they are sent to a local National Park around 30 minutes away where they are milked.
- There are four different types of Iberian Ham. Black, Red, Green and White. Black being the highest, they only produce Black and Red on the estate.
- Black Label Ham is 100% Iberian and they have more than a football pitch each to run around and forage for their beloved acorns.
- Their Balsamic Reduction takes 12 years to make from start to finish and is £300 per Litre
-They have a single white retired horse that roams free across the 340 hectare estate.
- They have free roaming dogs to scare off the Iberian Wolves in the area
I don't want to give too much away in case you do this tour or something similar elsewhere!