is one of Spain's finest varieties. It is also the most
widely planted variety in Australian groves and, due to its productivity
and high quality fruit, the most widespread variety in the world.
The variety has been well proven in groves and research
stations in many Australian states.
flesh-to-pit ratio is superb (8.2:1), its flesh is an excellent
texture and it is considered a 'free-stone' olive as the seed
is very easy to remove from the flesh. This attribute makes
it highly sought after by the processors of pitted and stuffed
olives. The fruit are apple-shaped, light green-coloured
and spotted with tiny whitish dots. They mature to a black colour
with a hint of purple and are a medium size at 4.8g.
tree has a low, spreading habit and while it is similar to many
olives in that it can grow up to ten metres tall, most Manzanillo
trees stay at around five metres for ease of management
normal cultural care Manzanillo is a regular annual bearer
with the fruit maturing early in the season. It has cropped well
even in warm winter areas with little or no frost. The Department
of Agriculture - Mildura Trials found Manzanillo to be the
heaviest cropper of the 14 varieties tested.
table fruit and oil are well accepted on both the Australian and
International markets. It is considered by many to be the best
dual purpose variety available.
Mission cultivar was the most important olive in California
in 1936, accounting for 52 per cent of the acreage. By 1992, Mission
trees constituted just 9 per cent of the bearing acreage. Manzanillo
has steadily become more important over the past five decades
and now accounts for more than 58% of the bearing acreage
[and almost 83% of the non-bearing (newly planted young
trees) acreage in 1992]." (Olive
Production Manual, University of California 1994. p.
to data of the California Livestock and Crop Reporting Service,
Manzanillo is consistently the highest yielding of the four
leading commercial varieties, averaging about 75% higher than
Mission. The oil content is sufficiently high to justify
use of the crop for oil extraction." (Professor H.T. Hartmann,
the 1980s, on average, two thirds (66.01%) of yearly production
was from the Manzanillo cultivar." (Olive Production
Manual, University of California 1994. p.8)
Manzanillo is considered to be one of the world's outstanding
table olives, it also produces a high quality oil and has a
laboratory tested oil content of 20.3%..
oil from this variety has the rich green color and abundant
flavor characterising the fall harvest varieties, combined with
a slight tartness that adds zest to any food....This oil is known
for its distinguished olive character and fruitiness....Perhaps
more than any other of our varieties, Manzanillo Organic gives
you all the olive flavour without the olive." (Sciabica's
California Grown Olive Oils Catalogue, 1995)
range in oil content on a fresh-weight basis of selected olive
cultivars. Fruit picked, black-ripe throughout winter months.
Manzanillo 15-26% oil." [Average = 20.5%] (Olive Production
Manual, University of California, 1994. p.144)
oil content (percent of fruit) = 20.3% Manzanillo's main
uses are black-ripe pickling, green-ripe pickling, Spanish green
pickling and oil" (Olive Production Manual, University
of California, 1994. p.23)
fruit ... is generally used for pickling due to the texture
of the flesh, but it can also be used for the extraction of oil
as it contains a quantity of fine grade oil." (Dr
Bertini, Olive Growing & Processing, 1960)
oil content is about 20% of the fruit weight, which is sufficiently
high for the small and damaged fruits to be used for oil
extraction." (Table Olives - Production and Processing,
A. Garrido Fernandez et al).
is one of the varieties enjoying the most international
fame for the excellence of its flesh and its extraordinary
organoleptic characteristics." (Table Olive Processing,
International Olive Oil Council, 1990.)
oils received much acclaim at a Californian Organoleptic Oil Assessment
(oil tasting) organised in late 1998 by International Olive Oil
Council Panel Heads, Paul Vossen and Roberto Zecca.
the 23 oils in the tasting, five were from irrigated Manzanillo
groves. Other varietal oils entered were sourced from the varieties
Frantoio, Farga, Mission, Lucca and Sevillano plus varietal blends.
oil judged most highly was processed from irrigated Manzanillo
fruit. Second place was taken by a Manzanillo/Mission blended
oil and third by another irrigated Manzanillo oil.
five of the Manzanillo oils entered were judged 'Extra Virgin'
and ranked in the top ten of the 23 positions. The same oils were
sent to Spain for judging on a similarly accredited panel where
they fared very well again.
number of highly ranked Manzanillo oils have been produced in
Australia from locations as diverse as Moree, Hobart and Adelaide.
is regarded as sensitive to Peacock Spot (Cycloconium oleaginum).
(See OLIFAX 12 for further details and preventative measures)
and Olive Knot (not in Australia) and very sensitive to
Verticillium Wilt (not common in Australia).
to very heavy rains in areas of New South Wales in the 1998-99
olive season, many varieties recorded lower than normal oil percentages.
In those regions affected, Manzanillo crops also absorbed high
quantities of water. While this seasonal oddity increases
their value as a table olive, on a solely fresh weight percentage,
it reduced the oil percentage in the fruit. This meant additional
processing time was needed to extract the oil quantity. As noted
earlier, many varieties were effected during the unusual season.
However, it does highlight a need for Manzanillo growers
to manage their irrigation schedules prior to harvesting to ensure
that oil extraction is efficient.
Manzanillo olives grown as mother trees at Olives Australia
have been randomly DNA tested at the World Germplasm Bank of Olive
Cultivars in Cordoba, Spain. They genetically matched the
original Manzanilla de Sevilla. Further DNA testing in Australia
against other Manzanillo's from around the world has again
confirmed their genetic accuracy.