Olives and Grapes: Perfect Bed Mates

The other day I was hiking near Chinchon just South East of Madrid. This is D.O Madrid wine country and the landscape was filled with grapevines to one side and olive trees on the other.

It is not unusual to see olives and grapes in the same area. They are both capable of growing in terrains that are inhospitable to other crops and have compatible harvest seasons.

It is also not unusual to see olive trees planted around the edge of a field of vines. Apparently the trees protect the viNes from harsh winds (not generally a problem here in Madrid).

What is strange, and a first for me, is to see olive trees planted amongst the vines. For about 10km covered with separate fields of vines and olive trees, there was just one small field where they were mixed.

So what’s all that about? An experiment in soil cultivation? Did the planters get bored? Or is this some sort of terroir thing? If the latter are we going for olive tasting wine or grape tasting olive oil?

Answers on a postcard please!

Photo by honestwinedrinker
Photo by honestwinedrinker

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