The dazzling marqués
The Guadalmina family have been involved in agriculture since the early 19th century when Luis de la Cuadra took over an experimental farm on the Andalusian coast by a small river called Guadalmina.
A banker and a member of parliament, who had amassed a large fortune, Cuadra was made Marqués de Guadalmina in 1873 by King Alfonso XII of Spain.
His son, also called Luis, was born in the Spanish colony of Guatemala. The 2nd Marques of Guadalmina was both daring in his pursuits and passionate about purity. He raced horse drawn chariots in the 1900 Olympic Games in Paris, purifying both himself and his chariots with his olive oil (which had been an ancient tradition of the Olympic Games.)
He took on the family interests on the death of his father in 1876. A pioneer in moderisation he built many new train lines. He encouraged the development of new agricultural techniques at his farm and improved laborers working conditions.
An eccentric millionaire, he travelled by train in his private carriage in a bath with a lid on it so it would not spill.
When Alfonzo 13th desired a hotel fit for a king he called on Guadalmina to develop it. Both business man and enthusiast of hospitality and fine cuisine, Guadalmina called on the golden touch of Ceazar Ritz, famous for his exceptional hotels in Paris and London, and together they founded the Ritz hotel of Madrid. The inauguration gala for the Royal Family, where the Marqués himself personally led the dignitaries, “was one of those occasions whose memory gets passed on from generation to generation.”
It was this dazzling 2nd Marqués of Guadalmina, with his passion for quality and purity, who had an immense dislike of coloured glass bottles believing they covered up impurities in olive oil. In the 21st century the family still bottle the oil in clear glass so the exact condition of the olive oil is plain to see.
Marqués de Guadalmina Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil, named after an eccentric perfectionist with an obsession for purity, is the product of generations of a family dedicated to quality, purity and innovation.