History of the Villén family
Old records found have shown that the olive groves in which the fruit used to produce our best Extra Virgin Olive Oils are still have belonged to the Villén family since the early 19th century…
1878 Manuel Villén Luque (Son)
The legacy of Manuel Villén Castro
It was the year 1878 when a young Manuel Villén Luque inherited the family business from his father, Manuel Villén Castro. This inheritance comprised a series of assets, the most noteworthy of which were: an oil production plant (mill), a bank (La Banca Villén) and a tobacco company.
The "Cortijo La Muralla brand of extra virgin olive oil was officially registered in the same year, 1878, named after the farm and oil mill (animal-drawn) located in the outskirts of the town of Rute (Cordoba). A promising start without doubt.
1888 - 1934. Manuel Villén Priego (Grandson)
Old documents illustrate the existence of exports to other countries prior to the turn of the 20th century. The trade relations held with Argentina and other countries in Latin America are the highlights of these findings. So much so, that, under the management of Manuel Villén Priego (Nieto), certain media outlets published that:
“This company´s oil export business is extremely important" (El Liberal).
It was precisely at this time that the Cortijo La Muralla industry (consisting of 4 refineries and an oil mill) began using the then innovative steam technology, leaving animal traction to olive grinding.
1934 - 1971. Jorge Villén Écija (Great-grandson)
Unification and construction of the Aceites La Muralla facilities
Under the management of Jorge Villén Écija (great-grandson), the four existing oil mills were unified and the new facilities were opened close to the source of the river Anzur, in Zambra (Rute) in 1975.
The unification of the mills gave rise to a major improvement in quality, not only from an industrial point of view, but also from an organisational point of view. The new facilities became the organisational headquarters of the entire company, from which all logistical, agricultural and administrative tasks are managed.
1971 - 1981. Manuel Villén Jiménez (Great-great-grandson)
Innovation and quality at the service of the industry
Jorge Villén Jiménez (great-great-grandson) managed the company´s agricultural and industrial activities together with his brother for 10 years, after which he continued to be linked to the sector, holding the position of general secretary of the Association of Olive Oil Manufacturers (Infaoliva) and general secretary of the Organisation of Unaproliva Producers.
Upon the arrival of the great-great-grandchildren, Manuel and Jorge Villén Jimenez, the company settled at the new facilities, which would turn out to be pioneering in terms of technology, introducing the hydraulic press system, the 3-phase extraction process and then upgrading the facilities once again to the latest 2-phase process.
1973 - 2013 Jorge Villén Jiménez
First quality-certified oil mill
He was undoubtedly responsible for the important work of adapting the industry to the latest technologies, moving from the hydraulic press system to 3-phase extraction processes. He was then in charge of upgrading the facilities to a new 2-phase process and entrusted with a major expansion of the winery.
Under his management, the Cortijo La Muralla oil mill was the first in the province to gain ISO 9002 quality certification, which attests to both the quality of the facilities and the production and marketing processes.
He was also a pioneer and introduced organic farming to our family farms and industry.
Tragedy at “Cortijo La Muralla”
A powerful flood washed away part of the family's history, destroying "Cortijo La Muralla". A major setback, as the old plant had been comprehensively renovated and was a meeting place for the whole family.
In 2021, several members of the family decided to go ahead with a redevelopment and rehabilitation process to restore Cortijo La Muralla to its former splendour.
2013 - Present Day. Manuel Villén Otero (Great-great-great-great-grandson)
Innovation at the service of tradition
After Jorge Villén Jimenez retired, Manuel Villén Otero (the son of Manuel Villén Jiménez and great-great-grandson), the company´s current CEO, took over.
Under the management of Manuel Villén, the organisation constructed an innovative packaging plant providing quality and greater added value (2017).
In 2014, iOliva was launched, a premium line of early harvest oil with a focus on EVOO packaging of the highest quality, selected from the best centennial olive trees on our family farm.
The current Aceites La Muralla team is focused on the promotion of the company´s internationalisation process, adapting it to the highest standards of digitisation and leading the way in online marketing.
Tradition, innovation, sustainability and a constant quest for excellence have been part of our commitment to our consumers from our origins with Manuel Villén Luque until today.