Riofrío, a unique environment
Riofrío is a small village in Loja, in the province of Granada, with just over 400 inhabitants.
This peaceful place is located in the same basin of the Guadalquivir river where for centuries the Acipenser naccarii was its indigenous species – also known as the Adriatic sturgeon or ‘sollo’ – until it disappeared after the construction of the dams. The fish farm established by the pioneer of aquaculture in Spain, Doctor Domezain, with its pure water conditions and constant temperatures throughout the whole year, was the most natural possible environment for the breeding of this species.
When the CITES decree came into force and banned sturgeon fishing, very few fish farms had female sturgeon ready to produce caviar. Thanks to the visionary Domezain family, Riofrío was among those who were prepared as they had been working in this way for years. It was also one of the first to obtain the Organic certification.
Riofrío was not only located in the same river basin in which the Acipenser naccarii had originally inhabited, but also the purity of the water and temperature of the fish farm allowed it to accurately reproduce its natural habitat.
The karst structure of the mountains is plagued with sinkholes and therefore has no agricultural, human or cattle activity, which means that the waters are free of pesticides and fertilizers which diminish its properties. In fact, one of the main industries in Loja is the production of bottled mineral water.
Loja is located on a similar latitude to the south of the Caspian sea, and as in Persia, sources of water exceed 3.000 metres in altitude. The region of Andalucia is as sunny as this area of the Middle East. This is why the water does not have to be artifically heated to breed in captivity, as is the case in other European countries.
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