Each year harvesting begins at the end of September and ends one month later. We pay particular attention to harvest the olives while they are still green and just before they begin to take a brown colour indicating that they started to ripe.
The early harvest of green olives give the Extra Virgin Olive Oil a fruity, bitter, buttery, grassy and peppery flavour. Early Harvest olive oil has higher chlorophyll content and is richer in healthy polyphenols. It also has a higher concentration of the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant oleocanthal.
Harvesting takes place every day during the day and is done by hand without any mechanical means to avoid any bruising on the skin of the olives which may alter the chemical make-up of the fruit. We are very careful not to allow any olives to drop to the ground. Any bruised olives are discarded.
The harvested olives are placed in special designed baskets with holes for the olive fruit to breath. Once picked they are taken to the Mill. We pick the olives during the day and process them at night. We do this every day and every night during the month-long period.
MILLING AND EXTRACTION
At the Mill the first step is to remove the stems, the leaves and other debris. The olives are then washed thoroughly and crushed to form a paste. The paste goes through the malaxation process where small batches of paste are moving through a set of spiral mixing blades to force the extraction of the oil from the cells. During malaxation the temperature of the paste must not exceed 27 degrees Celsius. Higher temperatures impact the fruity aromas, destroy some of the phenolic compounds and oxidize the olive oil.
We use a two-phase decanter to extract the oil from the olive paste. This is an efficient new method which protects the olive oil from sunlight, minimizes its exposure to air and reduces the water requirements. The old method of pressing the olive paste is no longer employed in modern mills.
Once extracted, olive oil is left to rest in food grade stainless steel vats under a nitrogen blanket which prevents the olive oil from coming into contact with air. Samples of olive oil are taken every night during production and are sent to the laboratory for sensory and chemical analysis. Temperature control at 15-18 degrees Celsius is achieved via a cooling/heating jacket and by simply allowing the olive oil to rest in a room where the temperature is maintained between 15 and 18 degrees C.
Filtering and finally bottling are the last steps of the overall process. We use dark bottles to protect it from sunlight which has an adverse effect on quality.
We produce an extra virgin olive oil early harvest exactly as it was made by Mother Nature with its fruity aromas and with the highest concentration in antioxidants. It is a product with significant health benefits and a basic component of the Mediterranean diet.
Our Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil arrives to our warehouse as early as mid-November of the year of production and it is immediately ready for distribution. We take pride at what we do and how we do it. Our passion is to deliver to our customers an Extra Virgin Olive Oil that meets the highest of standards of quality.
Storing your Olive Oil
Four factors affect the shelf life of olive oil:
Please store your Olive Oil in a cool place without direct sunlight. Exposure to light causes a substantial loss of antioxidants and an increase in rancidity. Exposure to heat and oxygen affects the aromas and the shelf life of it. Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a shelf life 18-24 months since the time of harvest. Please consume your extra virgin olive oil within a few weeks from the time you open the bottle.