The growing region
Messinia has been famous for its fertile lands and favorable climate since the ancient times and olive trees have been cultivated in the area for over 4,000 years now.
In ancient times our village of Skala was at the edge of a huge natural dam. Centuries of deposits of silt and rich soil carried down from the mountains built it up into the fertile plains of Makaria Terra. This rich soil with neutral to alkaline pH is perfect for growing olives.
The area also has a unique microclimate with long hours of sunshine, optimal rainfall and small fluctuations in temperature.
Most important however, is the renowned Koroneiki olive tree, which is named after the nearby town of Koroni and is indigenous to the region. This variety produces olives of unique quality, taste and aroma. Throughout the centuries it has adapted so well to the local conditions that olives can be cultivated with the least possible human intervention, resulting in an authentic, natural olive oil.
The growing method
We are committed to cultivating olives in the traditional way. Over the generations, through daily attendance at our groves and labor-intensive work we have developed a special relationship with our trees. We prune the trees to receive optimum quantities of sunlight and air and hoe the area around them so that weeds do not steal valuable nutrients from the soil. We do not use any chemical pesticides or artificial irrigation and our olives are all natural and rain-fed.
The harvest begins each December, when the olive skin changes colour from yellow-green to reddish purple. This is the ideal stage of ripeness for producing a full-flavoured olive oil. We choose to harvest at this rather early stage of ripening, even though it means that less oil is extracted, because we are focused on producing the highest quality olive oil.
During harvesting, olive nets are placed around the tree. The olives are shaken down either manually by use of hand-held sticks or by use of ground mechanical shakers when the branches which are full of fruit are cut off the tree. Once the olives are separated manually from the leaves, they are placed in natural sacks and are brought at the end of the working day to the nearby olive mill, ready to be pressed within a few hours.
Olive oil extraction
We insist that our olives are processed on the same day they are harvested and within just a few hours of having been brought to the mill. We also ensure that all our oil is produced solely by mechanical means and at temperatures lower than 27 °C at all processing stages in order to retain full flavour and nutrients.
The cold extraction process results in production of less olive oil but our end result is a superior quality, extra virgin olive oil with very low acidity, distinctive color and taste, full of aromas and with multiple health benefits being rich in nutrients, antioxidants, polyphenols and oleic acid.
The preservation of absolute quality does not end with the milling. We carefully store our olive oil in stainless steel tanks to prevent contact with light and air. Temperatures during storage are strictly controlled so that flavour and nutrients are fully preserved.
Materials for bottling and packaging are meticulously chosen so that quality at this last stage is fully maintained and our premium extra virgin olive oil reaches you unadulterated. We package in dark glass bottles as light is the enemy of olive oil.
The bottling process is sub-contracted to an outside facility which is closely supervised and operates in accordance with stringent international standards and certifications.