“Our secrets: attention to the detail, consistency and passion throughout the whole process, the cultivation, the harvesting and the production.”
The harvesting of olives and olive oil production has remained the same over the centuries, although the evolution of technology has made the process easier.
We collect olives only from our Eleones Messinias groves, which are certified based on the way the trees are cultivated.
We have chosen to pick our olives mid to late November, when their color begins to change. Picking the olives in November we sacrifice quantity for the sake of quality. Their oil content is smaller but the taste is excellent, distinctive and tart.
Although nowadays mechanical means are available, our specialized olive pickers gather and sort the olives the traditional way, namely by hand. First, spread sheets or nets underneath the trees as to collect the olives without them touching the ground. The trees bearing olives are pruned and olive collection is done purely by hand, while branches with fewer olives are shaken with sticks. Olives are then placed in burlap sacks and sent to our certified olive mill. In this way, only first-class olives arrive at the olive mill, referred to locally as the litrouvi.
Our olives are pressed less than 8 hours after being picked. This is to avoid fermentation which might take place when olives remain in sacks for a longer period. We in Eleones Messinias are very careful with following the above procedure to the letter, since this is what gives our olive oil its freshness and its natural aroma.
In older times, people used large stone wheels to crush the fruit to extract the oil.
Today, we acquire our high quality extra virgin olive oil by crushing the olives mechanically. The fruits are washed and separated from the leaves. After that they are crushed by drums of stainless steel they get pulverized and compressed. The next step is the addition of water to the pulp and the mechanical filtering for any sediment. At the last stage, the water is separated from the oil. Throughout the process the temperature remains below 20 C (cold extraction) in order for the olive oil to keep its natural flavors and nutritional values.
The process takes place without the addition of any materials other than the mineral rich water of the region. To avoid oxidation our olive oil is not exposed to light and air throughout the production process. The entire production equipment is enclosed.
Constant and rigorous quality checks are undertaken throughout the production process, from the picking of the fruit until bottling. This way we make sure that we can offer a special extra virgin olive oil.