How We Make our High-Phenolic Olive Oil
Here at The Greek Olive Estate we produce olive oil with the goal of extracting as many of the healthy polyphenols as we can! We harvest the trees, transport the olives to the mill, turn the olives into olive oil, store the olive oil, bottle the olive oil, and send our High-Phenolic Extra Virgin Olive Oils Drop of Life and PhenOLIV to people around the world!
We often get asked why our olive oil has such high Polyphenols. We like to say it's about 40% our variety, 20% harvest, and about 40% the olive mill.
We are very fortunate to live in a land where olives grow naturally, we are also lucky our ancestors chose to preserve our natural variety instead of replacing it with more commercially popular varieties. We don't chemically alter our trees or our olive oil, we don't add any additives at any stage in the production process.
We believe in a natural, healthy product, produced in the most advanced way possible!
All of our olive oil is produced from the organic, 100% natural olive trees in our Estate and our neighbors in the area. Our trees are the Olympia variety, a variety from our region, grafted on wild olive trees in a tradition handed down generations.
Through time our variety has gone through a number of names and to this day is still not registered on the national registry of varieties. Some of these names are; Choraitiki, Nemoutiana, Paleokastritsa, Ladolia and Ntopia Atsicholou.
Some of the oldest trees in our Estate are believed to date back over 300 years and we continue to increase the number of trees every year using the same methods! Today, we harvest selectively from approximately 20,000 trees. Many of the trees are ours, many are from collaborating farms and sometimes we work with other farmers too!
Most of the trees are located at altitudes between 150 - 300m. We prune our trees almost every year, we monitor our trees using Smart Farming techniques and we only use certified Organic fertilizers (we rarely use those as well)! We are proud to look after our trees!
Planning a harvest can be complicated, we monitor things like the condition of the olives, the weather, how fast we get to the mill, the temperature, the humidity, and other factors. We are always adapting our harvest and milling procedures to get the best out of our olives.
We start our harvest around early October when the olives tell us they are ready! We harvest by hand using electrically generated rods at a low turning speed in order to avoid damaging both the tree and the olives. We store our olives in small crates and transport them to the mill within a couple of hours.
We don't harvest when the olives are wet, when the temperature is too high, we don't step on the olives, we store our crates in the shade and do everything within reason to keep the olives as close to the condition they were on the tree when they reach the olive mill!
The video above isn't us, but they use similar equipment. Getting our own harvest video up is high on our list of priorities.
The Olive Mill
We have visited over 100 olive mills and extracted olive oil from olives in over 30 of them over the last years in an attempt to extract the olive oil from our olives in the best possible way! We have performed countless tests on different machines using different parameters accompanied by tests of the olive oil with a goal to increase the level of polyphenols!
We have acquired a tremendous amount of information, made friends along the way who have learned with us, and are confident we can produce high phenolic olive oil consistently each year! We are still learning, testing every year, and improving the process as we move ahead! We transport our olives almost 200km to get to the right mill!
We always use a two-phase certified organic olive mill! The process is always mechanical, we never use solvents, additives, or other methods of chemically enhancing the procedure. The process is always cold-pressed. We focus on things like cleanliness, professionalism, and a willingness to spend extra hours planning, making changes to equipment and processes with the goal of producing a high phenolic, organic, extra virgin olive oil!
We control things like the quality of water, the time spent in the malaxer, the temperatures at all stages of production, and how we can minimize the stress the olives go through. We also delve into the specifics of equipment, make changes to technical parameters, use new technologies, and are constantly looking at ways to improve!
We store almost all of our batches during production separately. We always use food-certified equipment like pumps and pipes and choose INOX over certified plastics when it is an option.
We selectively analyze and test our olive oil to help us categorize our olive oil depending on the level of polyphenols we use for our different olive oils.
When we are finished with our harvest and ready with our olive oil we filter the olive oil and store it in INOX tanks ranging from 50Kg to 2Tonne filled with Argon or Nitrogen to prevent oxidation. We control the temperature in the storage room to avoid extreme high and low temperatures which can affect the olive oil!
We bottle our olive oil in small batches depending on our orders. We don't bottle all our olive oil after the harvest because we know that it keeps better in the monitored conditions we have in our storage tanks.
We bottle our Drop of Life - Limited Reserve Organic and our PhenOLIV Organic bottles in semi-automated equipment by hand to protect the bottles and packaging. We bottle our Drop of Life Organic range in fully automated equipment!
We always use an ISO Certified, Organic Certified, FDA Registered and Nationally approved facility to bottle our olive oil.
We don't bottle olive oil from the previous harvest. All of our bottles have a LOT Number and Best Before date in the format below. Our olive oils have a Best Before date ranging from 12 months to 24 months depending on the level of Polyphenols.
LOT: C05-22010 (the 5th bottling of the Year 2022 bottled on the 10th day of the year)
B/B: 25/JUN/22 (Best Before: 25th June 2022 dd/mmm/yy)