Olives Are Harvested With Care
Nets are placed under tree to gather all olives as they fall off. Many branches with olives on them are pruned off to ensure even production year-to-year as olive trees otherwise produce on a two year cycle. These branches are then taken to a machine to gently beat the olives off of the branch to prevent excessive bruising. Olives on the tree are literally beaten off of the tree and allowed to fall on the tarp below. The olives are gathered together on the tarp and bagged for immediate transportation to the local “press” to be crushed within 24 hours. At the “press” the 110 pound bags of olives are stacked together and numbered to identify the producer.
Separating the Good Stuff from the Bad Stuff
Olives are poured into the hopper and sent up the belt to the blower to separate any twigs or leaves. After they are separated they get a rinse in clean water to remove dirt and to cleanse. They pass through one final screen to catch any other debris or stones that remain. The olives are sent through a double hammer hammermill to be quickly crushed. After crushing the pulp is sent through various malaxers to mix the olives and loosen the oil for extraction (about 30 minutes). At this point the beautiful smell of the highest quality oil permeates the entire building. A horizontal centrifuge separates the oil from the water and the solids without adding heat or water to keep all of the antioxidants intact. The water and solids are piped out for further use.
A Carefully Crafted Refinement
The oil is sent through a vibrating screen to a horizontal centrifuge to separate any remaining water from the olive oil. The vibrant green highest quality unfiltered extra virgin olive oil then flows out less than 45 minutes from the start. The olive oil is ready for immediate consumption (if you are lucky enough to be there). We put the oil directly into barrels and immediately ship it to ourselves across the Atlantic for bottling. Never-blended and never-altered, for use within 2 years at the most!
Nothing is Wasted, Not Even Waste
**This leftover paste is used for 3 different purposes at this point. Burning for fuel for the press. Feeding the hogs. Chemical and heat processing to release (and destroy) the remaining oil. Pomace oil is made and blended commercially without the consumers knowledge and still labeled “Extra Virgin." Something the locals frown upon and we have no use for this oil and would never blend it with our own!