I live in Kidlington with my wife Elizabeth and 12 years ago we bought some land in Turkey overlooking the dazzling turquoise Mediterranean coast. Our plan was to build a villa which we have done and have great times there with family and friends. Along with the land came an olive grove and we decided to start our own artisan extra olive oil company.
At the beginning there were just a hundred or so sadly neglected olive trees and we set about bringing them back to productive health. Guided by local experts we drastically pruned these tall old trees. It was devastating to lose so much of the lovely shade they had given, but we learnt that to be most productive the olive tree canopy needs to be sparse enough to allow a bird fly straight through it. That way the sun light can ripen the olives.
Our original olive trees occupied just one corner of our land and over time we have planted more than 500 trees. We learnt about the local varieties that thrive here on our beautiful mountainside overlooking the sea, planting mostly Gemlick, Memecik, Ayvalik and a few of the ubiquitous Arbequina olive which is widely grown in Spain and the eastern Mediterranean.
Five years ago we invested in a small (cold extraction) olive press. We know that to produce the best quality extra virgin olive oil we need to press the olives as soon as they are picked. By having our own press, rather than going to a cooperative, we can make sure our olives don’t sit around in the sun oxidizing and losing flavour. We can also be sure that only our olives make it into our oil and allows us to control the balance of olive varieties, each with its unique characteristics.
Despite planting so many trees we are still a small producer, pressing between 300 and 400 litres of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) each year. We continue to learn how to work best with the natural rhythms of nature, recognizing that like many other fruit trees, olives tend to alternate between one year of great yield and the next that is much smaller.
COLD EXTRACTION METHOD
The cold extraction method means that the EVOO remains below 27°C during the pressing process, thus retaining its nutrients.
Think of EVOO as you would fresh orange juice. For the very best taste you squeeze the oranges yourself and drink the juice right away. EVOO is simply the juice of the olive and should be consumed as soon as possible to get the best taste and health benefits. While EVOO can last a couple of years in an unopened dark-coloured bottle stored a cool place, once it is opened it should be consumed and not kept for month or years.
USE DIFFERENT OLIVE OIL FOR DIFFERENT PURPOSES
EVOO is best used in salads, to dress cooked vegetables and meat, to enhance mezze / tapas dishes such as hummus or yogurt. Taking a tablespoon of EVOO every day has many health benefits. If you want to fry or roast with olive oil then use good regular olive oil rather than EVOO since the heat will destroy some of the properties of EVOO.
HOW TO DISTINGUISH A GOOD OLIVE OIL.
There are over 700 varieties of olives in the world. Each region have their particular varieties which in turn have different tastes, qualities and uses. A good EVOO should have a hint of fresh olives, grassy notes and touch of fruits such as citrus, avocado, peaches etc. Any herbs and fruit trees growing nearby can also impart their flavour. A good EVOO often has a slightly bitter start to start with and a peppery aftertaste. Try different EVOOs until you find the one that suits your palate, some people prefer a light, aromatic oil while others prefer a robust peppery flavour.
CHECK THE LABEL BEFORE YOU BUY
It is very important to look at the origin of the EVOO. Our label shows clearly the country of origin, the region and village where we have our olive grove. The varieties of olive pressed. The harvest and best by dates. You can be confident that only our olives have gone into our EVOO which means you know that the olives have been taken very good care of all year and that we can ensure the precise mix of olive varieties are used.
Besides our olive oil we also produce delicious pomegranate molasses made from the juice of both wild and farmed pomegranates and mulberry syrup which has been given 2 stars by the prestigious Great Tastes award.
During the pandemic we are providing a free home delivery service of all our products within Oxfordshire. We have special Christmas packaging allowing you to put 2 x 250ml bottles in one box. You can choose any combination of the products we sell.
If you want your order to be delivered in Oxfordshire, please go to our website to check our products and prices, then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your order and we will process it without delivery charge.