Leonor Michelsen Koutoulakis
She fell in love with Crete from the first trip she made there in the early 1970’s. After many years of enjoying Cretan olive oil she and Emmanuel realized the potential at hand. They bought a small press and started making their own olive oil in 1999. The scrumptious oil produced begot the beautiful oil mill they built. Under her supervision la Fleur d’Huile was recognized as a unique first oil and bottled separately. Closely involved with the sorting and pressing of the olives she now takes an active role in promoting all natural farming methods, natural insect control, reduced water use in irrigation and implementing these decisions.
Emmanuel is Cretan by his father. A "foodie", great chef and wine collector, he and Leonor became quite interested in improving the oil production stage in order to get a finer, and even tastier olive oil. His passion for wine influenced many of his choices in the design of the mill. Thus 30 stainless steel tanks were built to store the different olive oils from the different groves. The specificity of each grove and vat is tasted after decantation and a couple of months of clarification in order to make our yearly blend. A never ending interest in olive oil production, and the sad fact that olive oil presses are becoming extinct have led Emmanuel and Leonor to visit olive mills all over Europe. Each olive oil season the family discusses what pertinent changes in the small details could make our olive oil even more perfect.