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.
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The second of the three family daughters of Leonor and Emmanuel, Kiara moved to Greece with her husband in 2010 to actively join the family business. She reinforced the absolute need to become organic and her guidance has been fundamental. A real Nature and animal lover, an organic farmer, she has contributed energetically to change old ways. She has proved how associations of different methods of natural farming can be helpful and beneficial to our groves and to Nature. “Always trying to improve the quality of the fruit we use, my goal is to tend to our trees with no external input. Inter-cropping provides us with all the plants we need to make natural remedies.” Kiara is also in charge of the tours and tastings at the olive mill. Contact her to organise your visit! -
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Manager of Production and Farming
Married to Kiara Koutoulakis, Giorgos was born and raised in Archanes where he was always in close contact with making olive oil and wine, as most families in Crete still make their own olive oil and wine. After studying and working for five years in Paris, he returned to Crete with Kiara to integrate the family business.
He efficiently reorganized the production and overhauled the management of the mill. His diligence, for example, led him to reduce the peroxide value from 11 to 4.5. Attention to detail led him to see where splashing of the oil could be diminished or even become inexistent, thus reducing the peroxides and increasing the quality of our oils. He also initiated a diversification of our Koronekes® Selection assortment to include local quality products we have chosen to sell and promote such as thyme honey, or wild, mountain grown miniature artichokes.
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