We grow, produce and bottle our oils on the estate to bring you the best in extra virgin, first cold pressed olive oils.
Production at our traditional olive mill
Our olives are pressed at our mill built in the heart of our land.
Koronekes® mill, built three storeys high, uses the natural force of gravity for directing the olive oil from the press to the storing vats, and from these vats to our bottling installation.
Our mill is equipped with a first cold press system, there is no addition of water during processing. The system exerts pressure on stainless steel discs extracting the oil by pure mechanical pressure. Our olive mill combines modern technology with ancestral traditions.
Our production equipment is made exclusively of stainless steel that is completely washed, daily, to avoid any residues or fermentation. We believe this makes a difference.
Making extra virgin olive oil
The production begins when the olives, that freshly arrive at the mill 4 times per day, are carefully poured into a stainless steel container that delivers them into an endless screw. Here a vacuum eliminates the remaining leaves. Delivered then into a drum, a shower of tepid water cleans the olives. Any traces of dust or earth disappear.
The olives roll onto a stainless steel table where a team of four workers sort the olives by hand, an arduous, time consuming task of the production. All impurities are here discarded, such as the odd branch, twig, leaf, or an inisistent snail, and only the best olives are selected. It constitutes a fine point in our quality control.
From there the olives are delivered into the grinder where they are crushed whole, pit and all. In fact the pit acts as a natural preservative when the olive is crushed whole.
The thick, grany paste moves into the malaxeur, where it is mixed and blended for no more than thirty minutes at a maximum tempertature of 26°C. Here the droplets of olive oil start to coalesce. This paste, a mixture of pulp and pit is then poured onto stainless-steel mats that are stacked, one by one, before they go to the press. Oil naturally seeps out, dripping from the mats, before the pressing begins. This run-off oil or “Fleur d’Huile” has an extremely low level of oleic acidity; under 0.03%. We collect it at this moment and place it seperately in a decantation vat.
The vertical hydraulic press then exerts pressure on the fully stacked tower of mats squeezing the oil out of the paste, spread on the mats, resulting in our Extra Virgin First Cold Pressed Koronekes® Olive Oil. When the pressing is over a residue containing the detritus of the pit and some of the olive’s skin remains. It is often recycled in Crete, many traditional households still use it as a combustible for heating, the « pirina », or olive cake; we use it as a fertilizer.
The oils at this stage are still cloudy. We have chosen to use natural decantation to seperate the oil from the water it contains. After settling for some hours, lighter than water, the oil rises to the top of our decanters. This system allows for a higher quality product. The oil produced preserves the original characteristics of the fruit, namely its rich, fruity flavor.
The pure “fruit juice” obtained is subsequently analyzed and tasted, then sent by force of gravity to small reservoirs (of 750 litres each), which are one level lower for clarification. Our mill, built three storeys high, uses the natural force of gravity for directing our olive oil from the production level to the storing vats, and from these vats to our bottling installation.
Every evening the whole mill and all the production machinery are completely cleaned using hot water.
Similar to a winery, our 30 reservoirs allow us to identify the oil from each olive grove and its distinguishing qualities, year after year.
After a period of natural clarification, we are able to choose the best oils to prepare our finished product. During clarification the settling of the oil takes place and the result is golden, clear, extra virgin olive oils.
A masterful blend of our different olive groves, is then bottled artisanally at the mill. Each bottle is numbered and boasts the PDO label of the Archanes region, a guarantee of its superior quality. The harvest date is clearly mentioned on the front label.
We bottle our oils unfiltered, in order to protect all the volatile flavors and aromas that give our oil its distinctive taste.
Our production methods ensure the exceptional quality of our Koronekes® Extra Virgin Olive Oils. Our added care ensures a totally natural and healthy product with all its qualities intact. Thus, at every step of the process the extra care we take results in these “slow oils”, bursting with flavor.
We have become a rarity. Most oils today are produced by centrifugation. The old presses were replaced in most mills of Crete by new modern decanters and centrifuges. That is why since 2012 the European Union has implemented a new labeling directive which distinguishes extra virgin olives oils made using the genuine first cold press method and the ones made by cold extraction using centrifuges.
Unlike cold extracted olive oils, Koronekes® Fleur d’Huile, and Koronekes ® First Cold Pressed are produced using only gentle methods that do not alter the intrinsic qualities of the olives.
Taste the subtle delicate, delicious difference.