OLIVES

The olive tree

The olive tree is Provence's most typical tree, rustic and undemanding, an evergreen with a knotty trunk and a thick stump. 

We have two varieties of olive trees on our farm, the Aglandeau and the Bouteillan. 

  

Longevity 

This tree possesses a multisecular longevity (it can be viewed as immortal). 

  

Production 

The olive tree only bears fruit naturally one year out of two without graft, and its production develops slowly, progressively, but durably : between 1 and 7 years is a non-productive growth period, whose duration may double in case of drought; the tree develops until 35 years of age and goes through a progressive increase in its production; between 35 and 150 years. the olive tree reaches full maturity and optimal production. Beyond 150 years, it becomes old and its yields become unreliable. 

Leaves : They are evergreen, hard, small, oblong, gray-green.  

  

Flowers : Arranged in clusters from the leaves' initial growth  

  

Fruit : They are of course green olives at first then black when they reach maturity.  

Blooming : May - June.  

  

Cultivation of the olive tree : Oleiculture by the farmer.  

Maturation of the olives 

For several months, the fruit groows and changes color. It changes from green to yellow, then to purplish-red to dark purple then to black. When the olive is black, it is not necessarily ripe. It is ripe when its flesh is soft. 

 

The fruit cannot be eaten from the tree because it is very bitter. 

  

Harvesting 

This takes place from October to December and is dependent on the variety and weather conditions. 

After the harvest, the olives are taken directly to the mill. 

Olive oil

The olive oil grown on our soil is exceptionnally fruity and has a markedly green color and a smooth flavor. 

It is extracted by cold first pressing and may be consumed raw with salad or cooked.  

Manufacturing of olive oil

 

Crushing

The olives are crushed with their pits until an unctuous paste is obtained. The pits contain an antioxydant which helps preserve the olive oil.

Pressing

The paste obtained is then  pressed. From it, a juice made up of water and oil is derived.

Decanting

The oil's density being lower than that of water, the oil naturally rises to the surface for collection. However centrifugal processes are commonly used today.

 

 

Storage 

The oil is stored in stainless steel barrels to avoid oxydation. 

« Extra Virgin » olive oil 

It is oil obtained  uniquely through mechanical or physical processes under conditions that do not alter the oil. 

It only contains 0.8 % oleic acid. 

  

Conservation

• keep from air (Sealed bottle) 

• keep from light (do not leave in the sun, store in a dark location), 

• keep from heat (store at around 18°C, or 65°F).