Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Premium Quality, product of certified organic farming, produced on our own model farm using a biodynamic approach and integrated organic management. Our model farm has been controlled and certified organic since 1988.
Our cultivation philosophy has evolved beyond the sphere of conventional cultivation methods and practices based upon an holistic approach that considers our farm as a self-existent living organism. The farm maintains its delicate balance, through natural adjusting mechanisms alongside dynamic self-healing processes guaranteeing healthy sustainability.
We consider our farm together with its “inhabitants”, not as an isolated piece of cultivated land, not just a part of Corfiot land, not only a part of the Greek and Mediterranean biodiversity, but as a part of the entire universe. By default we seek to respect and utilize to the utmost extent the trees natural potentials insuring that they stay healthy without the use of any chemical and artificial intervention, this rewards us with a harvest of a premium quality produce that is rich in beneficial qualities meeting the highest evaluation standards.
To us our practices differentiates us from the utilitarian and profit driven approach of a trade business. We rely upon natural coexistence in a harmonious and well balanced environment in which every single organism, even the seemingly most insignificant ones (microorganisms, insects, edible wild plants, birds) along with the domestic animals that we chose to share the farm with us, constitute an environment of mutual functional cooperation.
Cultivating this piece of land we co-exist with all the other organisms and our philosophy is to maintain the harmony and balance of our shared environment. Respecting nature as much as we can we use subtle methods and practices, following seasonal changes, the moon phases, gentle interventions (trimming, pruning, etc.), and using the domestic creatures as helpers (donkeys, sheep) to graze the land and produce manure along with the natural wild flora to provide organic soil fertilization. Ultimately the integrated management of “waste” is recycled and turned back to nature providing the grove with its own natural energy sources.
Our objective is to achieve the finest quality organic olive oil from the first steps of its cultivation up to the final phases of its pressing, packaging and distribution. The tree cultivation takes place in a living and well-balanced environment without any violation or any use of chemical intervention, it actually takes place in a subtle way according to the laws of organic and bio-dynamic cultivation methods.
Harvesting the olives takes place in a planned order with respect to the weather conditions and the situation of the trees. We start as early as October (sometimes even at the end of September) to collect the green fruit in order to ensure high quantities of polyphenols in the olive oil. Trees produce polyphenols as their defence mechanism against diseases and microorganisms and these are not only found in the olives but in the leaves, the blossoms and the tree bark. Over a number of years several laboratories and studies have researched the beneficial characteristics of these substances. For human kind it has been proven that they act as strong antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti–ageing factors they help to strengthen the immune system, and protect the cardiovascular system. Recently researchers have concentrated on the anti-cancer properties and the treatment for neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. More specifically some of them are: Oleocanthal, Oleuropein, Oleacein, Tyrosol and Hydroxytyrosol. Polyphenols can be analysed and verified using standard laboratory techniques, for example high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) a well-established analytical technique. Το ελαιόλαδό μας έχει υψηλή περιεκτικότητα πολυφαινολών. Our olive oil has been found to have high levels of polyphenols (higher than 5mg per 20g), thus meeting the health benefits meeting the specifications of the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) according to regulation (EU) 432/2012. Hence our olive oil is recognised and regulated as health protective.
For the past 3 years our oil has been analysed by the Department of Pharmacognosy & Chemistry of Natural Products of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, and has consistently shown high contents of polyphenols in the samples tested. Even though we have not yet established the cause of high concentrations of phenols within the olive oil, it seems that some of the important reasons are due to the early harvesting of the crop, the micro climate of the olive grove and its orientation, the high exposure to the sun, the rocky terrain, the olive variety (Lianolia of Corfu), the low intensity cultivation and the age of the trees. The brand name “El+Aeon” was chosen not only because it is the Greek word for olive grove, but also because it refers to the ancient Greek word “El” meaning sun (light) and “Aeon” century (great age), our grove combines both. Growing on a mountainous rocky slope fully exposed to the sunlight, and the great age of the trees going back many centuries.
Beyond the early olive harvesting, of major importance are the methods and techniques that are applied to processing the olives. As with the crop management, the method of oil production is of extreme importance too. The fruit is collected directly from the trees, stored in a shady environment and as soon as possible taken to be processed. We have chosen the method of the cold extraction (at a organic certified two phase centrifusion facilities) this ensures that the mechanical strain on the olives is minimised. The low temperature of the processing guaranties that our olive oil retains its beneficial traits and its aromas. Consequently, our production quantities are small. The attention to the post processing olive oil handling and storage gives the capability to maintain and ensure that we retain all the natural benefits of the harvest of the organic husbandry.
Immediately after processing our olive oil is stored in big glass containers. Each pressing is stored separately and protected by an inert atmosphere of nitrogen and sealed until it is bottled or canned. At the same time samples are sent to the Pharmaceutical School of the Athens University in order to be analysed for assessment of the polyphenols. More samples are sent to a specialized physico-chemical laboratory (certified and recognized by the International Olive Council) for sensory evaluation. Only after being tested and passed with zero fault is the product bottled and distributed with its certification and credentials, holding the characterization of “Extra Virgin Olive Oil”, according to the legislation.
Anyone interested can visit our organic farm to participate in the harvesting of the crop and view the production process of our olive oil.