At the mill: from the olive to the oil
Olive oil is the only oil made out of a fruit.
A simple mechanical process helps to make it, without adding any chemical of natural product.
It is called “virgin” when it is simply extracted, without adding anything.
Formerly, some mills used to add hot water during the extraction process. The oil then lost some of its properties.
The appellation « first coolly pressure » guaranteed the oil extraction without any addition of hot water. It doesn’t exist anymore as all mills can now extract the oil without adding any hot water.
The only “virgin” appellation keeps its meaning and guarantees the coolly extraction. Some mills go on with yesterday’s traditions and press a quality oil in granite millstones. Some other mills take advantage of technology while keeping the quality of former extraction processes, purely mechanical.
Olives are crushed, mixed and the liquids are extracted in a continued movement, and there is almost no addition of water. Taste qualities are at their best thanks to these technological evolutions that helped to produce a tastier and more gastronomic oil.
At the Domaine des Opies, we chose to make our oil at the mill called “Plaine Marguerite”. The olives are pressed the day of the harvest, at the heart of this estate that mixes modernity and family spirit. At the mill, olives are sorted by passing on a shelf that keeps pebbles, earth, leaves, that give a bitter taste to the oil. Olives are then crushed, with the stones because they have antioxidants in them that help them to be preserved naturally.
The dough is then mixed slowly to olive cells that contain the oil keep on being cracked. Then, the liquids are split up and the oil is extracted from the water. Five kilos of olives can make one litre of oil.