Kolovi Olive Trees
The Kolovi variety, also known as Valanolia and Mytilinia (var. pyiriformis) is indigenous to Lesvos and is found mainly on Lesvos. It is a lesser-known variety throughout the world and even within Greece.
The Kolovi olive tree grows largely on hilly terrain rich in slate and limestone, up to an elevation of just under 2000 feet (600 meters). It is well adapted to Lesvos’ limited rainfall and does not need much water. This results in the formation of a wide root system that enables the transfer of important nutrients from the soil to the olive fruit.
Characteristic qualities of extra virgin olive oil made from Kolovi olives are their rich, fruity aroma, with well-balanced spiciness and pungency, offering a unique taste and aftertaste.
In addition to the variety itself, several factors combine to create Kolovi olive oil’s rich flavors. These include the soil, climatic conditions including the lack of rainfall and abundance of sunshine, and the altitudes at which Kolovi trees thrive.
The distinguishing features of the Kolovi olive variety
In general, many extra virgin olive oils are high in antioxidants, and this is a key factor behind their healthfulness. As a rule, the more the antioxidants, the greater is the bitterness and pungency, which make the oil unpalatable for many consumers.
Yet extra virgin olive oil made from Kolovi olives has rich, fruity aroma with a subtle and delicate flavor while at the same time it is very high in antioxidant content. Therefore, this extra virgin olive oil is an excellent choice for consumers interested in the full taste and health benefits of olive oil, yet dislike the very strong bitterness and pungency commonly found in many oils made from other olive varieties.
ACAIA’s, Aeolian Olive’s and L&KO’s special quality is that they are well-balanced, so that their fruitiness is in excellent harmony with their spiciness. This property makes them ideally suited to any culinary use, from salad dressings, drizzling over steamed vegetables, or as a dip, to cooking and baking, both savory dishes and desserts.
The journey from the olive tree to the table
The olive harvest
The Kolovi olive ripens around November, later than most other olive varieties, and depending on weather conditions the olive harvest begins when the conditions for this are ideal. Since most of the olive trees grow on hilly terrain, they have little or no road access and so can be reached on foot. The olives are therefore harvested by hand aided by portable mechanical pickers and not through industrial means. The use of very limited amounts of fertilizers and pesticides results in olives that are more natural, healthier and more nutritious.
At the mill
After being harvested the olives are transported the same day to the olive mill in suitable sacks. The first step in the production line is washing the olives by carefully removing foreign materials (leaves, branches, soil, etc.). The olives are then crushed to form a paste. This is followed by malaxing or mixing the paste. The next step is the extraction of oil from the paste by centrifugation in a modern two-phase centrifuge which ensures that waste is minimized and the environment is protected. The final stage, necessary to ensure the highest quality of oil, is the separation of the olive oil from water or other sediments, resulting in extra virgin olive oil. The entire process is carried at temperatures below 27 degrees Celsius, resulting in cold-pressed olive oil.
Liquid gold at the bottling plant
At the bottling plant our olive oils are stored in stainless steel nitrogen tanks, and preserved under ideal temperatures. The strict temperature controls together with the availability of nitrogen ensure the optimal preservation of the chemical and organoleptic characteristics of our olive oils. Prior to bottling, the olive oil is filtered, so that all residues are eliminated. The olive oil is then ready for bottling in accordance with our customers preferences.