The scientific name of the olive tree in Latin is “olea europaea” of the Oleaceae family. The Oleaceae family includes more than 25 species of olives.
In Greece, the most common of said olive species is the European Olive (olea europaea), which is divided into two subspecies: the cultivated Olea europaea var. sativa or Olea europaea var. europaea, which forms part of the Contortae class, and the wild Olea europaea var. oleaster DC or Olea europaea var. sylvestris.
The olive tree is a subtropical, evergreen plant, which can reach up to 15 – 20 meters in height and is known for its exceptional longevity, ranging between tens to hundreds of years. Its leaves measure approximately 4-10 cm in length, and are lanceolate and pointed. Their top side is dark green in color and their bottom side is silvery green. The tree’s tiny white flowers appear in April and May.
The olive fruit, which is where the olive oil is held, is small, round, and green. As it matures near the end of autumn, it starts growing in size and changes in color and shape.
The olive tree thrives in temperate and subtropical climates, which can be usually found in the Mediterranean area. It requires high temperatures during spring and summer in order to produce new sprouts and have its fruit set and ripened. The yield of the tree increases in moist and fertile soil.
The olive tree is one of the most widely cultivated trees in Greece and is used for its oil and fruits. Greece is also known for cultivating various other olive varieties which are rarely seen in other oil producing countries. One such variety is the Koroneiki, which is cultivated in Crete and the Peloponnese and is recognized for the high-quality olive oil it yields.
EllinDor olive oil is produced exclusively (100%) from trees of the “Koroneiki” variety.
According to relevant research, the olive tree first appeared in the Mediterranean area.
During the international conference held in Andros in July 1999 on the topic “The olive in the past and the future”, Mr. Evangelos Velitzelos, professor of paleobotany at the University of Athens, presented some fossilized olive leaves, which were estimated to date back approximately 50,000-60,000 years and were discovered within the walls of the Santorini and Nisyros calderas. These fossils propose an answer to the question of the first appearance of the olive tree and constitute excellent evidence in regard to the evolution of the Mediterranean region.
The French historian Fernand Braudel specifically states: “The Mediterranean starts in the North with the appearance of the first olive trees and ends in the South with the appearance the first palm trees.”
In the village of Ano Vouves, Kissamos, at the Municipality of Chania in Crete, one can find the oldest olive tree in the world, which welcomes thousands of visitors every year from all over the world.
The Olive Tree of Vouves was declared a “Natural Monument” with Decision Nr. 603/17-02-1997 of the General Secretary of the Region of Crete thanks to its unique aesthetic, ecological, and historical value.
The trunk of the tree is particularly impressive as it has a circumference of 12.5 meters, a diameter of 4.6 meters, and is elegantly sculpted by time into a monumental piece of exquisite art.
Although scientists cannot be absolutely certain, its age is estimated between 3,000 and 5,000 years. Despite its old age, it remains alive and keeps producing olives to this day.
Idaean Heracles was said to have taken a piece of this wild olive tree from Vouves to replant it in Ancient Olympia, so that the wreaths used to crown the victors of the Olympic Games could be created using its branches.
In 2004, the marathon winner of the Athens Olympic Games was crowned with such a wreath from the branches of the olive tree of Vouves, and so did the marathon winner of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
In 2016, even more wreaths from this tree traveled to Rio, Brazil to crown the Olympic gold medalists.
The Koroneiki olive variety is famous for producing olive oil with refined aroma, authentic taste, low acidity, and high polyphenol content.
The results of a scientific research carried out using 145 single variety olive oil samples from various regions of Greece and California showed that the Koroneiki variety has the largest production capacity for the health-protective substances oleocanthal and oleacein.
Our EllinDor Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil is exclusively (100%) produced from trees of the Koroneiki variety.
The olive trees tend to thrive in Mediterranean climates which are characterized by sweet mild winters and hot dry summers.
The island of Crete, where the olive oil of our company is produced, provides the ideal microclimate for their growth and development.
The constant sunshine, dry climate, and mild winters of the island render it an ideal environment for the cultivation of the olive tree.
The olive oil produced here has excellent qualities. Its incomparable flavor and excellent aroma can be attributed to the generosity of the sun and the dry climate prevailing in most areas of the island.
Greek farmers have basically grown up together with their trees as land is traditionally passed down from generation to generation. The small farms, olive groves, and varied terrain of the country do not facilitate the implementation of the modern intensive crop production standards applied in California and other oil producing countries.
The olive cultivation and harvest in Greece and, more specifically, in Crete, where our company’s olive oil is produced, is realized using natural mechanical methods. As a result, Greek olive oil is a product of traditional cultivation, which makes a huge difference in terms of quality.
Crete is the second most olive tree “infested” region in Greece, with almost every rural family being involved in olive cultivation.
The olive oil produced in Crete today is of excellent quality and constitutes the result of the love the Cretans display for the olive fruit, its assiduous cultivation, and, of course, its correct and fast harvest.
Decreasing the amount of time that passes between harvesting and crushing, and maintaining conditions of exceptional cleanliness of the olive fruit from the grove to the press are both important technical factors that decisively contribute to the production of high quality olive oil.
This exceptional quality is easily proven by the numerous international awards it has received, as well as the distinctions it has accepted at international competitions.