Messinias’ tradition to olive oil production goes back in the ages. It is in Messinia, at the Palace of Nestor at Pilos where “olive” appears first in writing on clay tablets inscribed with Linear B script which date back to the 13th century BC.
Our production is an indispensable element of our cultural heritage, and we nurtured it with excess love and centuries of accumulated knowhow.
In 2008 we decided to share our passion with the rest of the world, offering our premium home-made Extra Virgin Olive Oil via a very selective range of stores.
New Koroni is a small village with about 200 inhabitants, and is the birthplace of our fathers and grandparents. This is where we grew up and where we continue to cultivate olives and process olive in the same traditional ways. For us it was also quite natural to choose Koroni as headquarters. It is not a coincidence that the olive variety Koroneiki has taken its name from our village Koroni.
This small seaside village has been producing exceptional Extra Virgin olive oil and black raisins since its establishment about two centuries ago.
Messinia is famous for its olive oil. It is where small-scale farmers produce olive oil with love and respect.
The Eleones Messinias have been created on traditional values. We are committed in using local raw materials throughout our production supporting the social and economic life of the local community.
Our environmental awareness starts with our refusal to use conventional fertilizers, and extends to the use of recycled materials.
Combining the knowledge to be has been passed on from generation to generation with the latest quality-control standards we are able to bring this unique olive oil to your table.
Our aim at the Eleones Messinias is to offer olive products of the highest quality, taste and aesthetics. Making those exceptional olive products known to the world.
To achieve this we
-respect tradition while incorporating modern techniques in the production process
-focus on quality rather than quantity
-offer “our own, homemade products” produced in cooperation with small scale farmers of the region with who we cooperate, support and advise
-support the local community
-protect our precious environment
-preserve the history and traditions of the groves of Messinias through mapping, collection of photographic material and recipes of each individual olive grove.
HOW WE PRODUCE OUR OLIVE OIL
FROM OLIVE TO OIL
The harvesting of olives and olive oil production has remained the same over the centuries, although the evolution of technology has made the process easier.
We collect olives only from our Eleones Messinias groves, which are certified based on the way the trees are cultivated.
We have chosen to pick our olives mid to late November, when their color begins to change. Picking the olives in November we sacrifice quantity for the sake of quality. Their oil content is smaller but the taste is excellent, distinctive and tart.
Although nowadays mechanical means are available, our specialized olive pickers gather and sort the olives the traditional way, namely by hand. First, spread sheets or nets underneath the trees as to collect the olives without them touching the ground. The trees bearing olives are pruned and olive collection is done purely by hand, while branches with fewer olives are shaken with sticks. Olives are then placed in burlap sacks and sent to our certified olive mill. In this way, only first-class olives arrive at the olive mill, referred to locally as the litrouvi.
Our olives are pressed less than 8 hours after being picked. This is to avoid fermentation which might take place when olives remain in sacks for a longer period. We in Eleones Messinias are very careful with following the above procedure to the letter, since this is what gives our olive oil its freshness and its natural aroma.
In older times, people used large stone wheels to crush the fruit to extract the oil.
Today, we acquire our high quality extra virgin olive oil by crushing the olives mechanically. The fruits are washed and separated from the leaves. After that they are crushed by drums of stainless steel they get pulverized and compressed. The next step is the addition of water to the pulp and the mechanical filtering for any sediment. At the last stage, the water is separated from the oil. Throughout the process the temperature remains below 20 C (cold extraction) in order for the olive oil to keep its natural flavors and nutritional values.
The process takes place without the addition of any materials other than the mineral rich water of the region. To avoid oxidation our olive oil is not exposed to light and air throughout the production process. The entire production equipment is enclosed.
Constant and rigorous quality checks are undertaken throughout the production process, from the picking of the fruit until bottling. This way we make sure that we can offer a special extra virgin olive oil.
THE KORONEIKI VARIETY
The Koroneiki variety of olive trees is first to be found in Messinia. It is named after Koroni, the village we come from. Nowadays it is also to be found in other parts of Greece, such as Crete and Mani. However, different cultivation methods (e.g. the fact that the trees in other parts of Greece are often watered), results in a radical difference in density, texture and aroma of the olive oil.
The oil from the Eleones Messinias is different from other oils because of
-the unique subsoil nutrients
-the unique cultivation methods applied in Messinia
Unlike cultivation methods used in other places we do not use artificial irrigation. It is not a coincidence that trees are often called dry (kserikes). As a result, their olives produce a dense, high quality olive oil with a rich taste. In addition, our trees are pruned twice a year, once during the picking of the olives and once at the end of spring. Controlling the density and the height of the branches results in keeping the olive trees close the ground so that nutrients have to travel the shortest path from the root to the olive.
By focusing on quality rather than quantity, and following the traditional cultivation methods we end up with an olive oil that has a vivid olive-green color, wonderfully distinctive taste, and unique texture. It is indeed unique, and (we are tempted to say) incomparable.
OUR OLIVE OIL
In Eleones Messinias we produce and offer high quality, pure, extra virgin olive oil exclusively from the Koroneiki variety. The trees in our region are not irrigated, so the production of our oil is dependent on the weather, as the only water the olives get is from the rain and the ground water which flows through the region.
We have long-standing expertise in harvesting the fruit and know the most appropriate time to do so, and this combination of our location, harvesting procedure and timing make sure we have an excellent result.
The olives are hand picked carefully at the beginning of winter, just before having matured. Moreover, our limited production combined with the almost immediate pressing, within a maximum of 8 hours, all result in olive oil of excellent quality and characteristics, with a unique and wonderful fresh fruity flavors.
The olives are cold-pressed at our olive mill, with the first cold pressing done at the lowest possible temperatures, not exceeding 20 ° C. This process gives high-quality extra virgin olive oil with acidity levels not exceeding 0.5% (our Gourmet series does not exceed 0.3%), compared to the usual maximum degree of acidity for virgin olive oil of 0.8%.
The oil is then transferred in our own tanks to our company’s bottling premises until being naturally transferred in the traditional way from tank to bottle. Our equipment is closed, thus avoiding any exposure of our oil to light or air before bottling, which takes place under full quality control standards established by Eleones Messinia and is an integral part of the production chain: from cultivation and harvesting to production and bottling.
OUR GOURMET SERIES
Our Gourmet series is produced by specific olive groves. This series is what might be called the Grand Cru, or Single Malt of our produce. Using olives only from specific groves for these olive oils means that growing conditions of the fruits are the same. ie the age of the trees, soil composition, the amount of precipitation, the microclimate. Therefore, the final product is both homogeneous and completely unique. This range includes the gourmet products Potamia and Casteli.
These two excellent olive oils are bottled in special glass bottles and then packaged into cartons, ensuring the greatest possible protection from light before reaching your table, thus preserving their complete flavor palate.
We have shown the same care in our packaging as we have show in the production of our olive oil. The overall design is a work of graphic designer Katerina Xenou, while our boxes are illustrated with original engravings of the artist Ira Spagadorou, creating a unique aesthetic effect. An excellent product in the packaging it deserves.