Our Olive Oil
The villagers of Kastania have developed a taste for this very robust oil and are reluctant to use any other oils. The reason for this unique flavor has to do with the altitude at which the koroneiki olives are grown. Although the altitude does not directly affect the taste, it does determine when the olives are harvested and pressed in the late fall or early winter. This usually occurs in late November or early December depending on when the first frost comes. Kastania is a small village near the crest of the southernmost peaks of Mt. Taegetos. It is exposed on three sides to the strong cold winds that start in September and last through the winter. In order to prevent the frost from damaging the olives Kastaniotes must harvest the olives before the first frost which usually comes in December. Since the crop is not fully ripe at this time the olives are harvested and pressed before being fully ripened. This is the unique flavor that lends the robustness to our Kastania private reserve. It is therefore a very limited selection since we prefer to keep it for our own kitchens rather than sell it since we will not use other oils.
There are seven villages on this mountain with Kastania being the highest. As you proceed down the mountain, villagers pick their crop at different times since they vary with lower altitudes and harvest times. Aigies and Gythion which are almost at sea level are not as concerned with frost damage and allow their olives to fully ripen before harvesting. villages in between may harvest anywhere from March to April and May. The flavors of their oils will therefore vary as one proceeds down the mountain.