In July, GreenK Team went to visit the domain of its olive oil supplier, Estoublon, located in the charming region of South of France: la Provence. Let us share with you this wonderful journey among olive trees, lulled by the singing of the cicadas.
The Estoublon estate is composed of a 300 hectares property in the heart of the Alpilles massif with 17 hectares vineyard and 120 hectares olive grove, a castle from the 17th century turned into a luxury and exclusive 10 suits palace for rent, a fancy restaurant with classic French Cuisine and a picturesque chapel.
“Here we are very proud of our land and history.”
We arrived on site by a beautiful alley lined with cypress trees. The beauty of the scenery was magnetic, like an invitation to discovery and contemplation. We met up with Laurie, our guide for the visit and then, she brought us to the parcel of the centenarian olive trees where she started her presentation of the estate.
“These trees are our legacy, they resisted the harsh frost season of 1956, that is why their trunks are so tortuous.”, she explained. “After that date, Estoublon replanted all the trees. Five endemic varieties were chosen for their unique taste, strong aromatic profile and resistance to climatic hazards. For our olive oil blend to benefit the protected designation of origin Vallée des Baux de Provence, it has to contain a percentage of at least two of these endemic varieties. Here we are very proud of our land and history.”
Estoublon caring for its olive trees
For dozens of generations, Estoublon has been working the land with passion and paying attention to the specific needs of each variety. Some parcels are even equipped with a dripping irrigation system when the olive variety requires more water to develop properly and to have a better yield. Estoublon being grateful for what Mother Nature offers is extremely committed to the preservation of Provence ecosystems and organic farming. As an example, to prevent disease and harmful insects, the trees are sprayed with a solution made of water and clay that complies with the organic farming bill of specifications and gives the trees a magnificent silver hue.
From Harvest to bottling
When they are perfectly ripe, before they start changing color and going brown, the olives are picked up. Then, they are brought to the transformation chain within 24 hours after harvest to avoid oxidation. The leaves are separated from the fruits, they are immerged in a water bath to remove the dust and then, starts the grinding. After this, depending on whether the oil meant to be produced is monovarietal or a blend of several varieties, comes the blending. The next step consists in separating solid and liquid elements to finally, separate water and oil. The final product is extracted at a temperature below 27 degrees to preserve its texture, color, taste and to retain all the health benefits, namely trace elements.
Just a few figures for you to know: one tree produces between 35 and 45kg of olives and 7 to 8kg of olives are necessary to produce one liter of this green gold which makes olive farming quite a low-yield industry. Indeed, one tree produces 5 to 6 bottles a year, that is not much!
Le Fruité Vert
Making olive oil out of green olives is a specificity of Estoublon who makes the “Fruité Vert” (green fruity) its trademark. The characteristics associated with “Fruité vert” are astringence, sharpness, sophistication and freshness. All these make it a very high-end olive oil appreciated by gourmet from all over the world and multi-awarded at world contests.
The taste of Provence
“Would you like to taste our products?”, Laurie asked us on the way to the boutique. “For sure, we do.”
In the shop, the fine design, the refinement of the products assortment, the high customer service make the experience memorable. We got to try all the monovarietal oils from the softest to the strongest. To focus on the scents, we had no bread nor other food to accompany the oils. It was like navigating blindly in unknown countries. We tried the house blend introduced by Laurie earlier (a beautiful and authentic concentrate of Provence) and a few more flavored oils: thyme, lemon and basilic, definitely our favorite!
We ended up the visit on a high note with a glass of Roseblood Rosé to celebrate the magnificence of this territory and the precious Savoir-Faire of Estoublon.
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