Our Olive Story
Our Olive Story
The Olive Tree
The Koroneiki olive tree is considered one of the most precious plants in Greece: It loves the sun, appreciates the water and when properly treated, produces a generous crop. Olive trees need 3 to 5 years to mature and start producing olives. Each winter, they need a few days with temperatures under 50°F, so they can break dormancy and initiate flowering.
Our olive trees flower between early March and late April. By the beginning of June, tiny fruit are clearly visible. When the fruit begins to change color in November or December, we know the olives are ready for harvest.
Harvest is an exciting time for our family. We spread nets under the olive trees and use an air compressor system to shake the fruit from the trees. After the nets are full, we place the olives into well-aerated cloth bags, then move on to the next tree. Branches heavily loaded with olives are cut off and fed into a machine which separates the olives directly into bags and discards the branches to the side. When evening comes, we carry the bags to the mill to make sure the olives are processed within a few hours from harvest.
We start harvesting our olives in early December, when the olives are still partially green. Although green olives yield less oil than black olives, they produce oil of superior quality with an extended shelf life.
Extracting Our Olive Oil
Our family’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil has always been produced with great care and to the highest standards of quality. We grow only the very best Koroneiki olives and immediately extract the oil at low temperatures. We physically oversee the olive pressing and continuously measure the temperature to ensure it remains low throughout the extraction process. Pressing our olives immediately after harvest produces the most delicious olive oil.
For the first 50 years, our olive oil was produced using a traditional press which used pressure to extract the oil from the olives. In the 1970’s, we moved to a faster, more efficient press which mechanically crushed the olives for better oil extraction. In the late 1990’s, the introduction of new olive oil centrifuge technology enabled us to increase the quality of our oil yet again as we moved to high-speed,low-temperature extraction. Paeleon Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a First Press olive oil and is never exposed to temperatures over 92°F.
Storing, Shipping & Bottling
We take special measures to minimize the exposure of our olive oil to air, heat and sunlight...from the moment its pressed until it reaches our customers. After extraction, we place the fresh olive oil in stainless steel tanks and store it at room temperature for approximately two months. When any remaining olive parts have formed a sediment at the bottom of the tanks, the clean, unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil is carefully packed into 4.5 gallon tins and shipped by ocean freight to the United States. After passing through customs control, we transport the sealed tins to our storehouse in Madison, Wisconsin.
Paeleon Extra Virgin Olive Oil is packaged in glass bottles of different sizes, shapes and colors. All bottles are rinsed, sanitized and thoroughly dried before our Extra Virgin Olive Oil is bottled in a certified facility in Granton, Wisconsin.