The Greek Olive Estate has combined an age-old fruit with modern technology to create Drop of Life Organic Healthy Limited Reserve Extra Virgin Olive Oil from a naturally evolved olive variety with 3005mg/Kg total polyphenols, twelve times higher than required for a certified EU Health Claim!
Just hours after an early late September harvest, amongst the herbs on the mountainous slopes of Arcadia near the tiny village of Rizospilia, the Greek Olive Estate team select their finest olives and transport them to the mill. There, they extract the olive juice under carefully controlled conditions to produce and preserve the highest phenolic content possible. Only 150 bottles were made in the 2021 harvest.
Polyphenols are responsible for the characteristic spicy and bitter aftertaste of superior extra virgin olive oil and are associated with profound health benefits. Polyphenols protect blood lipids from oxidative stress, contribute to the reduction of cholesterol levels, fight cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, certain types of cancer, reduce stroke risk, contribute to longevity and have anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory qualities.
- Olympia olive variety
- Polyphenols 2331mg/kg – 10 times higher than EU Health Claim requirement
- Cold pressed
Taste and Aroma
Early harvest olive oil with grassy aromas and having a strong spicy and bitter flavour.
“Here at The Greek Olive Estate we produce olive oil with the goal of extracting as many of the healthy polyphenols as we can! We harvest the trees, transport the olives to the mill, turn the olives into olive oil, store the olive oil, bottle the olive oil, and send our High-Phenolic Extra Virgin Olive Oils Drop of Life and PhenOLIV to people around the world!
We often get asked why our olive oil has such high Polyphenols. We like to say it’s about 40% our variety, 20% harvest, and about 40% the olive mill.
We are very fortunate to live in a land where olives grow naturally, we are also lucky our ancestors chose to preserve our natural variety instead of replacing it with more commercially popular varieties. We don’t chemically alter our trees or our olive oil, we don’t add any additives at any stage in the production process.
We believe in a natural, healthy product, produced in the most advanced way possible!
All of our olive oil is produced from the organic, 100% natural olive trees in our Estate and our neighbours in the area. Our trees are the Olympia variety, a variety from our region, grafted on wild olive trees in a tradition handed down generations.
Through time our variety has gone through a number of names and to this day is still not registered on the national registry of varieties. Some of these names are; Choraitiki, Nemoutiana, Paleokastritsa, Ladolia and Ntopia Atsicholou.
Some of the oldest trees in our Estate are believed to date back over 300 years and we continue to increase the number of trees every year using the same methods! Today, we harvest selectively from approximately 20,000 trees. Many of the trees are ours, many are from collaborating farms and sometimes we work with other farmers too!
Most of the trees are located at altitudes between 150 – 300m. We prune our trees almost every year, we monitor our trees using Smart Farming techniques and we only use certified Organic fertilizers (we rarely use those as well)! We are proud to look after our trees!
Planning a harvest can be complicated, we monitor things like the condition of the olives, the weather, how fast we get to the mill, the temperature, the humidity, and other factors. We are always adapting our harvest and milling procedures to get the best out of our olives.
We start our harvest around early October when the olives tell us they are ready! We harvest by hand using electrically generated rods at a low turning speed in order to avoid damaging both the tree and the olives. We store our olives in small crates and transport them to the mill within a couple of hours.
We don’t harvest when the olives are wet, when the temperature is too high, we don’t step on the olives, we store our crates in the shade and do everything within reason to keep the olives as close to the condition they were on the tree when they reach the olive mill!
The Olive Mill
We have visited over 100 olive mills and extracted olive oil from olives in over 30 of them over the last years in an attempt to extract the olive oil from our olives in the best possible way! We have performed countless tests on different machines using different parameters accompanied by tests of the olive oil with a goal to increase the level of polyphenols!
We have acquired a tremendous amount of information, made friends along the way who have learned with us, and are confident we can produce high phenolic olive oil consistently each year! We are still learning, testing every year, and improving the process as we move ahead! We transport our olives almost 200km to get to the right mill!
We always use a two-phase certified organic olive mill! The process is always mechanical, we never use solvents, additives, or other methods of chemically enhancing the procedure. The process is always cold-pressed. We focus on things like cleanliness, professionalism, and a willingness to spend extra hours planning, making changes to equipment and processes with the goal of producing a high phenolic, organic, extra virgin olive oil!
We control things like the quality of water, the time spent in the malaxer, the temperatures at all stages of production, and how we can minimize the stress the olives go through. We also delve into the specifics of equipment, make changes to technical parameters, use new technologies, and are constantly looking at ways to improve!
We store almost all of our batches during production separately. We always use food-certified equipment like pumps and pipes and choose INOX over certified plastics when it is an option.
We selectively analyse and test our olive oil to help us categorize our olive oil depending on the level of polyphenols we use for our different olive oils.
When we are finished with our harvest and ready with our olive oil we filter the olive oil and store it in INOX tanks ranging from 50Kg to 2tonne filled with Argon or Nitrogen to prevent oxidation. We control the temperature in the storage room to avoid extreme high and low temperatures which can affect the olive oil!
We bottle our olive oil in small batches depending on our orders. We don’t bottle all our olive oil after the harvest because we know that it keeps better in the monitored conditions we have in our storage tanks.
We bottle our Drop of Life – Limited Reserve Organic and our PhenOLIV Organic bottles in semi-automated equipment by hand to protect the bottles and packaging. We bottle our Drop of Life Organic range in fully automated equipment!
We always use an ISO Certified, Organic Certified, FDA Registered and Nationally approved facility to bottle our olive oil.
We don’t bottle olive oil from the previous harvest. All of our bottles have a LOT Number and Best Before date in the format below. Our olive oils have a Best Before date ranging from 12 months to 24 months depending on the level of Polyphenols.
LOT: C05-22010 (the 5th bottling of the Year 2022 bottled on the 10th day of the year)
B/B: 25/JUN/22 (Best Before: 25th June 2022 dd/mmm/yy)
Historically, olive oil has been an integral part of the Mediterranean tradition and diet. Consumption of extra virgin olive oil is associated with increased life expectancy as it contains high levels of phenols, tocopherols and phytosterols. EVOO has been the subject of many scientific studies and research in recent years. The presence of polyphenols such as, oleocanthal (a potent antioxidant in plants) has been linked to a number of health benefits, including decreasing inflammation, regulating blood sugar levels and potentially reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Olive oil is also an example of a heart-healthy fat source, consisting primarily of monounsaturated fatty acids. A review by the American Heart Association has shown that replacing saturated fats (such as those found in butter, lard, and coconut oil) with monounsaturated fats (such as those found in olive oil) is linked with a significantly lower risk of heart disease. Drop of Life Healthy EVOO is rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that help lower ‘bad cholesterol’ (LDL) and offer a good ratio between HDL (‘good cholesterol’) and LDL (‘bad cholesterol’) cholesterol.
Drop of Life Limited Reserve EVOO is also particularly high in squalene. Squalene is a natural antioxidant found in extra virgin olive oil and in sharks. Commonly used in skin care products, it helps to soothe skin irritation and aids wounds to heal, as well as reducing cholesterol, helping decrease the risk of some cancers and inhibiting tumour growth.
More information about clinical trials investigating the benefits of high phenolic EVOO in Leukaemia patients can be found here.
More information about polyphenols can be found here.
More information about oleocanthal can be found here.
More information about Drop of Life’s EU Health Claim can be found here.
More to the Gourmet Story…
“Who We Are
We are The Greek Olive Estate, a company established in 2012 by Costas Mathiopoulos with a vision to promote the High-Phenolic Extra Virgin Olive Oil from our small rural village and share our love for our land.
Born in 1949, Costas would later move around the world and settle in the UK in 1981, becoming a major supplier of agricultural produce to UK supermarkets for over 20 years.
In 2012 he set up The Greek Olive Estate to show the world what our little village, in a pristine natural environment could offer.
Today, we work hand in hand with other local, like-minded producers and family members to consistently produce the highest levels of polyphenols in olive oil measured worldwide.
Where We Are
Located in the historical region of Arcadia, on the slopes of the mountainous valleys of the Alfeios River, our village has been a stop along the Alfeios River dating back to Ancient Greece for travellers heading to Olympia to take part in the first Olympic Games.
Inhabited for thousands of years and having changed many names our village was renamed Kato Rizospilia in 1988 and is today part of the Municipality of Gortynia in the Arcadia Prefecture of the Peloponnese.
A primarily agricultural area, for thousands of years, wild olive trees have grown in harmony alongside beneficial herbs and aromatic plants, harvested in a timeless ritual and tended with meticulous care by our ancestors.
What We Do
In 2010, although we knew our olive oil was different, we discovered that the cause of this difference was the very high level of naturally occurring polyphenols. Over 30 times higher than previously thought possible.
We spent the next few years developing our harvest and milling practices and testing with the help of lead researchers in the field of healthy olive oil and in 2016 produced the first olive oil with over 3000mg/kg Total Polyphenols ever recorded.
Polyphenols are responsible for the majority of health benefits associated with olive oil and the focus of new research around Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Autism and other ailments.
Today, we cultivate, produce and package High-Phenolic Extra Virgin Olive Oil with one goal: to preserve the natural flavour, quality and health benefits.
Using the experience handed down through generations, combining it with modern research, harvest practises, milling techniques and by actively taking part in health benefits research, clinical trials and harvest tests we have gained invaluable knowledge which we use to produce, develop and improve our products.”
Awards and Features
Awarded Gold in the Olympia Awards ‘Health & Nutrition’ 2021 and 2020.
Awarded Silver in the Healthy Diets Awards ‘Functional Products’ 2020
Awarded Platinum in the Berlin GOOA ‘High Polyphenols’ 2020