Olive Oil Selection by Oliviers&Co
Each stage of the olive oil production process - from deciding when to harvest the olives to the pressing, bottling and storage of the oil - needs to be conducted under optimal conditions for the resulting oils to be considered for Oliviers&Co’s selection. For example, the trees may bear the perfectly ripened green olives that are then hand harvested, but if the conditions of the press are not hygienic or if the olive “paste” is heated above a certain temperature, the result will be an inferior oil.
To select the best wines, there is no secret: you have to taste them. For olive oil, it is exactly the same thing. You have to use your senses (sight, smell and taste) to perceive the quality of the land and the work of the producer behind each exceptional olive oil. Our producers guarantee the terroir, the olive varieties and a vintage olive oil produced in the purest regional tradition and in sustainable agriculture.
Just as tomatoes, mozzarella and basil taste better in Italy, the elements that impact an olive tree’s: elevation, irrigation, climate, the nature of the soil, and countless others are key ingredients in determining the quantity, the quality and the taste of an olive oil. The saying 'it matters where it comes from' is the holy grail. From one year to the other, from one country to the other, the olive harvest may vary a lot in terms of quality and quantity. This why all our Grands Crus are limited editions and so different one from each other. These limited editions, one of our proof of quality explain why some Grands Crus are quickly out of stock.
The Oliviers&Co laboratory is a temple dedicated to extreme quality control. It is here that each year, Eric Verdier, our oléicologue, and our tasting committee taste 800 - 1,200 samples sent to us by the 250 producers who meet our specifications.
There are 3 primary tests performed as our tasting selection criteria: examination of the oil in a transparent container to check its luminescence and if it is an unblended oil, short inhalations that uncovers faults, tasting... 'the moment of truth' that allows Eric to measure an oil's fluidity, known as the 'capacity to slide on the tongue'. There are also the oil's notes that we believe are dominant 'characteristics' when 'tasting' an olive oil. All the steps are essential because it allows us to refine our definition of organoleptic characteristics: taste, smell and texture. The selected olive oils are submitted to a weekly sensory analysis test in order to follow their evolution and stability over time.
The end result is a pre-selection of oils, each scored on a scale of 200, which are then tested by a small committee. Each harvest and year, only between 20 and 30 batches of olive oil are selected with leading.