How Greek Olive Oil is Made:
A Detailed Breakdown of the Production Process

The process of making high-quality olive oil is a complex and intricate one, involving a range of steps that require careful attention to detail.
Olive trees are cultivated and cared for throughout the year to ensure healthy growth and a bountiful harvest. This includes pruning old branches, watering, and grooming the soil to ensure optimal conditions for the trees to grow.
Olives are typically harvested in the late fall to early winter months, when they are fully ripe and have reached their optimal level of oil content. Depending on the region, olives may be picked by hand or by mechanical means.
Once the olives are harvested, they are washed to remove any dirt or debris that may have accumulated during the harvest.
After washing, the olives are crushed or ground into a paste using a traditional stone mill or a modern hammer mill. This process breaks down the cell walls of the olives and releases the oil.
The paste is then mixed and kneaded to release the oil droplets from the solid parts of the olives. This process is called malaxation and allows the oil to separate more easily from the paste.
Separation / Cold Pressing
The oil droplets are separated from the rest of the paste using a centrifuge, which separates the heavier water and solid parts from the lighter oil.
Cold-pressed olive oil is made by mechanically crushing the olives without the use of heat or chemicals.
Cold-pressed olive oil is considered to be of higher quality as it retains more of the flavor and beneficial properties of the olives.
The oil is then filtered to remove any impurities, such as bits of olive or water that may have remained in the oil after the separation process. Depending on the manufacturer, the oil is filtered with additional machines or by natural methods.
Tasting and Quality control
Before the oil is sold, it is often tested by experts to ensure its flavor, aroma, and color meet the necessary standards. The oil is then tested for quality and purity, and may be subject to certification by government or industry organizations.
Bottling and labeling
The final product is then bottled in dark glass or tin containers to protect it from light and air. The label on the bottle of olive oil contains important information such as the type of oil, the origin, the harvest date, and the producer. It is essential for consumers to read the label to ensure they are getting the type of oil they desire.
Finally, the bottled oil is distributed to stores, restaurants and markets for sale to consumers.
Each of these steps is essential in producing high-quality olive oil that is rich in flavor and nutritional properties. The traditional methods used in Greek olive oil production, as well as the unique terroir and climate of the region, all contribute to the exceptional taste and quality of Greek olive oil.