The Lakonía Region: Optimal Climate for Koroneiki Olive Trees
Lakonía is a Prefecture in Greece, located in the southern tip of the Peloponnese. Olive oil production in Lakonía began around 1500 BC. It has the most favorable conditions in the world for producing the finest quality olive oil. Lakonia has hot, dry summers and mild winters that have allowed olive trees to thrive since ancient times. Some of our trees are over a hundred years old, and are still producing due to the rich, unique soil composition and a rocky, mountainous terrain. In many parts of Greece, rich soil is hard to find, and the Lakonía region has some of its best. The mountains are ideal for our olive trees to gain rich exposure from the sun, while benefiting from the salty sea breezes of the Mediterranean coast.
Lakonía’s geographic location and social and economic infrastructure dictate that only a small amount of the 100% natural top-shelf olive oil actually makes it to consumers outside the region. Lakonía produces some the highest quality olive oil in the world, so it is in strong demand in neighboring countries. Their extra virgin oil is purchased in bulk and blended with lower-quality oils to obtain an acidity level of less than .8% and to enhance the flavor.
DÁFNI Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil is an exceptional single variety, from the renowned Koroneiki olive. Our oil of the Koroneiki is never blended with other oils, thus maintaining its purity and delicate flavor. When picking our olives, timing is everything. Harvest occurs just before the olives ripen and change color, usually in early December, when the acidity is low and the fruit is at its peak. The olives must be handled carefully and are handpicked to ensure the fruit and trees are not damaged. Handpicking is very labor intensive but is essential for the highest quality oil. Family and friends gather to share the effort. Olives that have dropped off the tree are not gathered because only the undamaged, fresh olives are suitable for the finest olive oil. If an olive is bruised, the acidity levelrises, decreasing the oil’s quality of flavor and shelf life. Within 24 hours of this process, the olives are carefully gathered and brought to our local mill. Extraction must occur immediately after the harvest to avoid any chemical changes from taking place. This process is closely monitored, a critical step in producing a premium grade extra virgin olive oil.