Efthimiadi Estate, where we produce Eliris is a cherished family organic olive grove, which nestles in the foothills of the Menikio mountains in northern Greece. Home to a rare collection of 2500 trees of legendary Greek olive varieties, such as Koroneiki, Manaki, Megaritiki, Kalamon, Tsunati and Halkidiki to name a few.
Having developed a considered management approach, we focus on getting the best out of our olives, in the most natural way. We don’t use any chemical herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, insecticides or chemical fertilizers. We encourage a natural predator/prey eco-sysyem and keep our trees well nourished from the root to the leaves. We combine traditional farming techniques with modern extraction for optimum quality.
This is a brief insight into our typical yearly agricultural cycle, although techniques and timings vary depending on local conditions.
Mild and wet, winter is when we prepare the trees for the year ahead.
We prune with clean, sharp tools, in the classic vase shape, to give each fruiting branch sufficient sunlight.
We lay the prunings out along the avenues and mulch them to return the goodness to the soil.
Larger branches are cut and stored for the log-burning stove that keeps our home warm and welcoming.
The grass is mowed and the trees are sprayed with an organically certified copper and lime mixture to prevent fungal infections to the pruned trees.
Longer, warmer days bring the estate to life with wild flowers, herbs and, of course, the olive blossom.
We keep the pasture short by mowing, leaving the cuttings of clover, peas and various grasses as ‘green manure’ to nourish the trees.
This also keeps weeds down & helps to retain precious moisture in the ground during the summer.
We also start our foliar feeding programme by spraying organically certified seaweed solution, rich in nitrogen and other nutrients.
We can spray up to six times during the spring & summer.
Once the thousands of creamy white blossoms have fallen, tiny green olives begin to form.
This is the season of patience, when we keep a watchful eye over the precious fruits and do everything we can to protect them.
The trees are irrigated only if northern Greece is not blessed with the usual gentle summer showers.
These will grow over the winter, fixing nitrogen in their roots to nourish the soil.
When the olives just start to turn from green to purple, it’s harvest time.
Nets are laid under the trees, and the branches gently combed by hand to release the olives.
Only olives direct from the tree are pressed, never those that have already fallen to the ground.
When the harvest is safely gathered, the pressing begins.
Unfiltered, the fresh olive oil is then stored in a temperature controlled environment at the estate to settle naturally before being decanted into specially selected small premium dark glass bottles to preserve its quality, aroma and flavour.
We only ever supply fresh olive oil from the current season of harvest.
The grove has 2,500 olive trees over 7 hectares (17 acres) at approx 270m above sea level. All electricity needs are provided for by 32 solar photovoltaic roof panels and all surplus power generated is automatically fed into the national power network.