(v.) to do something with soul, creativity, or love; to put something of yourself into your work
Efthimiadi Estate is managed ‘with meraki’ by Iris & Sam, who met while enjoying successful careers in London. In October 2008, they chose to give up their comfortable salariesto return home to honour her father’s memory by rejuvenating and tending the cherished family olive grove. To build a business of value to their family, the local rural economy and above all to the consumer with a commitment to quality and diversity.
“Although we knew it would be a risk, the idea was always to not only brand and market a unique product but to actually produce it ourselves, so we have that personal connection and responsibility and the successes are all the more meaningful and rewarding. We absolutely love what we do and share a passion for it. Eliris is our inspiration and we want to share our story with those who are inspired to join us for the journey.”
Founded by Iris’ late father, Euripides Efthimiadis in 1974, the estate was chosen for its stunning position in the foothills of the Menikio mountains and specifically for its perfect growing conditions for olive & nut trees. His passion for good food & nature, led him to plant the estate with olive, almond, fig, walnut & many fruit trees, such as peach, pear, apple, pomegranate & cherry.
Although the region was renowned for fine wine, it was not known for olives at the time. Euripides dared to experiment and planted a diverse range of olive varieties from the four corners of Greece, to see how each variety would develop. If only he was alive today to see what his vision has become and see how all the varieties have flourished. It is this field-blend of varieties together with fastidious management and ideal terroir that gives Eliris its unique signature and rare qualities.
Euripides devoted all his spare time to the grove & his family. He fully believed in an organic approach to cultivating olives, but unfortunately didn’t get to live his dream of sharing the fruits of the grove with others.
“It is this legacy that we have returned to fulfil, embracing his passion & work ethic, to create something extraordinary. The joy of working with nature and producing a natural, healthy product that people really enjoy is a thrilling experience and we are sure Euripides would be very proud.”
Location Latitude: 41.17221 / Longitude: 23.84314
Size 6 Hectares
Varieties Koroneiki, Kalamon, Tsunati, Megaritiki, Manaki, Amfisa and Halkidiki to name a few.
Training System Open Vase by hand
Harvested by hand
Extraction System Modern continuous centrifuge
Organic Status Certified organic by BIO Hellas S.A.
Power Solar (contributing to the national power network)
A Year in the Life
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.
Winter ~ Pruning and mulching
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.
Spring ~ Mowing and flowering
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.
Summer ~ Fruit development & protection
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.
Autumn ~ Sowing and harvesting
After the first autumn rains, We sow pea seeds by hand. 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.
Within hours, our olives are taken to the local mill where the oil is quickly extracted in a clean, state of the art Pieralisi continuous centrifugal olive press. 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.