Are there differences?

Many factors affect differences in how Extra Virgin Olive Oils Taste.

• Like grapes olives have thousands of different cultivars. Different olives taste differently.

• Like wine, a master producer can create a beautiful blend of different olives to create their signature oils.

• You can use a single cultivar or one variety of olive to create a monocultivar olive oil.

• Like grapes the soil also called the terroir can affect the taste of the olive. Is it chaulky or sandy, is it at a high elevation, is it near the sea?

•The amounts and timing of watering can affect the taste of the oil and how much oil is created in the fruit.

• Was the tree infested/ affected by the Olive fly or some other pest/condition?

• Were the olives frozen (frost) while on the tree?

Harvesting and storage methods have a huge effect on the quality of the oil produced.

  • When the olives are picked  and what proportion are unripe vs ripe in the overall batch?
  • Are the olives that are picked in good, unblemished condition or are some rotten ones picked from the ground which have already started to ferment?
  • Once picked are they put into clean plastic bins with ample air circulating around the fruit as they go to the mill?
  • Are the olives washed and crushed within hours in a meticulously clean mill or are they left in burlap sacks left for days fermenting until they get transported to a mill far away to be crushed?
  • Is the mill modern, mechanical and pristinely cleaned?
  • or is it an old fashioned stone mill with matts that can never be perfectly cleaned between uses?
  • How long is the malaxation process? (the crushing of fruit and pits to extract the oil from the vegetable water)
  • Once the oil is produced how is it stored and for how long?
  • How is it bottled and stored before going out to consumers?
  • and finally how is the olive oil stored and for how long is it in the retail store before you buy it and ultimately open and use it!

So you see many things affect flavour and potentially create defects in a bottle of extra virgin olive oil!