Olive Oil Production in Greece

Nov 07, 10 Olive Oil Production in Greece

Greece devotes 60% of its cultivated land to olive growing. It is the world's top producer of black olives and has more varieties of olives than any other country. Greece holds third place in world olive production with more than 132 million trees, which produce approximately 350,000 tons of olive oil annually, of

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which 82% is extra-virgin . About half of the annual Greek olive oil production is exported, but only some 5% of this reflects the origin of the bottled product. Greece exports mainly to European Union (EU) countries, principally Italy, which receives about three-quarters of total

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exports. Olives are grown for oil in Greece, with Peloponnese being the source of 65% of Greek production, as well as in Crete, the Aegean Islands and Ionian Islands. The most prized Greek olive variety for oil production is the Koroneiki, originating from the area of Korone in Messenia, Peloponnese. This variety grows well on mountain slopes and produces very small fruit; the high ratio of skin to flesh giving the oil its coveted aromatic qualities. The variety is also suited to the production of agourelaio, oil from olives that are slightly unripe. When crushed in presses that are not capable of grinding the stone, this oil is entirely free of acidity and possesses top-tier organoleptic characteristics. Because not crushing the stones reduces oil yield, production of agourélaio is limited to "boutique" presses run by entrepreneurs and small cooperatives.

(via wikipedia)

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