On a visit to Crete there is one thing that is impossible to miss: olive trees. Olive oil is vital to the local economy as well as the backbone of the Mediterranean diet. The average Cretan consumes over 30 liters of olive oil annually. But we are not the only ones consuming Cretan olive oil. Cretan olive oil accounts for 5% of the world's olive oil production. More than half of Crete's land is planted with olive trees. While almost every village has an olive mill, none are quite like Biolea.
When visiting Biolea, you will meet Chloe Dimitriadis, who is a 6th generation olive oil producer. She greets you with a warm smile and a plethora of knowledge. Biolea produces olive oil only from olive trees that they own, care for, and harvest themselves. This ensures that the olives are organic and that the harvesting process is done gently to maintain the highest possible quality. The olive oil is produced from the koroneiki olive variety. It is a hearty varietal that can withstand the winds and altitude of the area surrounding the mill.
Biolea stone mills their olives. Thankfully, the huge stones are not turned by a donkey like they were years ago. Chloe’s father, George, designed robotics to mimic the traditional way of making olive oil to comply with modern hygiene standards. The olive paste that’s created after being milled is placed between woven mats made from plastic fibers instead of goat hair or other found materials that were used traditionally. Once lightly pressed in a modern hydraulic machine, the olive oil is left to separate from the olive juice naturally before bottling.
The taste of Biolea’s olive oil is unlike anything you’ve ever had. It’s a pure, unadulterated gift from Mother Nature. It is hard to consume just any olive oil after you’ve had the best. Biolea Estate is a family owned and operated olive oil mill located in rolling hills of the municipality of Kolymbari. Their focus is making the best possible organic olive oil while respecting tradition and the environment.
You can read the full article on Chania Wine tours who offer private and planned tours to explore the natural treasures of Crete.
By Anna Maria Kambourakis