The prosperity of Crete has been interwoven with olives since the first European civilization began to emerge with the ancient Minoans. They were the first to discover its riches, using it for food and light and they have never lost their value since. In the greater Sitia area, ancient pots and amphora were found full of olives and laid out as an offering to the gods – an offering that no man dare present to the divine unless it was the most valuable and pure he had.
The Sitian Union of Agricultural Co-operatives is no small endeavor. It unified producers across the whole region and reflects their common desire to produce olive oil in the most modern facilities. Of the 41 primary co-operatives there are 8000 farmers, amongst which are found those who have been farming from “grandfather to grandfather”, those who have a deep affinity with the land, those who have heard the call and returned.
Extra virgin olive oil is the defining mark of the Mediterranean diet and boasts superior quality to its competitors. Much has been written regarding its nutritional value and health benefits. High in vitamins E, A and K and beneficial fatty acids. Its key health benefits however, are its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Medical studies also show that extra virgin olive oil, helps prevent cardiovascular disease and lower blood pressure. No wonder top chefs never tire their raving about it.
SITIA - THE PERFECT OLIVE MICROCLIMATE
In Sitia, like a great recipe, all the conditions fittingly come together to produce something more superior and unique: The terrain with its high mountains, imposing plateaus, inaccessible gorges but also planes and sandy shores, all doing their part to create the perfect climate, soil and slopes. And then sun, many months of it, hour upon hour of overhead sunshine, and in contrast little rainfall and low humidity. It is a master recipe with the name “Koroneiki”, producing olives with intensely fruity and mildly pungent olive oil, with a long aftertaste, found nowhere else in Greece.