The olives start as small buds in the early spring. Within several months, they start to take their familiar egg-like shape. By the time they ripen and are ready to be picked in the early winter, they’ll be approximately the size of a small almond. Some varieties are black when ripe, while others are green.
Olives are firm to the touch when ripe, yielding slightly to pressure. Depending on the variety, a mature tree produces 200-300 lbs of olives annually. A rough ratio of the oil produced is approximately 1:5--1 lb of olive oil produced for every 5 lbs of olives pressed.
What makes our olives so special?
While the majority of olive trees in the Sparta region are of the famed Koroneiki variety, there are many other varieties present. The diversity of the olives results in an oil blend that is complex and flavorful.
Approximately 80% of the olives in Spartan Oil are of the Koroneiki variety, which produces a fruity and buttery flavor. Another 15% is of the Athinolia variety, which has a more pungent taste, and the remaining 5% are "heritage" varieties, which have been present for hundreds of years in the area. This unique blend of olives results in an oil that is flavorful, but balanced, with no overpowering flavors.