Our region is located in the peninsula of Maleas, the natural end of the mountain range of Parnonas and it rises by the Myrtoo Sea and the Laconian Gulf. The altitude ranges on 0 – 650m. As a result, it features high solar and wind potential.
The geographical particularity of the area together with the climatic conditions, contribute to the creation of an ideal raw material for the production of high quality olive oil, as the olives ripe early and they are high in polyphenol levels.
The climate is characterized as mild Mediterranean with mild winter and warm summer. It benefits from higher elevation, which contributes to periods of lower winter temperatures and a moderate rainy season. The average annual max temperature is 23.2°C – the min 17.1°C (*), the total annual precipitation is 561.4(*) mm, and the average wind speed is 9 km/hr(*), providing therefore the ideal climate for the cultivation of the olive tree.
(* 2017 data from Monemvasia weather station)
Mana Gea Extra Virgin Olive oils, are produced from the “Koroneiki” and “Athinoelia” varieties, a marriage giving a superb and balanced full taste, aroma, richness in nutrient vitamins and an average acidity of less than 0.3%. The Koroneiki olive has a very high level of polyphenols, the chemical substances that may reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. The olive itself is very small but delivers a healthy punch.
The Athinoelia olive produces a unique combination of perfume, very spicy long lasting taste, and a large concentration of antioxidants .
The soils of the region come from an erosion hard limestone.
A typical type of vegetation of Quercetalia illicis appears in the area, with a distinct growth area. Also, the growth site of the Oleo-Ceratonion phyto-social association appears. It features a deep relief of limestone and slate rocks.
Soil analysis has shown that there is diversity. The soils in general can be classified as sandy-loamy(SL) , sandy- clay-loamy (SCL), sandy-clay(SC). For the production of excellent quality e olive oil, one of the conditions is that the acidity of the soil (pH) ranges between 7 – 8.
Our aim is to minimize the use of inputs , i.e. organic fertilizers and biological plant protection , combined with intercropping with other plants of the local flora , so the cultural environment is “wild countryside and not artificial olive monoculture “. The effect of our production in such an environment, results in a natural organic product of the highest standard.
The olive tree is sacred. We cultivate and treat it with respect, honor and passion. We make sure that we follow some techniques being used for centuries: Natural treatment of the soil and the natural environment of the olive groves (like usage of visia, lupinus, etc). Allow to grow those native plants and herbs that serve as nests for beneficial insects , or remove harmful (like nettle , thyme, mallow). Introducing water-saving agricultural practice. Our main tactic is “not for our trees to be thirsty “. As a result the ratio of oil to olive fruit increases, (hence higher polyphenols). Pruning after picking the fruit. This is a way of revitalizing the trees . This is because the olive tree has the natural property to be renewed when pruning off the branches. Different varieties of olive trees need different kind of pruning . Thus, we achieve natural renewal of trees largely reducing their needs for nutritional support with fertilizers . Additionally, because the pruning does not let them grow long , so their roots do not need much of water. This is part of our policy to manage water responsibly, as a valuable natural resource.
Our harvesting starts each year by mid of October, (and never on Tuesdays). This is an old tradition, since Tuesday was the day when Constantinople fell to the Ottomans, back in 1453 (a sad day for most of the Greeks). Depending on the year and weather conditions, it could last by end of February.
Since we blend different oils for our products, the first harvesting is dedicated to our Early Harvest: unriped “Athinoelia” olives, which yield less oil, but possess a high concentration of polyphenols, along with minimal acidity, full aromas and exquisite flavor. Harvesting of our “Athinoelia” variety, can last up to mid of December. Immediately after, we turn to “Koroneiki”. We start from “slow” olives (the ones that have less fruit), at lower elevations. Handpicked process is used and solely by mechanical means. After detachment from the tree, the olives are placed in specially olives fabric sacks (‘sacks ‘) or in plastic crates . The purpose of this practice is to provide adequate ventilation for the olive-fruit content so as to prevent rot. Only with these intense time an artisanal efforts, we make sure of producing Mana Gea.
Each time we are to proceed with the extraction, the olives are transferred to the olive mill within 6-18 hours (since each of our product has different time framework), without an intervention or storage or maintenance. For our Organic products we use a 2-phase system decanter (better retention of polyphenols because of minimal water usage throughout the process). During malaxation there is a minimal exposure to oxygen (in order to ensure optimal results). The temperature of the extraction of the oil depends again on which Mana Gea product we blend. For example for Early Harvest and 300 the extraction temperature does not exceed 21°C. For all of our organic products, max 23°C degrees and for the other oils 26°C. The purpose of limiting the exhaust temperature of the oil, is not to alter its fragrance and qualitative characteristics.
For someone who tries our products, we want to make sure that s(he) gets a superior Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Personalized. From traditional estates. 100% unique Laconian “Athinolia” and/or “Koroneiki” olive oil variety. Obtained solely by mechanical means. First cold pressing and/or Unfiltered. Full-bodied balanced flavor. In a dark glass bottle to preserve freshness. Harvesting Year indicated on the label. Naturally low acidity (with average 0,3% and as low as 0,2% – depending on the Harvest year). High levels of polyphenols. Rich in hydrocarbons and especially squalene and sterols . Superior qualitative characteristics. Bottled in Monemvasia, Laconia, Greece.
That has been produced for hundred of years with the same way and the same attitude.
Mana Gea Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Organic Farming products have been certified by Bio Hellas S.A. in accordance with (EC) 834/2007 and 889/2008 and their amendments, and as USDA Organic, in accordance with the OFPA and USDA organic regulations under the National Organic Program 7 CFR part 205.
Greece has the longest history of olive oil production than any other country in the world with countless producers of fine olive oil. The country has classification for many regions (protected designation of origin) to provide a benchmark for excellence. Mana Gea is proud to participate in this coveted and strictly regulated domain seal of P.G.I.Lakonia (Protected Geographical Indication, certified by AGROCERT