Mirambello Valley terroir
produces some of the world’s finest olive oils
Much like wine, the characteristics of an olive oil - its quality, taste, aroma and colour - are determined by its environment and growing conditions. The fertile valley of Neapoli, also called Mirambello Valley, is recognized to produce some of the finest olive oils in the world.
The valley is near the coast on the Greek island of Crete with a geomorphology and microclimate ideal for olive cultivation: cold wet winters and hot dry summers. The rains roll down the mountains and hills of various elevations, running into many small dales like a natural irrigation system. This rainwater brings nutrients from the forests and wooded slopes into the olive groves. The valley is untouched by industry and unchanged by mass tourism. Pretty country roads wind their way through small isolated dales, terraced olive groves, tiny villages, monastic dependencies and fields of aromatic herbs and wildflowers.
Spiny phrygana and maquis such as evergreen holly (Quercus ilex) are common, as are Kermes oak, common oak and wild olive trees (Olea europaea oleaster). In spring, the landscape is transformed into a bright carpet of wild flowers: among them, the yellows of Jerusalem sage (Phlomis lonata), Bermuda buttercups and broom, the distinctive white and yellow chamomile and colourful species of orchid.
In late spring and summer, the air is flooded with the heady scents of the essential oils released by Greek sage (Salvia fruticosa), Cretan oregano (origanum onites) and flowering thyme (Thymus capitatus). All these contribute to a balanced ecosystem which pollinates and enriches the unique flavour and aromas of our olive oil.