The production of extra virgin olive oil, Protected Designation of Origin PDO Messara takes place in Messara the area that includes the largest plain on Crete. It stretches southeast of Mount Psiloritis, north of Mount Kofina and ends west to the Libyan Sea. These geographical parameters in the area which is the southernmost point of the European continent where the olive tree is cultivated, contribute to the creation of a specific microclimate for the development of olive cultivation, which is not found in any other region of Crete and Greece.
The presence of olive trees in Crete is confirmed for the first time in the Middle Neolithic period (5400-4400 BC). According to researchers, the olive cultivation passed on to Crete from the beaches of the eastern Mediterranean, but one cannot exclude the possibility that it started simultaneously in several places, where the conditions were appropriate. The olive-growing knowledge of the Minoans first appeared and was put into practice in some of the densely populated and then developed areas, such as Messara with ancient Phaestos and Gortys, Asterousia, Ierapetra and Sitia. Numerous findings of the Minoan era, such as paintings, art objects, jewellery, utensils, olive processing tools, and olive stones found in Minoan tombs in Phaestos and Lentas on the edge of the Libyan sea, go to show the existence of the olive fruit back in those days. Today in the age archaeological site of Gortys, there are olive trees more than 1000 years old.
Memorial tree in the archaeological site of Gortys. Its trunk encloses an ancient Roman pillar
The olive oil symbol in linear writing B, inscriptions of which have been found in the excavations of Phaestos and Gortys in Messara.
For more than six decades and three generations Fanourgaki’s family has been engaged in olive tree growing in the greater area of Stoli in central Messara. Now with respect to the tradition and the values of this blessed place and with reverent upholding of all modern agricultural practices, we produce our extra virgin olive oil from a large number of privately owned olive trees, as well as select producers of our family and our region. Our olive trees are solely the famous Koroneiki variety, which has been described by experts as the most important variety of olive trees in the world for the production of high-quality olive oil. The standardization and packaging of our products are done in our modern premises in Thessaloniki. The whole process is certified by ISO 22000 for hygiene and food safety and our products are certified by Agrocert the state body responsible for the protected designation of origin.
Our olive grove at the stage of flowering
Our olive grove on Google maps
The olive harvest begins in late November and is made solely by mechanical means. It ends in mid-January, depending on the circumstances and the fruit ripening stages. The transportation as well as the processing of the fruit at the olive oil factory is always done on the same day in order to ensure the maximum quality characteristics. The kneading of the olive paste is made exclusively at temperatures never exceeding 27 0C and for a period less than 45 minutes since the filling of the kneading machines. The olive oil is then stored in stainless steel tanks in our standardization premises. All tanks have a nitrogen supply system, thereby maintaining the organoleptic characteristics of olive oil at the best possible level and eliminating the risk of oxidation by atmospheric oxygen up to the stage of final bottling. So the final product is kept fresh with all the highest quality characteristics until its final consumption.
Loaded olive tree of gigantic dimensions in our fields
Our olive grove on Google maps