The Mas Blanc Mill

Production of olive oil

The production of olive oil is a long and delicate job. In Provence the harvesting of olives usually takes place in November and December. All olives are green to begin with and become black as they mature, by July they will have reached their full size, and by August their natural oil will have begun to develop.
Once the olives have been harvested, the leaves are removed and the olives are cleaned. They are then crushed in order to avoid oxidation. During the extraction process the olives are grounded into tiny bits and then into a creamy paste. The olive oil is obtained by a stainless steel extracting olive mill with a two phase system (phase 1: extraction of oil; phase two: outflow of waste ,i.e. pulp and crushed pits ) at slow rotation ( 3200 turns per minute compared to 5000 turns per minute for a large capacity mill). Thanks to the small period of time between the crushing/kneading phase and the oil extraction, one obtains the best cold extraction regarding time and temperature control.
Moreover, the small amount of water added to the extraction process, compared to a large mill, less than a third, allows obtaining an olive oil offering maximum taste, olfactory matter, intensity of colour and long conservation. The cold pressing separates the water from the oil which now is a pure fruit juice, 100% natural. Following this process the oil is stocked for up to five months, during which time it is decanted several times to remove any pulp remaining from extraction, as the oil is not filtered, and during which time it matures and only then it is ready for bottleling.

Our strong and pronounced oil delivers all the nutritional benefits and has a long shelf life.
Extra virgin olive oil must have less than .8% acidity level; ours contains on the average .2%, indicating a minimum time, between harvest and processing.

Provençal Olive Oil

  • Yesterday: Homer called it "liquid gold." From the beginning of 5000 B.C. and until 1400 B.C., olive cultivation spread from Crete to Syria, Palestine, and Israel; commercial networking and application of new knowledge then brought it to Southern Turkey, Cyprus, and Egypt. With the expansion of the Greek colonies, olive culture reached Southern Italy and Northern Africa in the eighth century B.C., then finally spread into Southern France. In 1840 there were 26 million trees, covering an area of 1,680 square kilometers. But even though olive trees have an almost titanic resistance, a devastating freeze in 1956 destroyed most of the Provencal olive trees. Only a 1/3 of the olive trees survived, and they currently only represent 200 square kilometers for 3.5 million trees in France.
  • Today: Of the 830 million olive trees cultivated throughout the world, 90 % of them are to be found in the Mediterranean basin. Spain and Italy are leading producers, followed by Greece, Turkey, Tunisia and Morocco.

Provence with its 3.5 million olive trees takes the 12th position world-wide in term of production (statistics UNCTAD)- but in terms of quality  and due to its climate conditions, it is considered to be one of the regions producing the best olive oils in the world. The Provence Alpes Cotes d'Azur region provides 70% of the national production of olive oil.