Olive oil from our own tree….

March 20, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Outside our cellar the almond tree has burst into flower; the bees are buzzing and the air is noisy with the excitement brought by the Spring equinox.

Almond tree in spring flower, Cairanne, Rhone

In the vineyard all is quiet though and we must wait a little longer for our vines to bud and flower. As we wait, we savour the fruits of our most recent  harvest – olive oil from the ancient tree in Saint Andéol.

Olive tree and vines in Boutinot Rhone vineyards

Olive trees prefer full sun and well draining soil  and the conditions at Saint Andéol are ideal –  a south / south west facing plot of ‘saffre’ (compressed sandy limestone) into which the roots of our single olive tree can extend deep into the ground.

Compressed limestone soil at Boutinot Rhone

In November, well over a month after our grapes were safely harvested the olives were just starting to ripen; turning from green to black.

Ripening olives at Boutinot Rhone

Green olives turning black as the ripen

By the 3rd of December they were ready to harvest.This year the task was left to Benjamin; balancing on the trees’ ancient trunk he shook each branch until the ripe olives fell to onto a sheet on the ground to be collected.

Olive harvest, Boutinot Rhone, Cairanne

The olives were taken to the local olive oil co-operative to be pressed.The resulting oil is only very lightly filtered and, unlike commercial olive oil, has a slightly cloudy appearance.


Single vineyard, single tree olive oil

Not simply ‘single estate’ our precious ‘single tree ‘olive oil is bottled and labelled by hand back at our Cairanne cellar.