If you want to find out more information about the oil and other products we sell, they you've come to the right place. Below is a list of content on the page. Click on a link to be taken down the page to the relevant section.
The familiar olive tree, it's fruit and the juice of its fruit, olive oil, are regularly a topic of interest, and have been so over the past 4000 years. But how well do we really know the Cretan olive oil?
In order to define the "quality" of the olive oil we have to answer some important questions:
Of course, all the answers to the above are YES.
Nearly everybody knows that the olive oil, and especially the Greece-Cretan olive oil, is pure and wholesome. Doctors and Dietitians alike are drawing our attention to the need to include olive oil in our diets, not only as a basic nutritional food, but also for preventive and therapeutic purposes. Olive oil also makes a positive contribution in the case of people suffering from heart diseases and arterial sclerosis.
Hundreds of years ago, Greek and Cretan people were cultivating olive trees.
This wisdom of experience in olive oil cultivation is combined with scientific research. There are many different varieties of olives. For our olive oil we use the best, which are called PSILOLIA, TSOUNATI and KORONEIKI. The olive trees are located on the south mountain area of Crete in the region of Heraklion.
The harvesting time runs from November until March. We always squeeze fresh olives by the cold press method, so we can retain the best qualities of the olive oil. Our modern industrial facility located in the south area of Heraklion covers 700 m² with a capability output of 1000 tons, of which 600 tons are our extra virgin olive oil "Manoli". This olive oil is suitable for cooking, salads and of course for restaurants and hotels.
Anthony hopes that future generations will continue to farm at Wade Lane Farm so he is determined to continue to farm in a sustainable manor, to provide safe and affordable food, and care for the environment as his forebears have done for the last 80 years.
Our Oilseed Rape is grown, harvested, stored, cold pressed, filtered and bottled on our farm, giving our oil 100% traceability, and therefore helps us to keep down food miles. As with olive oil, we gently squeeze the oil out at low temperatures, which allows the oil to retain its vitamins and high levels of Omega 3 and 6. Historically, olive oil has been considered the healthy oil, but now there is a real alternative, and the beauty of it is that it is indigenous. Rapeseed oil contains half the saturated fat levels of olive oil, has 10 times more Omega 3 than olive oil, has a high burn point so is safe to use for frying and roasting, and its natural nutty flavour makes it ideal for salad dressings and marinades.
There are two types of Balsamic Vinegar.
Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
The prized Balsamico tradizionale is very much like a fine wine. It is produced mainly from the trebbiano grapes (which are picked and left to further ripen to increase the sugar level). They are then crushed and pressed into juice ("must") and then simmered in open pots for 24 - 30 hours. The unfermented juice is cooled, allowed to settle and then placed in the first of a series of barrels to age. The vinegar first goes through alcoholic fermentation and then acetic oxidisation. In other words the sugars turn to alcohol which in turn, to acid, therefore converting the liquid into vinegar.
The barrel is filled only to 66 - 75% capacity so further evaporation and condensation occurs. After one year, the vinegar is transferred to a smaller barrel, for further oxidation, and so it continues yearly. Each barrel is of a different type of wood, which imparts certain subtleties of flavours to the vinegar. The barrels most commonly used to impart flavour are oak, ash, juniper, mulberry, chestnut and cherry.
Unlike wine barrels these are stored in attics rather than cellars as the heat is beneficial to the process. A minimum of 12 years of aging is required by law in order to be sold as balsamic tradizionale. Although 20 - 30 years aging is not uncommon in Modena.
With an evaporation rate of about 10 percent each year, 100 litres of must will become only 15 litres of vinegar twelve years later. When the flavour is found acceptably intense, the vinegar is sealed in a final small wooden cask and then carries the Italian government designation of "Denominazione di origine controllata" (DOC) and is controlled by the Consortium of Producers of the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena.
Traditional balsamico di Modena is only ever sold in a 100ml bottle in the unique design created by Giorgio Giugiaro.
Its colour is a vivid and brilliant dark brown, and its density is that of a balanced and smooth-flowing syrupy fluid. Its peculiar and complex scent is penetrating, of an intimable, well balanced sweet acid.
Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
Although this product is not produced in the ancient traditional manner, it provides in excess of 99% of all sales worldwide.
Balsamic vinegar is a combination of cooked concentrated wine must and produced from the locally grown grapes of Trebbiano, Lambrusco, and Ancellotta.
Like most producers, we buy in the cooked grapes must and wine vinegar from within the region. We then combine the two and then lay the product down in oak barrels for a minimum of one year and a maximum of twenty, unlike many producers who fast track this process by ageing the product in steel vats and in some cases increasing the viscosity with a sugar syrup.
The ageing in oak reduces our vinegar to a texture and viscosity that imitates the charm and character of the finest traditional balsamic vinegars at a fraction of the cost.
The expertise of the blender is paramount when the product is ready for bottling. As blends from different barrels are used, no hard and fast age can be put on the product. Therefore, an average age is achieved to an appropriate quality. The older the average age of the blend, the more mellow, more viscous and less acidic the final product will be.
With all non-traditional balsamic vinegars, the main flavour characteristic is sweet and sour, fruity and acidic.
The products through age will get progressively more mellow. Take a basic one/two year blend to the nose: it will be quite harsh and the flavour quite thin and acidic. Do the same with the twelve or fifteen year product and the difference will be immediately apparent - mellow on the nose, a much more viscous consistency and intense flavour. By tasting the two extremes, the differences are enormous. Obviously, the difference between, say, a three year and a six year are more subtle.
In all cases, the colour should be dark nutty brown and clear, the fragrance distinct, sharp and pleasantly acid, the consistency vinegar-like when very young, going progressively more syrupy through ageing and the flavour characteristic of sweet and sour.