The olive picking season: a worthwhile experience!

Want to participate in picking olives? Beginning of November, the surroundings of Stella Vineyard become very animated with the sound of people all around on the cliff picking olives. The gods always seem to be part of the fiesta, with temperatures quite mild and the sun shining most of the time.

Big nets are set down under the olive trees and the branches are basically combed with plastic combs making the olives fall on the nets (for the romantics still wanting to pick the olives in a traditional manner). Nowadays, most people having many trees use mechanical arms.

Often guests ask us if we press ourselves the olives. It is not possible of course. The olives are brought to a factory. They are first washed to remove all impurities. Then they are crushed by huge granite wheels. The resulting paste is loaded into an hydraulic press. The paste is evenly spread over hemp pressing bags or disks (4 to 6 kilos of paste per bag or disk). From 25 to 50 different bags or disks are stacked onto a press plate. A piston pushes up against the stack, and the oil slowly seeps through. The term cold-pressing refers to the fact that the oil is extracted without heating the paste, thus insuring the purity of the oil and enabling the denomination ''extra-virgin''. The liquid extracted contains also vegetable water. The oil is then separated from the vegetable water by centrifugation. Because the oil and the vegetable water are of differing densities, the centrifuge forces them apart into separate receptacles. In former times, the oil and water mixture was stored in vats until the oil rose to the top and was skimmed off. Some fermentation was inevitable, affecting the taste and smell of the olive oil.

Olive Story Museum Kefalonia: This museum is a restored oil press facility, built in the early 20th century which survived the devastating earthquake of 1953.

It is located in the village of Makriotika in the beautiful Pylaros valley. Opening hours are from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. It is clearly worth seeing.

Join us in picking olives. Our rates for a two-person studio in November are 30 euros per day and for a larger apartment, 38 euros per day. It will be our pleasure to help you in finding the best way to travel to Kefalonia and to share with you a traditional kefalonian dish after a day spent picking olives .