Tree To Bottle
In the grove
South African soils and climate lend themselves to the growth of a number of olive cultivars. Mission, Kalamata and Manzanilla are amongst the commonly grown table olive varieties. Vesuvio Estates focuses primarily on the cultivation of Frantoio and Leccino olives which yield superior oils.
Each year, harvest time depends on the weather as variations in temperature influence the ripening of the fruit. It is a time when our oil maker is carefully observing the trees to gauge the ratio of ripe, half ripe and green olives that should be picked to produce the specific style of olive oil that is true to Vesuvio Estates. Harvesting usually begins in April and may continue until July, depending on the size of the crop.
Picking for quality
Our olives are carefully selected. This is gentle on trees and fruit, and it also provides the opportunity for the first screening for quality fruit. The olives are transported from grove to production facility where they are again graded for quality before processing.
State of the Art Processing
Vesuvio Estates has invested in a large, continuous and progressive HACCP olive oil production plant with sophisticated equipment that enables swift cold extraction under quality-controlled conditions. We are able to process 5 tonnes of olives per hour using state of the art machinery that was manufactured in Italy.
The olives move from large hoppers to washers, where leaves and stalks are removed and the olives are thoroughly cleaned. The fruit is conveyed to crushers, where the whole olive with skin, flesh and stone is crushed to a pulp. The pulp is kneaded for a certain period of time so that the oil collates in readiness for extraction through a centrifuge. During this kneading process it is of utmost importance to keep the pulp at temperatures below 30ºC to guarantee that the olive oil is cold extracted.
The beauty of the centrifuge
At the centrifugal stage, oil and water are first separated from stones and skins. Then the oil is pumped through separators that divide the oil from the water. The oil is pumped into storage tanks in a controlled environment and is only bottled on order. This way, Vesuvio Estates ensures that the oil is kept stored in optimal conditions for as long as possible.
From our groves to your table
Highly mechanised bottling and packaging takes place in a strictly controlled and enclosed environment to ensure the complete integrity of the oil. Vesuvio Estates’ capacity for fast, fresh production – just 12 hours from picking to processing – ensures that you benefit from the great taste of our superior quality olives bearing all the fantastic health benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.