The main variety of the olives that are cultivated especially for the production of the Cretan olive oil is the so-called “Koroneiki” variety. You can find trees with Koroneiki olives all over Greece, but the special climate and soil of Crete give the Cretan Koroneiki olives a distinct taste, that forms the base of the fine taste of the Cretan olive oil.
The Koroneiki olives are small in size and it takes a big quantity of olives to produce a litre of olive oil – but the secret here is not quantity, but quality. A lot of the taste of the olives has to do with the way they were grown, which in many cases is a secret that stays inside the family.
The Koroneiki olives are harvested when they are relatively green. This way, they give the Cretan olive oil that is produced from them its characteristic fruity and aromatic taste, and its golden green colour.
Koroneiki olives are grown mainly in Crete and they are considered the best variety of Greek olives used for olive oil production.