“There and back again…”

Greetings fellow olive oil lovers,

We have been on a grand adventure for the past 2 years, from returning to our former home in the lovely Évora, Portugal, land of ancient olive trees, to a magical year in Santa Fe, New Mexico, then finally circling back again to Charlottesville and the beloved Blue Ridge, where we are starting a new project to restore a 21 acre property and build again, and all with our big dog Samson!

One thing we know, is that where ever we have landed, we cannot live without authentic extra virgin olive oil, and we have never lost our passion for sharing this beautiful, nurturing, magical juice of the olive fruit with others. And since many of our friends and family have been asking for it (because they can’t live without it either), we are very happy to announce that we will be importing a pallet of the 5 liter jugs of the extra virgin olive oil you have come to know and love over the years (and if you haven’t, you will), from our long time producer.

We are offering the opportunity to reserve your year’s supply of EVOO, as there will be a very limited quantity, and we always seem to sell out. Keep in mind, we will not place another order until next year. The harvest will be beginning soon. Once the olives are harvested and milled, they let it settle, before mixing and bottling. We are expecting to be receiving the shipment in early March.

Here is a little about our story and olive oil odyssey.  And while you’re at it, take some time to check out our past blog posts, which include some wonderful traditional Portuguese “Out of the Oven” recipes from Manuel (“our man in Portugal”), such as the exquisite “Granny Lála’s rice pudding”  to “Thomas Jefferson’s olive passion”

Though we no longer bottle and sell under our own label, our passion is still real, and our motto still remains “Get Real Get Rare”!

Each 5 liter jug (1.33 gallon): $100 ($20 a liter)

One case of 3 jugs each: $270 (10% off)

Two cases or more of 3 jugs each: 20% off total

You will be able to pay online by PayPal, or at time of pick up by check, and of course, we always appreciate cash.

For those who do not live near Charlottesville, Virginia, I am checking out options for shipping, as postal rates seem to have increased over the past couple of years.

This invitation is being offered to a small group of enthusiasts who have ordered from us in the past or those who have expressed interest, and not to the general public. Feel free to share this opportunity with family and friends who you feel may be interested.

And most importantly, let me know if you would like me to reserve your jug or jugs as soon as possible. Contact me if you have any further questions: email hidden; JavaScript is required

See below for more information about our product and perhaps to find answers to some of your questions.

Here’s to good eating and nourishment!

Cheers to all!


What’s in your cupboard?

We have all heard about the enormous health benefits of true authentic extra virgin olive oil, but do you really know why?

After all, extra virgin olive oil is a staple of the much touted Mediterranean Diet. However, it is also important to recognize, that the studies conducted which lead to these results, were done in old world cultures around the Mediterranean, where extra virgin olive oil has been produced for thousands of years from old growth olive trees. In many of these old world cultures from earliest times, olive oil has been considered a “sacred substance”, as described in Tom Mueller’s brilliant book Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil .

What he also reveals is that it has been one of the most adulterated food products throughout history, no less so in modern times, as up to 80% of EVOOs on grocery shelves are fraudulent. Not all EVOOs are created equal. Many products labeled as “extra virgin olive oil” are often mixed with inferior, contaminated, and rancid oils (some not even from olives) which are deodorized and colored with chlorophyll. Most of the time, if you are able to find a real EVOO, it is most likely mass produced from hybridized olive bushes which have a life span of a mere 12 years as opposed to olive trees which have a potential life span of  hundreds, if not thousands of years. That’s why we consider this olive oil to be a different and distinct food product all together. And even if it says produced in a particular country, it may have only been bottled there, from a mix of olive oils from different countries, with very little oversight. The US in particular has traditionally been the dumping ground for these lesser oils. Incidentally, do you remember that Genco Pura olive oil was the primary front in the “Godfather” for the Corleone crime families criminal activities? In fact, Mafia still controls much of the olive oil business!

Here are some reasons why we love this EVOO:

  • First and foremost, we love the flavor! It is has a smooth buttery, fruity start, a desirable slight bitterness, and finishes with a spicy punch.
  • Coteis olive oil derives from hand-picked estate grown olives from old olive tree varietals of Cordovil, Galega, and Verdeal many of which are 50 to 300 years old, and has an acidity of 0.4%.
  • Herdade dos Coteis is a family owned and operated estate which has been in the family for generations.
  • The estate is located in the renowned region of Moura, Portugal, one of 5 regions in Portugal with the DOP (Denominação de Origem Protegida) status. The oil from this region has been revered since Roman times. and was said to have been favored by Julius Caesar.

The “Protected Designation of Origin” is the European recognition (Reg. 510/06) for an agricultural product or food whose entire production cycle—from raw material to finished product (processing and packaging)—is carried out in a given territory. The combination of natural factors (raw materials, environmental characteristics and location) and human (production and traditional craft), make the product unique and not reproducible elsewhere. The production rules are more strict to ensure the utmost quality.”

  • The olives are pressed within 24 hours of harvest.
  • The state of the art olive mill is located on the estate, where Coteis has complete control of production from beginning to end, which is quite unusual in Portugal. Most farmers and producers sell their olives to a cooperative to be milled, which means there is far less oversight as to the quality of the olives being pressed.
  • First cold pressed, which means the olives are milled once and are not exposed to heat in the process.
  • This caliber of extra virgin olive oil, produced from old growth trees, rarely leaves the region from which it is produced, primarily because there is just not enough to go around, and is reserved for local populations. Not to mention, old growth trees are very labor intensive to harvest.
  • Pure extra virgin olive oil is an exquisite elixir for your skin.
    I have always had extremely sensitive skin. This olive oil is the only moisturizer I use on my face anymore, and my skin has never felt better. I was inspired to try this, after seeing Manuel’s mother’s beautiful, glowing, youthful, skin at age 80, and she has been using local olive oil on her face all her life!  In fact pure authentic extra virgin olive oil has amazing protective, rejuvenating, and nurturing properties, absorbing into your skin perfectly, without leaving any oily residue. After all, it is said, that our DNA and the DNA of olive trees evolved in close relationship in the cradle of civilization. However, when you hear that olive oil is good for your skin, it is essential that you use uncontaminated pure extra virgin olive oil, otherwise it may actually be detrimental to your skin, and you may even be prone to breaking out.

Common questions people ask us:

Is the oil organic? If you mean “certified organic”, no it is not. However we consider it “beyond organic” as the trees are only sprayed with an organic fungicide once, early in the season before blooming, and all other methods of maintaining and cultivating are by organic means. In fact, if you have ever looked at what qualifies as “organic” you may be shocked. Olive oil derived from hybridized olive bush olives, which are planted in very close proximity to each other (called superintenso), require intensive spraying of fungicides and pesticides (whether organic or not), as they have far less resistances than old growth trees. So even if it is labeled “organic”, it was probably sprayed throughout the growing season.

What about the jug? Whereas we would—in general—recommend looking for EVOO in a dark glass bottle when purchasing commercially, in our case, because our olive oil is bottled on the premises and promptly stored in boxes and then shipped directly to us, there is no concern about degradation due to exposure to light. These jugs are made from a PET “plastic” and do not contain any BPA.

What is the shelf life? The shelf life of  fresh authentic extra virgin olive oil is 2 years if stored properly and the date of production is stamped on the bottle.

How should the EVOO be stored?  It is best to keep olive oil in cool dark storage. The enemies of fresh olive oil are light, heat, and air. One idea is to transfer the oil from the jug into wide mouthed canning jars and stored in the refrigerator or in a wine cellar. This way you can simply spoon out what you need for for cooking. Then keep a smaller quantity in a dark bottle for the table. You will find the olive oil will solidify in cold storage, but easily melts when left at room temperature. Studies have shown that oil kept in dark cold storage will not loose its integrity. We even freeze our jugs!

Can I cook with this oil? Absolutely! You will be amazed at how much flavor this EVOO will add to your food when used for cooking. In fact it is a flavor enhancer in the sense that it will bring out the natural flavors of the food you cook with it. There has been a common myth that olive oil is not good for cooking. I believe this probably arose from cooking with fake or low grade olive oils. Click here to see the studies

What is a good alternative brand of extra virgin olive oil? And last but not least, this is a question we often hear but actually can’t answer. If we knew one, it would be so much easier! Perhaps it is from having lived in Sicily, and taking our olives to the local olificio (olive press), where the farmers would watch the process of their olives turned into olive oil, from beginning to end, because they did not trust anyone else’s olive oil. The best way to be guaranteed quality olive oil, is to know your source, and we have been fortunate to have cultivated this relationship with this producer and have the unique opportunity to order it direct. So we do, and that is that!

“May the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks.”

J.R.R. Tolkien, from “The Hobbit” or “There and Back Again”