The aroma of this harvest contains a mix of both green and ripe olive fruit characteristics described as nutty, grassy, fruity, and buttery with a hint of artichoke.
It’s pleasantly smooth and rustic up front with a pepper finish moments after you swallow. It's considered medium on the mild to robust scale.
This oil compliments onion, citrus, and garlic flavors exquisitely. Great to drizzle over salads, steamed vegetables, seafood, poultry, stir-fry, pasta, potatoes, and sandwiches. Infuse this oil with your desired herbs for bread dipping, dressings, and marinades.
On the sunny rocky coast of the Mediterranean lies family owned olive groves which are blessed with the optimal environmental conditions that produce the highest quality olive oil.
We take exceptional pride in the cultivation of our olive trees and the production of our olive oil. We carefully nurture our trees throughout the year in preparation for the annual harvest.
Expertise and care go goes into each bottle of DÁFNI Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Each step is critical to create oil with superior taste, aroma, color, and low acidity.
While DÁFNI is an import, we bottle all of our olive oil locally in Biddeford, Maine in small batches for optimal freshness and quality. We are involved in every step of this process from handpicking our olives to crafting the finished product!
We treasure our experiences with family and friends who all share a deep passion for our "liquid gold", and we would now like to share this family and cultural tradition with you!
DÁFNI Olive Oil is produced at our local mill in Gythio, Greece. The oil is extracted by mechanical means only, without chemical treatment.
Our mill has modern malaxation tanks to ensure that the paste is enclosed with minimal air contact. Many companies claim that they press their olives the old-fashioned way, with a stone wheel and hydraulic press. However, this method results in greater air exposure of the olive paste which diminishes oil quality.
The temperature of our malaxation and extraction process is kept below 27°C (80°F), qualifying it as cold-extracted. This is crucial to the quality of the olive oil. High temperatures increase oil oxidation and diminish the oil’s natural flavor and aroma. Essential vitamins, polyphenols, and other anti-oxidants are also lost. Many companies use heat to maximize the amount of oil extracted but at the high cost of accelerated oxidation. Temperature is a critical element in the production process, and DÁFNI is always cold-extracted.
Extra virgin is the highest grade of olive oil, and DÁFNI is a superior category of olive oil extracted from olives solely by mechanical means. Extra virgin olive oil has a free oleic acid level of under .8%, superior taste, color, and aroma. Premium Extra Virgin designates oil that has an acidity level of under .5%. Our olive oil is tested at harvest and has been consistently between .15-.20% acidity. It is retested periodically to ensure that premium standards are maintained.
The acidity level also is a good indicator of the care and attention to detail of the harvest and extraction process. Acidity in the olive starts to rise as soon as it is picked. This explains why the olives must not be allowed to sit, but brought to the mill without delay. Low acidity extends the shelf life, and maintains a higher level of quality. The oil’s peroxide level is another quality test used to check the levels of oxygen in the oil. When olive oil comes in contact with air, it starts to oxidize and deteriorate. Extra virgin olive oil must have a peroxide level of less than 20, and DÁFNI has always met this standard.
In order to be labeled “extra virgin” in Europe, olive oil must meet IOOC (International Olive Oil Council) standards. In addition to chemical testing, oil must meet the approval of a taster’s panel and judged to have “perfect aroma and taste.” If it does not meet the criteria, it cannot be sold as extra virgin.
Our local mill in Gythio, Greece, adheres to the IOOC standards. Trained technicians taste the olive oil and perform standardized chemical tests following each production. They determine whether our olive oil is extra virgin and considered perfect in flavor, aroma, and without defects. This is documented with a certified report.
Another factor that contributes to DÁFNI's outstanding quality is that it is completely unfiltered; it is truly olive oil in its natural state.
This unfiltered, natural oil is what the Greeks have used in their everyday lives since ancient times --- for everything from cooking to healing. Olive oil connoisseurs and chefs believe unfiltered olive oil is superior to others due to its rich flavor and higher level of nutrients found in the olive fruit. Filtration diminishes some of the oil’s taste and health benefits. If sediment (harmless olive pulp) is found in the bottle, avoid shaking bottle before pouring.
DÁFNI Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a single variety produced from the legendary Koroneiki tree which is native to Lakonía, Greece. These trees have survived since ancient times, producing one of the world’s highest quality olive oil.
Some of the trees on our farm are hundreds of years old, and are still productive. The variety originated in Crete over 5000 years ago. The particular taste, aroma, and rich composition of Koroneiki oil is very unique and special.
They produce glowing golden-green color oil, which is highly acclaimed for its fresh fruity aroma, and rich peppery taste. The Koroneiki olive has a very high content of oleic acid and polyphenols making the oil very stable with superb health benefits. The oil’s therapeutic properties have been well documented. The shelf life for Koroneiki olive oil is also exceptionally long compared to other varieties.
The Olive Magazine calls the Cretian cultivators such as Koroneiki,
"Among the best in the world."
The chemical characteristics of Koroneiki oil are excellent. This cultivar is suitable for an early, excellent, premium olive oil. The Koroneiki olive has one of the highest oil contents (20-30% oil), yet it is very small and difficult to cultivate. The overall yield of oil per tree is still a lot lower, but its return is exceptional quality.
The common production of olive oil per tree is 10 lt, while the Koroneiki variety produces only 1-3 lt of the purest gold-green juice. On average, the acidity of its extra virgin olive oil is a low .4%, and Dáfni consistently tests lower.
We never blend other varieties with our Koroneiki, so you will truly experience its unique characteristics of brilliant flavor and aroma.
Storage at Our Warehouse
Of all the edible oils, olive oil has the longest shelf life. It has four enemies: light, air, heat, and time. All of these factors affect the quality and shelf life of olive oil. Proper storage is critical in conserving the oil’s flavor and nutritional properties.
The best containers for storage are tinted glass, porcelain, or non-reactive metals such as stainless steel. We store our olive oil in airtight, stainless steel tanks, in our cool, dark, dry cellar. Our storage system includes an airtight floating lid that seals the olive oil as it is drawn from the tank. Olive oil is best stored in bulk and bottled as needed.
Maine is an ideal place to store olive oil, because we don’t have to worry about heat most of the year!
Shelf Life and Proper Care
DÁFNI is thicker than filtered olive oil, and may be cloudy or contain sediment on the bottom. This is simply the natural pieces of the olive in your bottle.
Our Koroneiki variety contains a high level of polyphenols and natural antioxidants which resist aging, and helps to keep the oil from going rancid. It is best to buy what you would consume within three to six months of opening, when it is at its peak flavor. The oil won’t turn rancid after this time, but the scent and fresh flavor will slowly fade, due to oxidation.
Unfiltered extra virgin olive oil will retain its quality and flavor a year and half after harvest, and if stored properly, it could last up to two years or more. Do not shake your bottle before pouring, and make sure it is always tightly sealed. Lakonía guarantees that your bottle will be fresh upon purchase, because we bottle our olive oil in small batches.
Storing Your Bottle of DÁFNI
Light increases the rate of oxidation, causing olive oil to go rancid more quickly. For this reason, DÁFNI is packaged in tinted bottles. We still recommend to store them in a cool, dark, dry place in between use to retain the highest quality.
It is not recommended to refrigerate DÁFNI. It will crystallize and solidify, but return to its natural state at room temperature. Refrigeration extends the shelf life without harming the oil, but condensation may develop in the bottle, affecting its fine flavor. A kitchen cabinet is fine, as long as it is away from a heat source, such as a stove. A fairly consistent temperature of 70°F works well as long as it’s stored in a dark place. A wine cellar is a great place for storing olive oil because it is dark, and has a cool constant temperature.
Each bottle has valuable information including the harvest date, lot code, and “use-by” information to ensure freshness and quality.