The green gold of the Alpilles

The different blends of olive varieties give the oils their characteristic flavours created by the master blenders.

Salonenque gives the oil an unctuous quality. Grossane, a large fleshy olive, gives softness, while Béruguette or Aglandau bring pungency. Verdale is typical of the Bouches-du-Rhône department. Picholine, small and pointed, brings an intense fruitiness to the oil with a touch of bitterness.

Green fruitiness and black or ripe fruitiness are obtained with these same varieties of olive. The difference comes from the time the olives spend ripening between picking and crushing. Green fruitiness is obtained with olives picked in the morning and processed within 24 hours. Black or ripe fruitiness is obtained by keeping the olives for four or five days between picking and crushing.

In a typical green fruitiness, the oil has aromas of fresh hay, cut grass, apple, fresh hazelnuts, almonds, raw artichoke, tomato leaf with a touch of bitterness and pungency. In typical black or ripe fruitiness, the oil is characterised by aromas of oxidised olives, black olives, cocoa, truffle, mushroom, cooked artichoke, a sweet sensation with absence of bitterness and little or no pungency.

The olive harvest starts in the first two weeks of October and lasts up until the end of December.

Castelas, gold prize-winning producers

Twenty years ago, Jean-Benoît and Catherine Hugues decided to build their own mill so they could be in charge of the whole oil-making process, from choosing the date of the olive harvest to the fabrication method and blending.

The mill produces several types of green-fruity and black-fruity oils using organic methods, as well as a range of aromatic oils – herbs, citrus or spices are crushed together with the olives.

Their products have won numerous medals both in France and abroad. In France, in the Concours Général Agricole 2019 in Paris, Castelas won no fewer than eight medals: 5 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze. In USA in May 2019 in the NYOOC – New York Olive Oil Competition – La Castellines Classic won a Gold medal.

www.castelas.com
Tel +33 (0)4 90 54 50 86  

Traditions

Two traditional fairs take place every year in the Valley of Les Baux.

The Festival of the Green Olive takes place on the third Sunday in September; the Salonenque olive has been used in the preparation of cracked olives, protected by an AOP, for over 20 years. The world championship of olive-crackers and costumed processions take place during the day.

The first Sunday in December sees a gathering of olive-millers for the New Oil Festival.

Olive mills in the vicinity

Moulin J.M. Cornille

Maussane-les-Alpilles

Moulin J.M.Cornille, AOC Vallée des Baux-de-Provence Olive oil producer.

This Co-operative Olive Oil Mill is one of the most important mills in France. The Mill Jean Marie Cornille has been preserving the ancestral making of, with grinding stones and hydraulic presses, but uses in complement a new modern production tool since 2003.

www.moulin-cornille.com
Tel +33 (0)4 90 54 32 37

Moulin Calanquet

Saint-Rémy de Provence

Moulin Calanquet is a family business that has been established in Saint-Rémy de Provence for five generations. The estate has 20,000 trees and holds HEV (High Environmental Value) certification.

The olive oils produced at the mill are made from 5 traditional varieties from the Alpilles. Each variety is pressed separately, revealing an amazing range of individual flavours, and blends are also produced. All the olive oils are extra virgin and first pressing.

Moulin du Calanquet also makes spreads, jams and traditional Provençal products, such as ratatouille and Provençale tomato sauce.

The mill offers free guided tours every day for learning about the manufacture of olive oil from ancient times to the present day. This visit ends with a tasting of all the Calanquet products.

www.moulincalanquet.fr
Tel +33 (0)4 32 60 08 50

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Accomodation and Restaurants

For one night or a few weeks, Les Baux-de-Provence offers relaxation, cultural and historical visits, arts and outdoor excursions. Find the accommodation and restaurant that will make your stay an unforgettable experience.  Accomodation availability.

Tourist Office

Maison du Roy, Rue Porte Mage,
13520 Les Baux-de-Provence
Tel +33 (0)4 90 54 34 39
tourisme@lesbauxdeprovence.com

Hours
Mon – Fri: 9.30 am – 5.00 pm
Sat – Sun: 10.00 am – 5.30 pm

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