Prolonged sunshine, warm climate, and rocky soil guarantee an oil with a ripe flavor. Sweet upfront, and spicy mid-palate, the oil has a distinctive aroma of ripe olives and artichoke. It leaves a peppery aftertaste of herbs, with a fine bitterness, and smooth finish. The fruity character of this olive oil highlights the freshness in salads, and blends harmoniously with a diversity of flavors and dishes. Olive oil has been at the center of the Cretan diet and civilization for thousands of years, and remains an intrinsic part of the local economy, history, and culture. Today, almost 65 % of the agricultural land on the island consists of olive groves. Cretan olive oil is an absolutely natural product: it is harvested by hand and the fruit crushed mechanically, rather than undergoing any industrial production. The velvety texture and superior taste are thanks to the natural qualities of Koroneiki olives, the main variety that thrives in the fertile soil under the Cretan sun. Beautifully dark green and golden in color, this extra virgin olive oil is produced by the fruit of specially selected olive groves found in Rethymno and the Asterousia mountain range of southern Crete.