The Tastemaker sampled Eliris olive oil, an independent, organic brand cultivated in Greece.  With its smooth consistency, and sleek bottle designs, we were seriously impressed. Our trial notes, as well as an interview, describing the process and brand, with owner Sam, are below.

The Tastemaker Trial

We found the olive oil to be of thick consistency, rich, and intense in colour with a subtle spice in the aftertaste.
This olive oil would be perfect with salads, pestos, pasta dishes or just dipping. Alternatively, you can use the olive oil as a spread instead of butter.
Eliris is a stunning finishing oil for professional chefs, discerning home cooks and anyone looking for a rare and unique foodie gift. Currently available direct or at the following selected retailers, hotels and restaurants. They are also soon to launch in Australia and in Jones the Grocer, Singapore.
Selfridges & Co Food Hall, London, UK
The Kupetz Eliseevs Food Hall, St. Petersburg, Russia
Fine Wine, Athens, Greece

Can you tell us about your story and how you have developed Eliris?

If I’m honest, there was no eureka moment – it was destiny! It may sound cheesy but Eliris was genuinely born out of love and the seed of the idea was to make good on Iris’ late father’s legacy. Iris and I met while enjoying successful careers in London. With a background in agriculture, sales and marketing, we chose to give up our comfortable salaries to rejuvenate Iris’ cherished family olive grove and build a business of value to our family, the local rural economy and above all to the consumer. We absolutely love what we do and share a passion for it. The joy of working with nature, the celebration of variety and producing a natural, healthy product that people really enjoy is a thrilling experience. Although we knew it would be a risk, the idea was always to not only brand and market a product but to actually produce it, so we have that personal connection and responsibility and the successes are all the more meaningful and rewarding.

We believe there is a great deal of value in artisan, small scale production. Consumers are increasingly interested to learn about where their food (and drink) is coming from and who produces it, so bringing the consumer closer to the producer, allows that value to be invested in improving variety and quality at the farm level for the benefit of everyone. Corners do not have to be cut and attention can be lavished at every stage to produce something truly exceptional. Eliris represents the antithesis of mass production with a focus on us as individuals being creative, productive, and independent. In a world where quality and flavour is increasingly compromised for high volume and low (financial) cost, we believe it is extremely important on many levels, for us to buy less but choose well – and not just in food but all we consume.

What olives are used in your olive oil?
Eliris is produced from a unique collection of many Greek olive varieties, such as Koroneiki, Manaki, Megaritiki, Tsunati, Kalamon and Halkidiki.

Back in the early 1970’s, although the region was renowned for wine, it was not known for olives. Euripides (Iris’ father) had a passion for nature and dared to experiment, planting many different olive varieties from across Greece, to see how each variety would develop. If only, he was alive today to see what his vision has become and see how all the varieties have flourished. It is this field-blend of varieties that gives Eliris one of its main differences, elevating it above the norm and producing a stunning, perfectly balanced olive oil with a complex character.

Can you tell our readers about the process that takes you from olive on the tree to oil in the bottle?

There are a few rules we follow to ensure our oil reaches the table in perfect condition. The key is healthy olives, which is a direct result of the ideal terroir and management of the grove. These healthy olives are a fruit, so need to be handled delicately. Any damage oxidises the fruit, which tarnishes the final product. It is mainly for this reason that we never collect olives that have already fallen to the ground. So we collect our olives early in the season, typically from October to November, when they are just staring to turn from green to purple. This will ensure the oil has the most aromas and nutritional benefits.


It all starts very early in the morning, usually at sunrise and continues, day in, day out, weather permitting. It’s long, back-breaking work and some days we only get a few hours sleep as we’re on the field all day and at the press all night! We lay nets out under the trees, which provide a cushion for the falling olives and allows air to circulate. The olives are gently combed off the branches by hand and before the net gets too full, the olives are collected in the middle of the net, and as many branches, leaves and broken olives are removed as possible, before pouring them gently into special 20Kg crates. Again, these crates have holes to allow air to circulate. Once enough olives have been collected, they are taken to a local organic olive mill. Here we wait with joyful anticipation as they go through a quick process of washing and cold extraction. The olive oil is then stored in stainless steel tanks for the sediment to settle before being bottled – ready for someone to pop the cork and experience Eliris for themselves.


The incredible quality analysis results each year are no accident. They are a direct result of our techniques and dedication to quality and craftsmanship. For instance, the peroxide value of Eliris is the lowest on the market at only 1.7 (the EU limit for an olive oil to be classified at Extra Virgin is up to 20). The peroxide test measures the degree of oxidation and therefore a low value indicates Eliris will stay fresh longer than oils with a higher value. This is important because olive oil deteriorates with age and more specifically with exposure to light, of any form, which is why we insist on only ever using premium dark glass, which absorbs 99% UV light to protect the aroma, flavour and quality. We’re so proud of the consistent quality of Eliris, that we actively promote it by declaring the harvest date and quality results for that year on every numbered bottle. We also only ever supply from the latest harvest, ensuring Eliris is enjoyed fresh.

How important is sustainability in your work?
Sustainability is fundamental to our work. We cultivate organically, in very simple terms, because we don’t like the thought of using non-organic fertilisers, herbicides or pesticides. It’s much closer to home when you’re actually producing a food product than just picking one off the shelf. We want to develop a sustainable program that improves (rather than destroys) the soil and the eco-system over the long term. Apart from the obvious benefits to the environment and sustainability, we believe an abundance of wild plants, herbs and salads in the pasture has an influence on the flavour and aroma of the final product – plus it always raises a smile when you catch the scent of wild herbs while mowing the avenues.
It’s a common misconception that being organic means you don’t fertilise, control weeds or pests but this could not be further from the truth. For instance, we actively fertilise by planting peas, clover and allowing a rich pasture to grow. All this is regularly mowed and the annual prunings mulched to provide ‘green manure’. This also suppresses weeds and preserves moisture in the soil. We also foliar feed our trees with a seaweed solution spray during the summer months. We believe an organic environment, a haven of wildlife also attracts pollinating bees, which is fundamental to any sustainable food system. Isn’t it reassuring to know the olive oil you enjoy has no chemical residues and is produced in harmony with nature?!
Do you have any plans to diversify?
To a certain extent we will definitely diversify but will always maintain our core principals. Our plans are to invest in a private olive mill and bottling unit on the grove, not only to control production in-house and experiment with varieties but also to allow people to visit and experience some of the process and enjoy tastings of our own and local food and wine. In time, we plan to introduce agro-tourism and build places within the grove for people to stay, be immersed in nature and enjoy the serenity. We are also developing new, exciting products that will compliment the Eliris range.

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