Sparta’s Museum of Olive and Olive Oil

This beautifully designed museum located in Sparta invites visitors to discover the rich culture and history surrounding Greece’s famed olive and olive oil production – from prehistoric times to the early 20th century. 

Housed in a two-storey, industrial stone building the Museum of Olive and Olive Oil is a place where you will also learn about olive oil’s many uses as this area is one of the main olive-producing locations of Greece. 

Insights Greece - Sparta’s Museum of Olive and Olive Oil
Learn all about Greece’s famous olive

For each historical period, guests are able to learn about the contribution olives and olive oil have made to Greece’s economy and the way in which Greeks use it in their everyday life- from its health and beauty benefits to its influence on Greek mythology, religion, art, and technology.

On the lower floor, you will find post-byzantine technology of the olive mills and a section about domestic and industrial soap-making. In the open-air exhibition, visitors can get up close to the three different oil press machines, one prehistoric, one Hellenistic, and one from the Byzantine era.

The upper floor highlights the first testimonials of the olive as well as its contribution to Greece’s economy and shows written testimonies dating back to the 14th century, on Linear B inscribed tablets, while there are also exhibits of rare fossilized olive leaves approximately 50.000-60.000 years old, that were found in Santorini. 

Insights Greece - Sparta’s Museum of Olive and Olive Oil
View different oil press machines

Throughout the space, you will also see an impressive wooden double press with a winch from the neighbouring village of Xirokambi, and an olive press from the island of Lefkada, which documents the survival of animal power in the 20th century, as well as models representing the functioning of engine-powered olive presses. And at the end of the visit, you will be given details of archaeological sites to olive oil production in the Peloponnese if you wish to continue your journey of olive and olive oil discovery. 


Hours: 10  am to 6 pm (March 1st – October 15th)

10 am to 5 pm (October 16th – February 28th)

Admission Fee: 2€

Address: Othonos-Amalias 129, 23100 Sparta

Celebrating Five Generations of Sustainable Spartan Farming

Nikkitas, is a Greek family business that spans five generations in Sparta. Producing truly exceptional extra virgin olive oil, honey, and olives- the sustainable company has a deep and utter respect for ancestral harvesting methods. 

Looking after their olive groves and beekeeping for hundreds of years, each family member has played a pivotal role in protecting the authenticity of the production- through both dedication and craftsmanship. 

Insights Greece - Celebrating Five Generations of Sustainable Spartan Farming
Nikkitas’ family olive grove

Set in a landscape of archaeological wealth and historical heritage, the lush family grove sits among the ruins of Ancient Sparta, at the foot of Mount Taygetos. Flanked by the Eurotas river and a stone away from heroic warrior King Leonidas’ tomb, it’s also close by to the Unesco World Heritage fortified town of Mystras.

Dedicated to producing the finest products and just as committed to taking care of the resources and its local community- Nikkitas’ main priority is to balance traditional techniques with modern quality controls, which allows them to create olive oil and honey that can be enjoyed and appreciated by people worldwide. Their liquid gold is produced entirely in Sparta in the family-owned groves; where in less than 24 hours, the handpicked olives are pressed and bottled, retaining all the fruits’ nutrients and producing an exceptional polyphenol-rich golden-green Extra Virgin Olive Oil- unique to these lands. Nikkitas’ antioxidant honey is pure, unheated, and unpasteurised; pine, thyme, flowers, and conifers honey deliver wonderful and complex tastes and are the fruits of nomadic beekeeping- using traditional methods, artisanal love, and care on carefully chosen fields.

The range of family-made products combines luxury and transparency bringing quality olive oil, heavenly pine honey, and glossy Kalamata olives into homes around the world. 

IN+SIGHTS GREECE recently spoke with Christina, who has helped turn her family’s love of farming into a successful Greek family business. 

How did it all come about?

Three years ago, in London, in a starred-restaurant, the chef mentioned he wanted me to try olive oil he had just found from Spain and I cheekily told him that my family produces a great extra virgin olive oil. He was curious and asked me to come back the next day so he could try it. When I came back he was there with a professional buyer – they tried my EVOO, olives, and honey and loved it all. They advised me to create nice packaging for my products. Until then, we had never thought of selling our products. They were always purely for friends and family’s consumption. And that’s how it all began. 

Tell us about your family’s Spartan olive grove?

As a child, I used to spend three months in Sparta during summer, at my grandparents’ house. I remember the stark, ‘Spartan’ ways and silence of my grandparents’ home. I did not speak good Greek at the time and language was a clear barrier between us. I spent my days cycling in the garden, running after the chickens and amongst olive trees. Eventually, when I grew bored, I used to peek into the semi-dark kitchen backroom where my grandmother used to stand for hours, preparing food and marinating olives. The overpowering smell of olive oil and olives was intoxicating, inebriating… my Yiayia would stay in that room until it was lunchtime when she would call us all to sit. The sight of the kitchen table was unbelievable: covered with Greek delicacies, homemade delectable foods were bringing us all together and there and then, something magical happened: a flow of conversations, sounds, smells, tastes would submerge our home, in striking contrast to the rest of my day.

For me, Nikkitas is my strong connection to my roots, it symbolises the deep bond I could make as a child in a ‘Spartan’ austere upbringing, when for a brief moment in time, but forever in my memories, my home would be alive- surrounded by the most amazing smells and tastes- complete awakening of my senses. 

How important is sustainable farming to you?

Our family produces olive oil, olives, and honey, the traditional way- respectful of our great grandparents. Traditional care, pruning, composting, and no usage of machines enable a considerable increase in soil organic matter, which improves not only our olive groves’ soil fertility but also our trees’ health. This emphasizes the potential of our olive trees for mitigating climate change by storing carbon in the soil and in the tree biomass.  Our olive by-product is either used to feed goats, sheep and cows, or for energy generation and fertilization (with 80% used for composting and 20% in direct field application).

Our glass bottles and jars are responsibly sourced from raw materials and are infinitely recyclable. And we are proud to use 100% recyclable packaging. We are also supporting our local community of very small artisan producers, from whom we gather the fruits of hundreds of tiny neighbouring kindred family groves and fields, all applying the same respect for traditional ways in the fertile and wildlands of Sparta. 

We have also partnered with Desmos, a non-profit foundation, to support local schools in Sparta by providing educational equipment and supplies.

What makes your products so unique?

– Passionate craftsmen: we dedicate our skills to working our lands by hand. Many of our olive groves are in small, inaccessible orchards, so the olives are hand-picked, pressed and bottled on site in less than 24 hours, ensuring we keep the whole fruit’s nutrients.

– Transparency: our mill and factory are equipped with in-house chemical laboratories performing regular quality control analysis. Our cultivation, harvest, pressing, bottling, packaging and quality control all take place onsite.

– Unique extra virgin olive oil: we harvest and blend three exceptional varieties of polyphenol-rich olives in equal proportion: Koroneiki, Athinolia, and Koutsourolia. This balance is unique to our lands (as Athinolia can only be found on our lands and has an extremely high level of polyphenols) and results in highly antioxidant olives charged in polyphenols and healthy golden-green first cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, with a mildly piquant taste, full of texture and long-lasting aftertaste.

– Unique honey: every harvest depends on the quality of the ecosystem that surrounds it; wild forests and ecosystems are our home. We are nomad beekeepers looking for ideal conditions for our bees, and how far they travel to their food source. The natural properties of our real honey are impressive: antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-booster.

Where are your products stocked and do you ship internationally?

At the moment Nikkitas delivers to the UK, in 24/48hours, from our e-shop

We are also stocked in Hedonism Wines in Mayfair, Panzers in St John’s Wood, Jaks, and Zefi in Knightsbridge/Chelsea

Nikkitas is also looking to broaden the range of olives and honey varieties, so stay tuned. 

Unique Local Experiences at the Gulf of Corinth

When visiting the Corinthian Gulf, we suggest you make time for a tour of OLEOSOPHIA Olive Grove, where you have the opportunity of walking through an award-winning olive grove, exploring the olive tree cultivation, and getting a better understanding of what makes the Greek olive tree so important.

Located only one hour away from Athens, OLEOSOPHIA’s tour brings together the culture, history, myths, and legends of the olive tree as well as agricultural practices and the role it plays in today’s world. Visitors get to see the olive trees of the Manaki variety up close – the variety that is characteristic of the location that produces the award-winning mono-varietal Extra Virgin Olive Oil. 

IN+SIGHTS GREECE recently spoke with founder and Olive Oil Sommelier Marianna Devetzoglou about this wonderful experience and other cultural and historical sites at the Gulf of Corinth. 

Tell us about OLEOSOPHIA’s olive oil tastings?

Insights Greece - Unique Local Experiences at the Gulf of Corinth

Olive oil plays an integral role in Greek cuisine. But not all olive oils are good or healthy. Knowing how to understand, appreciate and select the right olive oil is very important, in order to enjoy the health benefits and of course, enhance your cooking. At our olive oil tasting, visitors will learn about the basic principles of olive oil tasting, the importance of sensory analysis, how to taste and identify positive and negative characteristics of olive oil. They will also have the opportunity to learn how to shop for the right olive oil, store and use it properly when preparing meals for their friends and family. Participating in an olive oil tasting is an experience that changes our life and the way we see olive oil and our health. 

What can visitors learn about the benefits of olive oil and the Mediterranean diet? 

Through our tours and tastings, we aim to communicate the value of the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle, with olive oil at its very core. Visitors will learn about the values of the Mediterranean diet, the importance of olive oil in its culture, history, gastronomy, and the great effects that high-quality olive oil can have on our body and mind. The tours and tastings are connected into one experience. We begin with a walk through the olive grove tour, discussing olive trees, their origins, and their value, talking about olive oil, its lifecycle, its characteristics, and quality categories. We complete our walking tour at a nice table setting where the olive oil tasting takes place. This is a well-rounded, informative, and fun experience that will create beautiful memories to take home with you!

Insights Greece - Unique Local Experiences at the Gulf of Corinth

When do the tours take place? 

Our tours usually run from April to October, on a daily basis, with one to two sessions per day, based on our bookings. We take bookings in order to ensure a better quality of the experience, keeping groups at a small size (up to 8 people). In order to make your booking, you can either reach out to us to discuss your arrival dates and make your booking based on your schedule or you can book through TripAdvisor and Viator.

What makes your tour so special? 

The simplicity and the real contact with us. Visitors get to discuss with us, learn about us, about our family, our extra virgin olive oil, and more! Visiting the olive grove and attending an olive oil tasting is the epitome of the farm-to-table or also known as farm-to-fork, a major strategy that is at the heart of the European Green Deal, aiming to make food systems fair, healthy, and environmentally friendly.  

Tell us about the recent award you received at the Berlin Great Olive Oil Competition?

The Berlin Great Olive Oil Competition is an important competition and our participation was a success! We received the Silver Award for Quality with our OLEOSOPHIA Manaki Monovarietal First Harvest Extra Virgin Olive Oil and we are part of the Elite Olive Oils on a global level. 

What’s the best season to visit the Corinth region?

Insights Greece - Unique Local Experiences at the Gulf of Corinth

The Corinth is wonderful to visit any time of the year with spring to autumn being the highlight. We are only one hour away from Athens so access is very quick and easy, making the experience even better. Visitors can see the Ancient Corinth, the Corinthian Canal, the agricultural activities, and experience our olive oil tasting – after all, the area is known for its olive oil production. For autumn visitors, it is also a great opportunity to experience cool temperatures and the harvest season. 

A few of your favourite places in Corinth to eat and drink?  

I love having lunch or dinner by the sea or up in the freshness of the mountain, so I would say the lovely taverna of Thealos in Assos for fine fish and the traditional EVIVA taverna in Vohaikos for meat. For a relaxed drink, head to the Bahama Café in Vrahati and I’m Going Bananas in Lehaio. 

Local dishes/delicacies people should try?

A classic salad with Corinthian currants, Feta cheese, and the famous Agiorgitiko Nemean wine. 

Best beaches around Corinth?

Insights Greece - Unique Local Experiences at the Gulf of Corinth

I would say Vrahati beach, Korfos beach, and the beautiful Folia tis Fokias beach. 

Historical sites?

Ancient Corinth, the Ancient Theatre, Nemea, and right next to our village Kalentzi, there is the beautiful monastery Panton Chara (of all happiness), a historic chapel carved into the rock of Mount Fokas, and the Ancient Corinthian fortress. 

What should visitors not miss when visiting Corinth?

The Corinthian Canal and our olive oil tour and tasting, of course, combined with a nice swim at one of the many beaches of the area.

The Woman Behind Oleosophia, Greece’s Award Winning Olive Oil

Marianna Devetzoglou is an Olive Oil Sommelier and the founder of OLEOSOPHIA, a family business that produces mono-varietal Extra Virgin Olive Oil of the Manaki variety – a rare variety cultivated in only two areas of Greece. 

Marianna organises olive oil tours, olive oil tastings, workshops and seminars to share her knowledge of high quality olive oil; as the core of a healthy, Mediterranean based diet. 

When asked why she pursued a career in the olive oil industry, the answer was straightforward: “Getting to know more about olive oil was a life changing experience for me, one that revealed the beauty of a natural product that holds within it a long history, tradition and of course, science! That multisided mystery spoke to me and it clicked. Having a scientific background and an entrepreneurial spirit, it was clear that I needed to make the most of my abilities and then build some more in order to create the value-added cluster I had in mind.”

Marianna studied Physics at the University of Athens and completed her postgraduate studies in London, before working in the industry and in EU research projects. However, she always felt the need to create something of her own and give back to her community. Despite being a city girl, she came to know olive oil through her husband, George, and it was an instant love! She appreciated the aromas and flavours of this natural product and understood the need for consumer and professional education alike. Pursuing in-depth knowledge, she became a certified Olive Oil Sommelier after completing her studies in London with the Olive Oil Insights Greece - The Woman Behind Oleosophia, Greece's Award Winning Olive OilTimes Education Lab and the International Culinary Centre of New York. She returned home with a mission: to share the Manaki variety with the world and to guide people towards a healthier lifestyle through the consumption of extra virgin olive oil. 

Through OLEOSOPHIA, Marianna aims to make the family’s variety of Manaki Extra Virgin Olive Oil known across the globe, educate consumers about authentic extra virgin olive oil, its health benefits, the history behind it and of course, communicate the complexity of producing high quality extra virgin olive oil and its contribution to local communities. 

In addition to being a producer, Marianna is an educator of olive oil and conducts olive oilInsights Greece - The Woman Behind Oleosophia, Greece's Award Winning Olive Oil tasting sessions, olive oil tours, farm to table workshops and olive oil communication to professional buyers and sales teams to help them better understand how to identify the positive attributes and defects of olive oil, as well as how to select, store and promote their olive oils.

Being in contact with both professional retailers and consumers, she knows how to explain olive oil in a simple, informative and interesting manner without the jargon. But the road is not paved with roses! As an entrepreneur, a producer and a woman, a number of challenges arise. “I enjoy every minute of being a business woman, despite the difficulties that pop up here and there. I love the fact that there are Insights Greece - The Woman Behind Oleosophia, Greece's Award Winning Olive Oilno limits to creativity, so long as you want to grow and generate value not just for yourself, but for your community and your environment. I see entrepreneurship as a multidimensional activity. It pushes you to evolve, to become better, to do better.”

Outside work hours, Marianna is involved in activities that promote women in entrepreneurship and the development of value-added projects in Greece and abroad. She aims to encourage more women to take up leadership roles and pursue their passion. After all, the way she sees it, “creating your own business is more about creating your own lifestyle and that, for me, is quality of life”.

10 Products to Help You Master Greek Cooking 

Understanding Greek cuisine is fairly easy with most culinary experts agreeing that Greek cooking is mainly about simplicity; simple recipes,  fresh produce, and passion.

Most Greek dishes are based on a few key ingredients and there is not much which is bottled or packaged, however, there are some products that we always keep in our fridge and pantry. This is by no means a complete list but it will definitely get you started! 

Olive Oil

Insights Greece - 10 Products to Help You Master Greek Cooking 

Extra virgin olive oil makes the top of the list of must have Greek food ingredients. It is a staple to Greek cooking and the most popular type of oil used across the country- from starters and salads to bbq’s and mains, you always need olive oil to create Greek dishes. 


The main herb in a Greek pantry is Greek oregano. From adding it to your lemon potatoes, to seasoning your octopus and salads- it’s Greece’s most loved herb. You want oregano, preferably freshly picked and dried, however if you can’t grow it yourself, you can find Greek oregano in specialty stores and delis around the world.

Feta Cheese 

Feta cheese is a staple in the Greek kitchen; almost all meals are served with a side of Feta and it is used in traditional pites (handmade pies) including Tiropita (cheese pie) and Spanakopita (spinach pie) ,as well as in popular dishes such as Prawn Saganaki. 


Many traditional Greek meals have legumes as their key ingredient and Greeks do prefer using dried legumes. The most popular are lentils, gigantes, white beans, black-eyed peas and chickpeas, which are used in stews, soups and salads. 


Insights Greece - 10 Products to Help You Master Greek Cooking 

Lemons really are a must in the Greek kitchen. They add acidity to many dishes, from roast potatoes to grilled fish. Ladolemono (olive oil and lemon juice) is used as a marinade and a dressing on seafood and salads. Lemon juice is also added to mostly everything from meats to fried cheese and is also included in many Greek desserts, especially in the syrup based sweets. And lets not forget Avgolemono, which is Greece’s famous egg and lemon sauce. 

Sea Salt 

Greek sea salt is naturally rich in minerals, which makes it so delicious. Learn to season food, especially with sea salt. This is one of the most important techniques in Greek cooking. However, the seasoning should not be overpowering.

Greek Honey 

Honey is used in many popular Greek pastries and it is one of Greece’s most popular sweeteners. Honey is always on the Greek breakfast table- great to spread on toast and add to your tea! 

Greek Yogurt

Traditional Greek yogurt is a must in our pantry. It can be used a base for dips, as well as marinades. It also makes for an ideal sweet treat on its own with  walnuts and honey.


Tomatoes are another staple in the Greek household and are used in the Greek kitchen from breakfast through to dinner. From simple dishes such as a traditional Greek salad to red based sauces, and the famous Strapatsada breakfast dish, tomatoes are a key ingredient to many Greek recipes. 

Filo Pastry 

You will find most Greek households have pastry in their freezer, as this allows you to quickly create a sweet or savoury pie. From cheese and spinach to custard pies and the famous baklava- filo is a key component. 

Cover image Getty Images 

Young Couple’s Traditional Olive Oil Named One of Healthiest in the World

OLEOSOPHIA is the result of a love story between a young Greek couple who turned the Ancient Greek tradition of olive harvesting into a modern family business that is being widely recognised and praised as one of the best and healthiest in the world. 

Launched in 2018 in the village of Kalentzi, by Marianna Devetzoglou and Aris Magginas, this Corinthian extra virgin olive oil is rich in antioxidants and was recently awarded for its wellbeing content by the World Olive Centre for Health.

Insights Greece - Young Couple's Traditional Olive Oil Named One of Healthiest in the World

Ensuring consistency in quality, flavour, and aroma, OLEOSOPHIA is a limited edition product as the quantities depend on each year’s yield.

The brand’s vision is to promote the philosophy of extra virgin olive oil while sharing the values and ethos of their land. With a mission to inspire people to add this unique and healthy liquid gold into their everyday life- the small and talented team consists of young individuals of different backgrounds who love their country and its produce.

We recently had a chat with co-founder and Olive Oil Sommelier Marianna Devetzoglou about her family business, which is growing rapidly by the day.

Tell us about your olive oil brand. How did it all begin? 

It all started when my husband George and I met – two people from different backgrounds who fell in love. We used to attend events and walk together through the olive trees, discussing ideas and future plans. OLEOSOPHIA started shortly after our love story blossomed with the aim of communicating our ethos, our values, and our vision to
the world. OLEOSOPHIA represents the wisdom of olive oil, the unification of two families, and their traditions. We are happy to share this love for extra virgin olive oil with people, exchange ideas, and form solid partnerships around the world.

Insights Greece - Young Couple's Traditional Olive Oil Named One of Healthiest in the World

Tell us more about your upbringing and how that helped you launch OLEOSOPHIA?

George and I grew up in very different families. George comes from an agricultural family in the village of Kalentzi, Peloponnese, whose activities involved cultivating olive trees, table grapes, and apricots. He then studied IT at the Polytechnic University and got an MBA degree, before setting out on his IT career while helping his family. I, on the other hand, was born and raised in Athens, away from nature and in an urban family. I studied Physics and Materials Science in Athens and London before coming back to Greece. When we met, we enjoyed long hours of talking about new ventures, while our romance grew. Despite the different backgrounds, we shared the same passion – sharing our dreams and values with people, contributing to life changing experiences. There, under the olive trees, OLEOSOPHIA was born as a manifestation of our common passion: to create a point of reference where people can learn, enjoy, participate and get to know the local culture, the local olive variety, build a health-oriented mentality, experience artisan products and create long-lasting friendships.

What is the history behind your olive grove in Corinth?

My in-laws family live in the village of Kalentzi, which is located at the base of Mt. Fokas (in the Corinthian area), the mountain where the Lion of Nemea was born, according to legend. For three generations, the family has been cultivating olive trees, table grapes, and apricots. 

Insights Greece - Young Couple's Traditional Olive Oil Named One of Healthiest in the World

Blessed with a strategically mild microclimate and fertile land, the area offers a variety of products with excellent quality and authentic taste. OLEOSOPHIA is our family’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil, produced by handpicked olives from our family grove, ensuring consistency in quality, flavour, and aroma. This tradition and experience has been passed on from generation to generation and is an integral part of our identity. Now, the new generation, young brothers and sisters have spread their wings, built their education in different sectors – chemistry, physics, and engineering, and have returned to their roots to build a new era for the family – with ethos, persistence, honesty, and integrity. Our olive grove is our sacred family heirloom, where we work hard to produce our awarded monovarietal extra virgin olive oil of the Manaki variety. It is also open to visitors to learn, explore, share and experience the magic of olive oil through olive grove tours and olive oil tasting events under the trees.

Tell us about your varieties?  

In our olive grove of approximately 4,000 olive trees, we cultivate and produce monovarietal, first harvest Manaki Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which is health claim certified and represents our local variety, with a well-balanced, smooth sensory profile whilst we also produce Manaki/Megariti extra virgin olive oil variety combined with a playful twist. As olive oil production has been running in the family for more than three generations, we have improved and optimised our agricultural practices in order to achieve higher quality and showcase the beautiful variety of Manaki. We bottle in luxury bottles of 500mL and 250mL which are ideal for everyday use as well as for corporate or personal gifts.

What do you think makes your business so successful?  

Insights Greece - Young Couple's Traditional Olive Oil Named One of Healthiest in the World

We are a team of young people with different backgrounds and this is what makes us so strong. The team consists of Aris, Marianna, and Myrto. Aris is responsible for the cultivation. He is very knowledgeable, takes great care of the trees, and makes sure to keep them healthy and happy in order for them to give us their best fruit every year. I am the Olive Oil Sommelier, responsible for networking, PR, exports/sales, and of course, our olive oil tours and olive oil tasting events. I’m very active through education seminars to both consumers and professionals, while being the contact point between the family and our partners. Myrto is our Quality Advisor – coming from a chemistry background, she is the go-to person for all the necessary, quality-related processes, organisation advice, and science. The three of us complement each other, each building on each other’s strengths and weaknesses, creating a productive, well-balanced result.

What makes Greek olive oil so healthy? 

Extra Virgin Olive Oil – the highest grade of olive oil – is the healthiest one can possibly consume, rich in healthy fats and antioxidants that have demonstrated to contribute against a number of changes our body undergoes. Moreover, it is a natural juice that comes directly from the pressing of the olive fruit. Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil, in particular, is healthy and rich in different sensory profiles because of the many different olive varieties found in Greece. As a result, the consumer can enjoy all the health benefits and experience authentic flavours that depict the local microclimate and flora of each region.

What makes your olive oil so unique?

Insights Greece - Young Couple's Traditional Olive Oil Named One of Healthiest in the World

A number of reasons make OLEOSOPHIA special. The Manaki variety that we cultivate in our family olive grove is a sensitive variety that is mainly used for the production of high quality, high-end extra virgin olive oil. The variety is found only in two areas in Greece and is not cultivated in other countries, making the experience of OLEOSOPHIA an authentic one, one you may explore when travelling in our region. Moreover, OLEOSOPHIA monovarietal extra virgin olive oil holds a Health Claim certificate for its phenolic content – this means that consumers may use OLEOSOPHIA as a health supplement, not just as a tasty ingredient in their everyday cooking. Both, our monovarietal and our varietal combinations have been awarded a GREAT TASTE AWARDS 2020, one of the most prestigious food competitions globally. Finally, OLEOSOPHIA is not just a product – partners and consumers can enjoy this unique variety, participate in our online workshops and also, visit our olive grove to experience olive oil tours, olive oil tasting, and food pairing guided by our Olive Oil Sommelier. Our vision is to create a community of Oleosophers and let people enjoy it, learn about our ethos and olive oil culture, and become part of our family.

Tell us about your awards and accolades?

Our family is constantly working hard to ensure high-quality extra virgin olive oil in order to enjoy the health benefits and unique flavour of our Manaki variety. Our hard work has been rewarded with an OLYMPIA AWARD 2020 for OLEOSOPHIA’s Monovarietal Manaki Health Claim and phenolic content while we have also won our GREAT TASTE AWARD 2020 for both our monovarietal and our variety combination with very positive comments by the judges.

Where is your oil stocked and do you ship internationally?

Insights Greece - Young Couple's Traditional Olive Oil Named One of Healthiest in the World

In our village, Kalentzi, and near our olive grove, we stock our olive oil in stainless steel containers, in dark, cool places as per the appropriate specifications of olive oil maintenance. Internationally, we have been working with a number of high-end, fine food shops globally that address a demanding audience that seeks healthy, authentic, and original products. Our partners are located in the EU (France, Germany, Switzerland, Greece, Sweden), USA, and Australia while we keep growing our network through product collaborations, article contributions, olive oil tasting events, and training workshops.

Are you working on any new projects and what is your long-term vision?

Every year we work hard to improve our products and our methods, simultaneously improving ourselves with respect to our land and its value. We continue working on our
product range that will eventually include not only extra virgin olive oil but also olive oil-based cosmetics, herbs, and table olives. Our vision is to communicate our philosophy of life and of extra virgin olive oil while sharing the values and ethos of our land and family. We aim to become a reference point for excellent quality manaki extra virgin olive oil, olive oil tastings and tours, education workshops and to make our local variety known across our network of partners and community of Oleosophers.

You also offer olive oil tours.  

Yes. Seeking to communicate our family values and mentality, we host olive oil tours and tasting sessions in our olive grove as part of the OLEOSOPHIA experience. Visitors have the opportunity to walk through the olive grove, learn about the olive trees and the manaki variety specifically, and explore the authentic flavour by experiencing olive oil tasting sessions under the olive trees. We book small groups to ensure a better experience and guide them through the lifecycle of olive oil. We discuss with them the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil, its role in the Mediterranean Diet, ways to make it part of their daily gastronomy, and why it is more of health investment, rather than simply a tasty ingredient. Moreover, visitors can learn which are the positive attributes of extra virgin olive oil, which are the defects, and how to identify them when seeking to purchase olive oil for their friends and family. This is a unique experience, one that enables people to explore new flavours and aromas, live a local, authentic experience and way of life, participate in the evaluation of olive oil and learn how to make well-informed decisions about their health. The tours run all year round, based on bookings, and with a special emphasis in the spring-summer season. We are always happy to welcome visitors, get to know them, educate them, share our values, and make long-lasting friendships with people from around the world and from different backgrounds.


Deep Love for Greece Inspires Launch of New Olive Oil Blend

A Greek goddess with a deep love for all that Greece has to offer, a commitment to good health mind, body, and soul, and a yearning for wisdom chances upon the opportunity to bottle these elements into the ultimate elixir. The liquid gold universally recognised as pure extra virgin Greek olive oil.

Greek American Krystalan Chryssomallis has seen the world, pouring her marketing prowess and photography genius into the incomparable (we’re talking groundbreaking concerts at landmarks such as the Pyramids) tours of her father, legendary Greek musician, and composer, Yanni.

Insights Greece - Deep Love for Greece Inspires Launch of New Olive Oil Blend

Having searched the United States amidst a backdrop of widespread olive oil fraud, for pure, top quality extra virgin olive, it was serendipitous that Krystalan joined forces with an olive oil sommelier to create her own special blend, released last week. For the talented philanthropist who embodies kindness, optimism, philanthropy, and gratitude, it is fitting she labelled her blend Wise Life.

Krystalan spoke to us about her favourite places in Greece, the increasing need for wisdom and positivity in our lives, and paying homage to her ancestry in her special blend of liquid gold.

Interview by Gina Mamouzelos 

Tell us about your love affair with Greece?

I absolutely love Greece. Everything about it. The people, the air, the never-ending clear blue ocean, the olive trees, the singing birds, the food, the home-made wine, and all the special coves and surprises that you stumble upon as you wander around the cobblestone streets. The first time I visited Greece I was in university studying abroad in Spain and I was able to take several weeks to go and explore and enjoy. I remember my first experience very vividly… I felt a beautiful sense of peace. I felt at home. The energy there just seemed to match my own and I absolutely loved the people I came in contact with. Even though I didn’t grow up speaking Greek, I was able to communicate and connect with the locals in a way I’ve never experienced anywhere else. There is a big sense of love and inclusivity I experienced while on the islands and it remains one of my favorite places in the world.

Insights Greece - Deep Love for Greece Inspires Launch of New Olive Oil Blend

Favourite memory?

By far my time with my dad in our family home in Kalamata, Greece. Nothing beats waking up early in the morning and enjoying the most flavorful fresh-picked fruits, swimming in the ocean and finding the most fish, and enjoying our time together with nothing to do other than enjoy the deep blue. It is our special haven. Since we are constantly touring, working and on the go, Greece is where we do nothing else other than just “be.”

Favourite experience?

Greeks know how to have fun! There are so many that stand out, but one of my favourites was my time in Crete. I had just arrived and met some new friends who welcomed us to their home with open arms. Before I knew it, we were all up dancing and singing into the early hours of the morning. Nights turn into days and dancing is always part of the fun… which, if you know me, I’m always in for dancing.

Favourite place to stay?

There are so many beautiful places! Greece has such great hospitality, that nearly any place you go will be magical. The most incredible thing about Greece is that there is an experience for anything you are looking for. Each of the islands all have their own unique personality, cuisine, energy, and activities and there are so many of them that you can return to and have a different experience every time. If you want high energy fun, Mykonos remains the place to go. Paros has a beautiful unexplored calmness, and I’ve been interested in visiting Cana Ves Oia in Santorini for a more serene and peaceful time.

Favourite place to eat?

Insights Greece - Deep Love for Greece Inspires Launch of New Olive Oil Blend

One of the really exceptional things about Greece is that any corner you turn into has the most unbelievable food and wine. It’s always fresh, clean and the Mediterranean diet, to me, is among the best in the world. Nothing is overproduced and oftentimes, the owner made their own wine or picked their own veggies or fished what you are eating earlier that day. There is the cutest restaurant set right in the sand below my dad’s home in Kalamata that has the most amazing fish I’ve ever had.

Favourite beach?

I love the ocean and everything about it. You can’t go wrong anywhere you are in Greece. The water is crystal blue and clear and absolutely stunning. The beaches in Crete are quite spectacular. There are so many you can go to and visit while you are there. Preveli Beach is beautiful and unique in that Kourtaliotis River ends at the beach creating a delta that makes for a rare experience. That, coupled with the beautiful lush vegetation, palm trees and soft sand make for a beautiful landscape. It does get quite crowded, so it’s a great place for early mornings or later in the season. Milos is on my bucket list. They have a beautiful sun-bleached rock coastline set against the turquoise blue waters that I’ve been wanting to photograph!

Favourite spot to get your camera out?

Insights Greece - Deep Love for Greece Inspires Launch of New Olive Oil Blend

Greece has so many incredible locations to photograph. I hope to be able to return someday soon and really dive in and capture the beauty as I have seen and experienced it. The colors and vibrancy are what always catches my eye. My favourite experience shooting was hiking the trails in Kalamata with my family. The contrast of the trees and the cliffs with the sun setting over the ocean is one of my favorite things.

I would absolutely love to someday work alongside Greece and capture and share the beauty and magic that exists there. That is my next dream!

What do you love to cook?

Since I was travelling so much, I wasn’t cooking as much as I would like, but now, with the current situation and having time at home, I’ve really had the opportunity to bring cooking back into my life on a more consistent basis and I’m loving it! My favourite foods are healthy and simple. I believe that when you have organic fresh ingredients, you don’t need to do too much to them and allow their natural flavors to come through. One of my favourites is the traditional Greek salad! It’s so simple, yet the juices on the bottom mixed with the olive oil and Feta and dipped with some fresh homemade bread is just delicious!

How did your Wise Life collaboration come about?

Insights Greece - Deep Love for Greece Inspires Launch of New Olive Oil Blend

I absolutely love Greece and wanted to incorporate more of the things I love about it into my daily life, in a more meaningful way. It was a natural fit when I met Theo Stepan, the owner of a beautiful olive grove here in California, to create something that not only has a positive message, but also history going  back to our heritage in a way that we can share all the incredible benefits of “liquid gold.” From one Greek American woman to another, we knew we wanted to work together in some way and WISE LIFE comes out of that chance meeting. To me, being wise encompasses the ability to discern a moment in time and make a thoughtful decision. With all that is going on in our world, having wisdom in our homes is so important. Open communication and a willingness to listen and gain knowledge from one another, along with life experiences and understanding, provides the perfect combination to better understand one another and make wise decisions as we progress through life. My hope is that having a positive message and reinforcement of the powers of wisdom in your home in something you may use every day is a  reminder that together, we can live a healthy, happy, and wise life.

 Tell us about your delicious Wise Life olive oil?

Insights Greece - Deep Love for Greece Inspires Launch of New Olive Oil Blend

WISE LIFE is a limited edition first cold press run. It is organically grown, hand-harvested, guaranteed fresh, and made with love extra virgin olive oil. It comes in a beautiful 500ml black glass bottle that keeps the oil fresh and also just looks great in the kitchen. It will make for a beautiful gift come the holidays! Since it’s tricky getting around all of the fraudulent olive oil that’s in the market here in the US, I was thrilled to find a solution for my own kitchen. It had been years of searching and trying various olive oils that are here, but I was not able to find anything I was confident in and just loved. Creating this special blend with Global Gardens was my solution and I wanted to find a way to share it with others. It can be found at the Global Gardens.

How should people enjoy Wise Life?

I was looking to create something that could be used easily and on anything. I appreciate a great olive oil that allows the natural flavours to really stand out and that can make any dish enhanced. I love the kitchen and it’s important for me to find products that not only taste good but are great for you. Wise Life is just that and is perfect for drizzling on salads, sautés, frying, you name it. It’s quickly become my favourite olive oil in the kitchen. I should add, I also use it in my moisturizers! It’s fresh and pure so all of the health benefits olive oil has to offer are great for your skin too.


Why Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the Healthiest Oil Worldwide

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO). We know it. We eat it daily. And we love it. But why is it so good for us? 

By Marianna Devetzoglou

EVOO plays an integral role in our daily diet – the famous Mediterranean Diet, which was once again voted as the world’s healthiest diet for the year 2020. And at the heart of it, is the almighty EVOO. Although there are several olive oil grades, EVOO is the one we should always prefer, due to its strong health benefits and gastronomical profile.

What makes EVOO so different from other oils? A number of characteristics actually!

To begin with, contrary to other oils, olive oil is a natural juice which means it comes directly from the olive fruit. There is no chemical or industrial processing taking place. It is produced from the crushing of the olives at the olive mill, much like orange is squeezed to produce orange juice. This, in itself, makes it a very healthy food to consume, as we enjoy the bioactive compounds in their natural raw form.

Moreover, EVOO is one of the best sources of unsaturated fatty acids, and antioxidants such as polyphenols, a-tocopherol, carotenoids etc. has the ability to deliver important health benefits to various health aspects. On the area of cardiovascular health, its high content in monounsaturated fatty acids in combination with the antioxidants, decrease the risk of arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, high blood pressure and coronary heart disease. Insights Greece - Why Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the Healthiest Oil WorldwideThe strong antioxidant properties of olive oil constituents contribute positively to the body’s ability to resist oxidative stress, combat inflammation and promotes a healthier neurological and cellular function. Epidemiological studies show encouraging results in that olive oil consumption, as part of the Mediterranean diet, can help manage diabetes type 2 and reduces the risk of cancer, as well as cognitive and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

The health benefits of EVOO are accumulative, making the consumption of EVOO a lifelong, health investment and not a one-off medicine. So, it’s important to consume EVOO on a daily basis. And how easy is that? It is easier than most think!

EVOO is best consumed raw in salads but is also a good option to cook with and fry in Insights Greece - Why Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the Healthiest Oil Worldwidebecause it is more stable in high temperatures than other frying oils. To increase daily consumption, EVOO can be added in raw salads, boiled or roasted vegetables, in pasta once it’s ready, and, of course, in baking- to replace butter.

There are many different varieties of EVOO, depending on the olive trees, and the EVOOs that are produced can be delicate, mild or robust. Each variety gives a different profile – delicate aromas or robust pungency, mild bitterness or intense fruitiness. There are basically two distinct ways to pair olive oil with food:  complementary and contrasting. In complementary flavours, two similar ingredients are blended, without overpowering primary flavours, such as fish, mushrooms, seafood paste and baking. In contrasting flavours, each ingredient is tasted separately, so adding a robust EVOO can add some interest. You can easily use a robust EVOO in barbeque meat, a mild EVOO in pasta, and a delicate EVOO in baking as a butter replacement.

Food pairing and the gastronomic combinations are endless with such a unique and versatile product and exploring the different varieties of olive oil, flavours, aromas and intensities open up a new world of possibilities in creativity and culinary activities, all without compromising on your health! So, cheers to EVOO!

Marianna Devetzoglou
Insights Greece - Why Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the Healthiest Oil Worldwide

Olive Oil Sommelier



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