In November and December with painstaking, careful craftsmanship and with simple hand-portable mechanical tools, the olives are harvested. The ripeness of the fruit is critical: not too green, nor too ripe – experience shows that the fruit should ideally be picked when its colour is between yellowish-green and light purple: that is the right moment to pick them. At this stage aromas, polyphenols and oil content are optimal. Polyphenols are plant compounds that, among other things, affect the colour and taste, protect the oil and as antioxidants they are thought to strengthen the human cells in the body. Strict selection methods guarantee the best raw materials for producing premium quality olive oils.
Critical to the quality of olive oil is the immediate processing of the olives as soon as possible after harvest. That same evening the precious olives are cold-processed in one of the 15 medium-sized oil mills in the Mani. The olive oil is extracted at a maximum temperature of 27 degrees Celsius, so that the valuable nutritional components of the olive are retained. Strict quality controls ensure that the top quality MANI olive oils qualify as “extra virgin”.
MANI olives are largely hand-picked and sorted immediately after harvest again by hand for quality and size. They are then placed in brine, in order to remove their natural bitterness, the brine liquid is refreshed regularly. The right de-bittering process is the secret of the distinctive taste of MANI olives. Afterwards, the olives are processed into the various olive products in the traditional way.
The fresh tomatoes are washed, halved lengthwise and sprinkled with a little salt. They are then exposed to sunshine for several days, at temperatures between 30 and 38 degrees Celsius, until dry. After the first part of the drying, the tomatoes are placed indoors for a few more days to lose excess moisture. Before further processing, the fully dried tomatoes are checked again for quality. Only the best are included in the MANI range.