‘EROS’ the local cooperative of wine and olive oil producers in Mykonos, is set to promote the indigenous varieties of wine and the cultivation of olive trees. Mr. Dimitris Rousounelos, a food writer and the head of the cooperative states that due to the morphology of the island, there are no extended olive groves in Mykonos. Olive trees are planted in confined places or on the edges of other cultivations. This is also because the land is more valuable for touristic development than agricultural purposes. During the last 12 years, the cooperative has given away about 15,000 olive trees and calculate that today there are around 30,000 olive trees on the island. Producers try to occasionally water the trees despite the dry terrain. The cultivar used for olive oil is the Koroneiki and for edible olives are Kalamon and Amfissas cultivars.
Even though the cultivation of olive trees is limited on the island, producers are very enthusiastic about it. They have already organized seminars and tasting events on olive oil. Mykonian oil meets high standards (Virgin Olive Oil) but cannot be classified as extra virgin yet because the olives are shipped for processing to Tinos, Andros, and sometimes to mills in Attica. So the time required for processing degrades the product to lower categories. Harvesting on the island normally begins in mid-October and ends in late November, although some olives are ready to be harvested by late September.
The good news is that Mykonos will have its own municipal mill hopefully in the next 1-2 years. This will be a long-awaited achievement and a great boost for the local olive oil production in terms of quantity and quality because it will finally enable the producers to make the extra virgin olive oil of Mykonos. A big plus for the local's everyday table and for restaurants and hotels that will be able to serve local EVOO to their customers.
Mykonians wish to rediscover their roots in growing and producing local quality products as an alternative to the monoculture of tourism.