A FAMILY GROVE
Our name, Agrilia (pronounced A-grili’a) translates to “wild olive tree,” mirroring the arid terrain typical of the Cyclades.
Agrilia began as a far-fetched dream. With little else but a love for Antiparos and a strong belief in the power of great olive oil – to improve every food it touches, to heal and to bring people together around a dinner table – our family set out to create our own olive grove in Antiparos.
While Antiparos and the broader Cyclades are not traditionally olive oil producing, our area of Kambos was rich in small farms producing everything from honey, luscious tomatoes, goat cheeses, sausage and many more fruits and vegetables. So, unlike the traditional areas of mainland Greece that have been home to olive trees for centuries, we decided to plant all 2,500 of our olive trees from scratch across 10 acres of land, just steps from Livadia beach. We chose to plant only trees of the Koroneiki variety – the most resilient and adaptive of the native Greek varieties.
Our goal was not and still is not to recreate what already exists elsewhere in Greece, but rather to work with the terrain and conditions in Antiparos to create an organic extra virgin olive oil representative of our beloved island. For over a decade our production was limited to friends and family, many of whom would earn their olive oil by working on the farm at harvest. One such friend, greek artist Pavlos Samios, sketched the logo we still have on our bottles today during our first harvest. As our trees grew, we had great seasons and poor seasons, fought pests (always organically), welcomed our first strangers (now friends) and watched Antiparos evolve into a booming summer destination.
As our trees grew and began producing more olives, we invested in a state of the art, two-stage olive press, to make sure that every stage of our production adhered to the strictest organic standards. This allowed us to press our olives straight from the tree, ensuring that no defects were introduced in the transportation of our olives to Paros for pressing. A decade after our first tree was planted, we began packaging our olive oil and selling it at small local markets throughout Greece!
Over the past twenty-some years, our grove has grown to produce up to ten tons of olive oil a year, carefully watched over by dedicated staff committed to our organic growing and pressing methods. Our products can be found in multiple countries around the world, and we have launched agrotourism initiatives, opening up our grove for visits and tastings. As the popularity of the island grew, we saw many of local producers shut down or scale back their operation and have resolved to keep the agricultural nature of the island alive. We hope the agrotourism initiatives we have introduced in the last year can continue to promote the viability of sustainable farming in Antiparos and are proud to now be one of several olive groves operating on the island.