The olive tree constitutes the basic form of cultivation on Samos. The ancient Greek playwright Aeschylus, had names Samos as “Eleophyto” (=full of olive trees). Antiphanes, (playwright of ancient Greek comedy ), wrote that “The perfect quality of Samian olive oil, is the measure for the rest of Greece’s olive oil“.
The olive tree is perennial tree and the cultivation at the island is continuous from antiquity till today, as seen from the trunks of many traditional olives trees, that reveal age of centuries.
The traditional olive groves, along with carob (in a smaller percentage) occupied nearly the entire southern part of the island and the rocky northwest areas of Kallithea and Drakei villages, because they are the only plants that can exploit these hot and dry areas with barren gravelly and stony soils. However they are not common in highlands because of their sensitivity in cold.top
The main variety of Samian olive tree is “throumpolia” that gives besides the oil and the olives “hamades”, they are olives ready to eat after their fall from the tree without any pretreatment.
During the 1960s and later, the state gave strong incentives for the replacement of the fields they cultivated tobacco from olive tree, variety “Koroneiki” (Olea Europea var. microcarpa alba) and “Kalamon” (Olea Europea var. Ceraticarpa). After that, new and extensive olive groves were created on the island with these varieties.
In Samos cultivated 115 km2 olive trees, in the southern part of the island is cultivated 66%, and in the north of the remaining 34%.
The average production of olive oil at the last 18 years (1998 – 2016) amounts to 2,352 tonnes, with maximum 4,042 tonnes at the period 1998-1999 and minimum 379 tonnes in 2001-2002.
The Samos olive oil, it’s “Protected Geographical Indication” (PGI), since 1993 (371572/19 07 93 Official Gazette 574/02 08 93) in accordance with EC directives number 510/06.top