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Olive growing

 

The olive tree, which first appeared in our area in Roman times, is one of the symbolic trees of our region. Anyone who has a piece of land has an olive tree.

 100 year old olive tree - JPEG - 18.2 kb
100 year old olive tree
Crédit Julien Bonet

The cultivation of the olive, a centenarian and historic tree, is for the Clermontais as much a tradition as is winemaking. A vineyard without an olive tree and there’s a little something missing in the countryside. Wine and olives are intimately linked. Since 1922 Clermont l’Hérault has been home to the oldest olive-making cooperative in the department. At first it had restricted membership but managed to bring together many olive growers, for the most part private individuals who had confidence in the cooperative for treating their olives. In spite of the 1956 frost which ruined the local production and the olive trees, the cooperative got back on its feet and was modernized in the 60s and thus able to cope with a greater and more qualitative production.

Today, there are as many as 4000 members who take their olives to the « Augustin Mill » (the founder of the Clermont oil-making coop) for treating : olives to eat or to spread “tapenade” or for olive oil. Green olives are collected in September, black olives in November from just after the first frost.

There are several varieties of olives, all with different tastes: lucques, verdales, amelau and the picholine which is typical to the Clermontais region. The cooperative regularly wins prizes from the Concours General Agricole Paris (CGA), it provisions the National Assembly and exports oil to Japan for cosmetic purposes.

Private producers are also to be found here, come and meet them in our local markets!

Pictures

Vineyards and olive trees in the Clermontais - JPEG - 193.9 kb
Vineyards and olive trees in the Clermontais

Crédit Fusioline

Clermontais olives - JPEG - 70.8 kb
Clermontais olives

Crédit KELOUS

Olive trees in the Clermontais - JPEG - 160 kb
Olive trees in the Clermontais

Crédit Julien Bonet

Vineyards of the Clermontais - JPEG - 227.2 kb
Vineyards of the Clermontais

Crédit Fusioline

 

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