Les Templiers de Provence: (L-R): Sophie Seale, Tom Seale;

On Tuesday early evening, Les Templiers de Provence held a Vernissage at the Brasserie Guillaume on Place Guillaume II in Luxembourg city centre, this year in collaboration with Bernard-Massard, following the recent harvest and pressing over ten days in early November.

Tom Seale (recently-retired CEO of European Fund Administrators (EFA) in Luxembourg), has cultivated a plot in Provence and started planting olive trees a number of years ago. 2008 saw the first harvest from the then young trees, approximately 600 in number, with a total of 300 litres of olive oil being produced.

This year, the 3,000 trees over 11 hectares are now much larger and more mature, and Provence experienced a lot of rain in the period running up to the harvest: as a result, the production increased from around 4,000 litres to around 6,000 litres this year. This year's harvest resulted in 40 tonnes of fruit being produced (18.395 tonnes in 2017 & 20.729 tonnes in 2016).

The ratio of litres to fruit was down this year, but that has increased the quality of the oil produced.

Tom Seale talked with Chronicle.lu and explained that, unlike 2017 which was by far the driest year to date for Les Templiers de Provence, with a full-scale drought in Provence and much of southern Europe, 2018 saw a significant increase in the harvest.

This year, two different olive oils have been produced, one with mushroom and vanilla traces, and the other containing traces of green apple. In addition, 600kg of harvested olives was retained for the first time, for tapinade and table olives.

Les Templiers de Provence is on its was to its goal of producing 7-10,000 litres in total.

As last year, there is also honey from the same producers, who started managing on-site aviaries in 2014. This year, around 80kg of honey was produced, the original hives still being located beside the lavender fields, and new hives located closer to buildings and producing "multi-fleur" honey.

For further details, including ordering, see www.lestempliersdeprovence.com