Several techniques can be used for harvesting, either by hand or with some mechanical assistance. Nets or umbrella systems are placed under the trees to collect the olives. Any unhealthy olives or olives that have fallen from the tree prior to the harvest are not used. Olives are transported in small boxes to avoid any damage due to weight pressure.
This is a critical stage in the production and is carried out in a temperature controlled environment with minimal contact with air to avoid triggering an oxidation process which would affect the quality of the oil.
The reference to cold pressing is obsolete nowadays, since the vast majority of quality extra virgin olive oils are produced at low temperatures via an extraction process. The very best producers manage to complete this process within a few hours of the harvest.
The process of transforming olives into oil requires a high degree of skill and experience as well as great attention to detail to achieve the highest quality. It could be regarded as freezing a moment in time when the olive juice is at its peak in both quality and taste.
At a final stage, the oil is filtered and stored at low temperatures with no contact to air or light.