The Margier Olive Oil Mill in Auriol
An organically certified mill with 4 centuries of tradition
The Margier Olive Mill (Moulin à Huile Margier) in Auriol was established in 1650 and has been in the Margier family for three generations. It has even been quoted in a famous novel, "Total Chaos (Marseille Trilogy)" by Jean-Claude Izzo.
Nelly and Jean-François Margier have brought new youth with modern materials and methods. In 1998, they joined with a few small producers of organic olives and obtained the ECOCERT certification for organic olives. One year later, they receive an official AOC, Appellation of Certified Olive Oil from the area of Aix-en-Provence. Those olives, carefully processed, have received numerous awards at the Concours Général Agricole de Paris et in Provence.
In 2001, the mill moved outside the old village, eastward building an up to date facility to improve quality and increase the volume that can be processed; 160 metric tons increased to 575 metric tons in 2005, with one third in AOC.
The Olive Processing
The main activity of the Mill is the olive pressing, in four rigorously managed steps.
- Separation of the fruits from the stems and cleaning
- Crushing of the olives and mixing of the olive paste
- Extraction with separation of the oily liquid
- Decantation and centrifugation to separate oil from water
Here is a slide show of the production cycle.
All what is not converted in olive oil is composted and recycled.
With an appointment, the mill master will give you a tour.
The Mill as a Service Provider
The mill welcomes all olive growers, even small producers who wish to have their olives processed. To obtain an oil without traces of fermentation, olives must be processed quickly, within 24 hours after harvest. Producers with less than 300 pounds of olives add their olives to batches that are processed continuously. For large quantities, the pressing can be done in a selective batch, with an appointment, and the producer will receive the oil from its own olives, for his own selling. Obviously, the producers can trust the mill to commercialize their oil. In 2013, the mill receives the olives of the growers in the region on October 23rd and 25th, then from October 28 every day except Sundays from 8 to 12:00 and14:00 to 18:00.
More than 3000 producers, from the smallest to the largest, trust Margier Mill to press their olives. Jean-François and Nelly are always ready to guide producers, give advice on how to improve the care of their trees, improve harvest techniques, etc.
Olive Oil Sale at the Mill
Two third of the oils processed in the mill are returned to the producers. The last tier is sold at the "Boutique du Moulin", our outlet. This year, for instance, we sold the "Cuvée des Collines", premium oil sold in dark bottles. This oil results from careful pressing of olives grown between aromatic plants, thyme and rosemary, which communicate part of their aroma to the oil, offering a taste of the Provencal hillside. Only 300 to 400 kg / 650 to 900 lbs of olives can produce this very special oil, but it shows that the antique techniques can accommodate innovative offers.