Wild, raw and authentic – that’s the best way to describe the landscape of Mani, a region on the middle, southernmost ‘finger’ of the Greek Peloponnese peninsula: the home base for the Bläuel family business. The trailblazing Austrian pioneers Fritz and Burgi Bläuel emigrated to Greece in 1978 in search of an alternative lifestyle and economy. There, they managed to talk a number of small-scale farms into growing olives organically and breathed new life into the Mani region by exporting high-quality olive oil. As the years passed, they built up their company into a thriving business, based on appreciation, respect and love for people, the environment and the power of authenticity.
Indigenous Koroneiki olives form the basis for the high-end Mani olive oils and mezes created by the Bläuel family. Koroneiki is a small, robust olive, renowned for its fruitiness. Only fully ripe olives are harvested by hand before being carried directly to the mill in baskets, where only the best olives are turned into olive oil. The first cold pressing produces high-quality extra-virgin olive oil with a delicate, mild fruity taste within just a few hours. Mezes are Greek snacks that are often enjoyed with bread or feta cheese, and perhaps a glass of wine – for pure Greek enjoyment.
By allowing the growers to profit effectively from the benefits of organic agriculture and the associated market opportunities, Mani produced the first certified organic olive oil in Greece. The company recently obtained ‘Naturland Fair certification’, making its long-term environmental and social commitment transparent and measurable. Naturland is a global organisation engaged in advocating for organic agriculture on behalf of small-scale producers operating sustainably and with respect for local ecosystems.
An owl entwined with olive leaves reflects the value of the products. In Greek mythology it was ascribed to Athena, the goddess of wisdom. The owl is also a common Austrian symbol. The olive tree symbolises peace and prosperity. The name ‘MANI’ is short, clear and modern, and also represents the region in the south of Greece where the company that shares its name took root, forty years ago.