- “Penelope Lagakos of Kastania Olive Oil, Female Entrepreneur” featured in Fig Magazine (2018)
- Featured in "Chester County Life" Magazine (2015)
- Featured in the National Herald (2015)
- Featured on "Small Food" blog (2015)
The Village of Kastania
The olive groves of Kastania are located in the mountains of the southern province of Laconia. They are located in our home area, or as the Greeks say, our "Horio" (or χωριό).
Our families grew up with only gravel roads and one telephone at the taverna. Today the main roads are paved and people have cell phones. Otherwise, the traditional lifestyle has little changed.
This lifestyle consists of rural agriculture, including the traditional activities of goat herding and the production of honey. The hills of Kastania are covered not only with its famous olive trees, but also with chestnut trees, oregano and with abundant thyme. Thyme is particularly favored for the production of local honey.
Kastania has a unique terroir - or land - which is the key to the production of what is recognized as perhaps the finest of Greek olives and olive oils. Kastania's mountain elevation and its rocky soil with low rainfall results in low yields. However, this lower yield also produces olives of exceptional quality, aroma and taste.
The olives that go into Kastania Olive Oil come from our Avorna grove, located in the heart of this unique terroir. This terroir has been recognized for centuries for its favorable characteristics. Kastania means "chestnut tree" in Greek, and chestnut trees are common in the mountains of this region. Chestnut trees and olive groves similarly benefit from this local climate. Laconia is extremely dry and enjoys the steady, year-round sunshine of southern Greece. Kastania Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made by our family, with cousin Kostas Arfanis using olives from his own trees. He uses no herbicides or pesticides, and the oil itself is produced using all-natural methods.