Elisabeth and Raphael COLICCI
The 'Bruyère de Salce' Agricultural Estate
The Bruyère de Salce estate, nestling below the Larzac plateau in the South of France, was born from Elisabeth and Raphael Colicci's passion for agriculture. Together, they have created a magnificent olive grove of two thousand organically grown olive trees including 280 old or unusual varieties.
It was after many years of dedication as a therapist that Raphael chose to cultivate olive trees in order to rediscover his own roots in Mediterranean culture and his own family tradition, with several generations of olive growers: in particular his grandfather Pascal who cultivated thousands of olive trees and had his own traditional olive mill.
Elisabeth, his wife, from a farming family, also discovered a passion for growing olive trees.
Engaged in defending biodiversity for many years, the Coliccis have brought together a living collection of old and rare fruit trees (le Jardin des Escoubilles), with more than a thousand old varieties, with a high resistance to disease and exceptional culinary qualities.
From planting right through to harvesting, Elisabeth and Raphael Colicci live amidst "their trees" taking constant care to preserve all of the qualities of the fruit. They apply biodynamic treatments to the soil and the trees each year.
Valuable by-products of the olive
It was while observing all this natural richness that they found active ingredients of great interest for healthcare and cosmetics, as well as the vast range of tastes that biodiversity can bring to the palette.
In 2002, they produced a dozen different single-variety olive oils for gastronomic use, each one improving the taste of different special dishes.
With experienced olive millers, they tested different methods of pressing their olives. They observed the organoleptic qualities of the oils, their dermo-cosmetic properties and the richness of their composition in active ingredients.