In the 1980s, after San Francisco dermatologist, Dr. Peter Panagotacos, M.D., had given lectures in Athens as a visiting professor, he visited his cousin Petros in their ancestral village in the valley of Sparta. Dr. Panagotacos was impressed with how fresh and full bodied the olive oil tasted in the village, Lykovouno, and he decided to produce olive oil made from Koroneiki olive trees and bring it back to California.
Trees were planted and after 20 years of diligent nurturing of the trees by Petros, they were producing an excellent oil. In 1999, the olive oil was imported to San Francisco for distribution to the Mollie Stone’s Markets in the San Francisco Bay Area. By 2005, it was distributed to most of the Whole Foods Market stores on the West coast.
Dr. P’s desire to have an award-winning olive oil led him to take courses at UC Davis on olive oil production. His knowledge combined with Petros’s practical experience growing olives led to an oil that has won several awards at the Los Angeles County Fair and at other competitions.
Lykovouno started and has remained a family-owned and -operated company with the same family tending the trees, hand picking the olives, taking them to press, hand bottling the oil, and selling it to the stores or online at www.Lykovouno.com. The photos and videos on Lykovouno’s Web site all show the Panagotacos family harvesting, pressing, bottling and marketing the finished product at local fairs.
The process truly exemplifies the company’s motto, “From our family’s trees to your family’s table.”
Lykovouno olive oil is never blended with other oils and is unsurpassed for its exquisite and flavorful aroma, possesses excellent organoleptic qualities. It has a fresh fruit-of-the-olive taste and aroma with hints of fruit, pepper and grass.
Chemical analysis shows that Lykovouno olive oil has low acidity and high levels of antioxidants, which give it a long-lasting shelf life.
Key Market Areas
Lykovouno Olive Oil Company
Peter Panagotacos, M.D., owner/president
Published in WholeFoods Magazine, July 2014