Posted by: Peter Springett | October 13, 2010

Olive oil tasting? Start here

3-stars: Joseph Planes with a prize winning bottle of olive oil

So you think you know olive oil? Think again. Moulin Saint Pierre is a father to son business that’s been producing world famous olive oil for hundreds of years. Joseph Planes, who currently runs the organisation, was a bit vague when we asked how long the farm has been in the family although he reckons about six generations.

He was far more precise when he took us on the tour of the state of the art warehouse which produces about 35,000 litres of olive oil a year famous for its distinct  ‘douce’ and fruity flavour.

The secret here is a mixture of attention to detail and state of the art technology. Joseph and his team use 10 kilos of olives to produce one litre (the mass production ratio is typically 5:1).Fortunately that doesn’t translate into twice the price. Moulin Saint Pierre uses keeps costs down by using automatic harvesting machines and a dazzling array of centifruges that quickly fill the 6,000 litre vats that dominate the warehouse floor.

Rather like Les Toiles du Soleil, this is a great example of a small, local business that has gone global without losing any of its small world charm. Apart from supplying 3-star Michelin chefs, including the Pourcel brothers at the Jardin des Sens,  Joseph and his wife Monique, export to the United States, China and the UK where you can find the elegant Moulin Saint Pierre bottles in Harrods and John Lewis.

Two days from harvesting: olives ripe for picking

You can find Moulin Saint Pierre on the D612, the road that takes you from Thuir to Millas. It’s about 20 minutes drive from the villa and on the way to the Cathar castles and Gorge de Galamus.

Moulin Saint Pierre, 66170 Millas
Tel: 00 33 (0)468571944




  1. […] is via the Gorge de Galamus. The really adventurous will also stop off for olive oil tasting at Moulin Saint Pierre. Good luck, and like we said, bring your […]

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