Krak des Chevaliers

Unfortunately, due to money laundering and anti-terrorist controls on bank transfers to Syria we are unable to offer this superb olive oil until further notice

The Krak des Chevaliers sits on a commanding site in the Ansariya Mountains of Syria. Its high battlements command a view of the old Silk Road to the east and the Mediterranean to the west, with the snow capped mountains of Lebanon to the south. It overlooks a green, fertile and productive valley, dotted with springs and cool, rippling streams.

 

The Krak des Chevaliers

 

The olives from this region are famous for their particular quality. The smooth, buttery flavour of this oil reflects the richness of the olives. This is where olive trees originated, and still grow wild on the wooded mountainsides.

T.E.Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia") famously described the Krak des Chevaliers as "...perhaps the most wholly admirable castle in the world." We hope that you will agree that his description applies equally to its region's olive oil.

Rami Khoury, the producer of the olives in this oil, farms his ancestral lands using traditional methods that produce an olive oil that has been the pride of his family for generations.

 

Rami Khoury with Bedu shepherds on his olive grove

 

Using an ox-drawn wooden plough to avoid damage to the roots of the trees, he turns out weeds every spring and adds compost made on his own farm, based on sheep manure. Bedouin shepherds run their flocks across the land, keeping weeds under control. At harvest time the olives are picked and then crushed and cold-pressed the same day. To ensure the maximum flavour and quality the oil is not filtered, but stored until it settles and clears naturally.

The pride of Rami's olive grove is The Sheikh, at least 700 years old, very large tree of the Iruni variety (Rami blends Iruni, Safrawi and wild olives to make his oil). It can produce a tonne of olives each year and nearby stands the Sheikha, almost as old, almost as productive.

 

Rami Khoury and El Sheikh - a 700 year old olive tree

The Soil Association has inspected and certified Rami's farm since 1997. It is a inspiring example of the marriage of modern organic techniques with ancient tradition.

 

Krak Des Chevaliers Organic Olive Oil

Other sites related to Krak Des Chevaliers and Olive Oil
A detailed description with images of Krak des Chevaliers
www.syriagate.com
Images of Krak des Chevaliers
www.hat.net

Just down the road from the Krak des Chevaliers is the ancient monastery of St. George (“Mar Giorgios”). Its surrounds include some extraordinarily ancient olive trees, with gaps between the renewed trunks that you could drive a car through. They testify to the long tradition of olive growing in this region.
www.saintandrew.net