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All you need to know about L’Huile H

Name
L’Huile H of Domaine owes its name to the fact that subscribes to a quest in simplicity and in purity. Its designation as “original” oil can be explained as much by its ambition to help its consumers discover the pleasure of the original “green fruity” taste dominated as much by the Aglandau as the terroir of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, or by the natural and organic approach of its planting, cultivation and harvest (see also L’huile H, the original olive oil).
“Extra virgin olive oil” quality
L’Huile H is an extra virgin olive oil, meaning the best among olive oils. This means that it is obtained from the olive fruit, exclusively by mechanic processes or under thermal conditions which do not alter the quality of the oil.
Nothing is added nor taken from an extra virgin oil. It’s natural through and through. This is the guarantee for the consumer that it has a very low rate of acidity (less than 0.8%) and remarkable gustatory qualities.
L’Huile H has had every year an acidity rate that is below 0.4%, which places it very high in quality.
And, to top it, it is an olive oil of “first cold pressure” (we use a decanter and we do not go through a second pressure involving the use of hot water, as they used to do in the past).
 
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An Aglandau-dominated olive oil
The composition of L’Huile H largely dominated by Aglandau, a variety of olive trees which make slightly asymmetrical, firm and fleshy, and ovoid-shaped fruits that are isolated on the branches.

Aglandau is characterized by its smoothness, its intensity and its surprising and very rich flavor which often releases tastes of artichoke, of grass (olive leaves) and of green fruits (or stone fruits), especially cooked pear, banana, almond and apple.

Thanks to Aglandau, L’Huile H defines itself as “green fruity aromatic and intense”, that is “a vivid olive oil with a pepper-like intensity but low bitterness”.(see reviews by experts).

 
Health
The health benefits of extra virgin olive oil, which is rich in mono-unsanatured fatty acids, in vitamin E and in polyphenols seems to be confirmed by a great number of international studies. The replacement of saturated fat by unsaturated fat in diet contributes even more to the maintenance of a normal cholesterolemia (the rate of cholesterol) that green and herbaceous oils such as L’Huile H are richer in polyphenols, mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fatty acids than other types of olive oils.

Harvest and care
The olives of Domaine Leos are harvested manually and very early, at the end of October or the beginning of November.

Olive trees are robust plants that do not require much care. However, depending on the variety and the age of the trees, they are pruned once a year. They are watered by drip irrigation and the soil is enriched with natural fertilizers.
The Mill of Château Virant
The olives are squeezed - or “crushed”, as the process is called - during the day or in less than 24 hours, at the Mill of Château Virant, one of the most efficient mills in France and the only one that has been awarded the label of “Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant” (“Live Heritage Company”).

From harvest to bottling, L’Huile H is manufactured under the supervision of the owner of the Mill, Christine Cheylan, the French expert who has won the most prizes in olive-growing.

The excellence and purity of L’Huile H – which already has the benefit of an entirely mechanical process – is also due to its perfect preservation (in air-conditioned and nitrogenated rooms) as well as to the finesse of its filtration.
 

Recognition and Awards


Since its launch two years ago, L'Huile H has won 2 gold medals, 2 silver medals
- GOLD MEDAL 2017 AND 2018 : in the category of “Huile d’olive de France fruité vert” (Green fruity French Olive oil) in the competition of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, a region which accounts for two-thirds of olive groves in France. This competition, which often considered as one of the most demanding around the country, is organized with the sponsorship of AFIDOL, the French interprofessional association of the olive industry.
- SILVER MEDAL 2018 : in the category “Green Fruity French Olive Oil” in the French Agricultural Awards.
- SILVER MEDAL at the 5th edition of the competition “Les Olivalies” (Cannes 2017) and a “GOURMET” award at the 15th international contest of Oil of the world (AVPA 2017) in the category “light green fruity”.

L’Huile H is acclaimed by several leading Chefs, sommeliers and renowned experts in the olive-growing business (see the reviews).
Composition
Patrick Bruel and Christine Cheylan at the Mill of Château Virant
In front of the tanks of preservation of L’Huile H before bottling.
Patrick Bruel at the Mill of Château Virant
In front of the hopper receiving the washed olives during the cleaning process
Interview of Christine Cheylan
Renowned olive oil expert and owner of the mill of Château Virant
Christine Cheylan, you are the owner of the mill of Château Virant, which is considered by many olive oil amateurs as one of the best mills in France. What is it that makes the reputation of your mill?
I guess it is due to all the prizes and labels we have received! Since 1996, every year, our oils are invariably awarded at the General Agriculture Contest of Paris and in several international competitions. Gold medal, First Prize or Excellence Award, I was told that I had the most successful track record among French olive oil-makers. Above all, I am very proud that my mill was the first one in France to obtain the ‘Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant’ (Live Heritage Company) award, a state label that rewards excellence in savoir-faire.

For me, savoir-faire at the mill should be fundamental in the reputation of a mill.
I was young since I was 26 years-old when the oil mill of Château Virant was created but I have always made it a point, because of my initial education, to understand and master all the parameters involved in the quality of an olive oil. But, I also realized quickly that it was not enough to know how to make a quality olive oil that you actually had to live it on a daily basis in order to really understand it. The essence of savoir-faire lies of course on a lot of empirical research, a constant, astute quest for quality every step of the transformation process, the highest hygiene standards and a lot of work and presence at the mill… but, when you love you don’t count the costs, right?

And this quest for excellence must be long-lasting in order to be recognized. This might surprise you but when I was younger, I used to ask myself: ‘But why me? Why are my oils at the top of the bill and not the others?’ and it took me some years to admit that my know-how had something to do with it (laughter)!!!

And, that’s probably what matters most: ‘nothing great can be accomplished without passion!’ I like this saying. It sums up exactly how I feel. It is true that I am passionate about olive oil, this mythical product: as old as the world but at the same time so modern! And I do believe that this passion contributes to the reputation of my mill.
You have to breathe passion! I always say that my mill has a soul. Even if, in outwardly it is mostly modern machines, there is an atmosphere; there are positive vibes. It feels good to be here!!!
L'Huile H of Domaine Leos is considered as a high-end oil. What would you say makes an oil great?
L'Huile H is indeed a unique oil, and as such, it is a product that does not lie! I was immediately able to gauge its potential when it was in the making, and now that it is bottled, I know that its quality will keep through time; and this proves its excellence. Like all high quality oils, it is a perfect blend of well-orchestrated factors. First of all, a terroir (which is essential), then it has wonderful varieties and sound fruits, fresh at their optimal organoleptic potential, harvested neither too early and definitely not too late. And finally, you need a fully functional mill with the highest standards and, as I have already said, you have the savoir-faire of the miller.
Naturally, once all these elements have been gathered and the oil is made, you need quality equipment because you need to filter the oil and to store it away from oxygen, in nitrogenated stainless steel vats placed in a cool (air-conditioned) room so as to ensure perfect preservation of the product.
You have personally supervised the production of L'Huile H. What would say are its characteristics?
L'Huile H is an aromatic and very balanced oil with intense aromas which gives it a very long and enjoyable finish. Tasting it feels like a walk in a garden. Hints of fresh grass are released with a floral touch. However, it is an intense oil with a peppered flavor on the finish – thanks to antioxidants – which contributes to its structure in the palate. It is characterized by a fresh note which gives it smoothness and harmony. It’s simply a very beautiful oil which may surprise, but that will doubtless delight those who are going to enjoy it.

Packaging
L'Huile H is sold in glass bottles of 250 or 500 ml, or in a gift box. To protect the oil from the light, the bottles are of dark color and, to facilitate use and reduce the flow, they also come with a spout.

To top it all, a small leaflet of 5 sections folded, printed on recyclable paper, is offered with each bottle to tell the story of the oil and the approach taken by the Patrick Bruel and his teams.
 
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