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Interview Patrick Bruel Interview Patrick Bruel Interview Patrick Bruel Interview Patrick Bruel
Meet Patrick Bruel
What does LEOS mean?
LEOS is the name I chose for the farming cooperation that manages the domain. It resulted in a contraction of the first names of my two sons, Leon and Oscar. They are very attached to the estate. I hope they will continue this wonderful adventure I initiated for them.
Can you tell us the story of the domain?
The domain used to extend over all of the Plateau of Margoye, which is the historically origin of the town of Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. There used to be a Roman Oppidum on it, and later on a hospital commandery that eventually became an agricultural exploitation during the French Revolution.

Historically, the lands were planted with olive groves, vineyards, almond groves and truffle oaks. But the olive trees froze in February 1956, like almost everywhere else in Provence. Some olive trees have grown back but the land was since then left uncultivated... As for the vines, they were uprooted in the middle of the twentieth century and replaced by pine trees. The rest of the land lied fallow and most of the farm was abandoned, before benefiting from a first rehabilitation in 2002.
 
When were the olive trees planted?
This project emerged just a few months after I fell in love with the Domaine, which I bought in 2007, when I discovered its unique assets and history. In fact, the idea of planting olive trees to make a unique olive oil came with the discovery of the potentials of the soil at the same time as by desire to bring this historic property back to life.

I bought several small plots that had been detached from the main estate; some of them were planted with wild, grafted olive varieties. Meanwhile, we also had to undertake extensive rehabilitation and protection of the estate which had become the playground for motocross riders; we had to clear it to prevent wildfires.

Once all of that was completed, I was able, with the help of passionate team of experts, to trim and recover some 300 existing olive trees. Thanks to cuttings and grafting, those trees allowed us to bring back to life over 800 « Aglandau » olive trees.
Eventually, between 2011 and 2015, we planted more than 1, 000 olive trees, and 800 more at the beginning of 2018.

huile olive
 
Where does your passion for olive oil come from?
My passion comes first from my love of olive trees! The olive tree is the ultimate tree of life! It is a symbol of wisdom, of purity and well-being. And it is also the tree that symbolizes peace in almost every civilization and world religions!
That being said, olive oil has accompanied my entire childhood. I’m pretty sure it has forged my taste. We sure didn’t cook much with butter at home!

I realized how this product was full of extraordinary virtues when I started working on the olive oil project. I learned that it was the Greek goddess Athena, daughter of Zeus, who made it an immortal and divine tree that can both guide and feed men, an also, what is less known, cure them. Extra virgin olive oil as well olive leaves contain lots of healthy properties that people seem to rediscover today, especially to fight cardiovascular problems, and also certain types of cancers because of its polyphenol antioxidants, its provitamin A (or carotene), vitamin E, and mono-unsaturated fatty acids.
How did you achieve the level of quality you wanted?
For me, crafting an exceptional olive oil is first and foremost about doing the job of a magician! It is as much a question of passion, of sharing as of demands and of talents. So I did what I used to do in my career as an artist: I looked for talents and I put together a great team with whom I now share a common passion and a common ambition for olive oil and for Domaine Leos!
I was surprised by the richness and complexity of olive oil. As much as I had the feeling that I knew something about wines, my other passion when it comes to terroir products, I immediately realized the extent to which I needed to go to know olive oil. So I had to learn and work hard! Making an olive oil like L'Huile H was difficult, but the adventure is both fascinating and exciting!

Today I am very proud of the quality we have reached.
I am confident about the future, but I know that if we want to keep up to our dreams of excellence, we must continue to make progress every year. I like what the great Isle-sur-la-Sorgue poet René Char used to say: "The impossible, we cannot reach, but it stands as our guiding star!"
What are your other plans for Domaine Leos?
I have tons of projects to strengthen the "renaissance" of Domaine Leos! We are going to plant about five acres (2 hectares) of lavandins and as much of vines! The diversity of plantations and the limited surface area of each of are very important for the organic balance of the estate.
We also want to bring beehives to make honey and pollinate the blooms of the almond trees and the wild thyme that found all over the plateau.

We are also considering products made out of olive leaves that we could develop for the sector of health.
My team and I are going to work on all this, but we need to take our time. The most important for me is to maintain a high quality of products while keeping intact the pleasure of making and tasting them; because I believe we share only the things we like!
 
Patrick bruel
Patrick Maurizot
in charge of the Olive Threes of The Domaine Leos
Patrick bruel
Christian Argenson (on the right on the picture)
Expert oléicole