The green gold of the Alpilles

The different blends of olive varieties give the oils their characteristic flavours created by the master blenders.

Salonenque gives the oil an unctuous quality. Grossane, a large fleshy olive, gives softness, while Béruguette or Aglandau bring pungency. Verdale is typical of the Bouches-du-Rhône department. Picholine, small and pointed, brings an intense fruitiness to the oil with a touch of bitterness.

Green fruitiness and black or ripe fruitiness are obtained with these same varieties of olive. The difference comes from the time the olives spend ripening between picking and crushing. Green fruitiness is obtained with olives picked in the morning and processed within 24 hours. Black or ripe fruitiness is obtained by keeping the olives for four or five days between picking and crushing.

In a typical green fruitiness, the oil has aromas of fresh hay, cut grass, apple, fresh hazelnuts, almonds, raw artichoke, tomato leaf with a touch of bitterness and pungency. In typical black or ripe fruitiness, the oil is characterised by aromas of oxidised olives, black olives, cocoa, truffle, mushroom, cooked artichoke, a sweet sensation with absence of bitterness and little or no pungency.

The olive harvest starts in the first two weeks of October and lasts up until the end of December.

Syndicat Interprofessionnel de l'Olivier de la Vallée des Baux-de-Provence

Vallée des Baux-de-Provence AOP olive oil and olives

Since 1997, 3 products have been awarded the Vallée des Baux-de-Provence PDO quality label: olive oil, black olives and broken olives.

AOP oils and olives are based on 3 pillars that give them a unique aromatic profile:

  • An extraordinary olive-growing territory, linked to the climate and geological characteristics of the appellation area, which encourage the olive tree to flourish;
  • The ancestral know-how of our olive growers, millers and confectioners;
  • Olive varieties specific to our appellation area: Salonenque, Aglandau, Grossane and Verdale, whose blending gives the olive oil its distinctive character.

Castelas, gold prize-winning producers

Twenty years ago, Jean-Benoît and Catherine Hugues decided to build their own mill so they could be in charge of the whole oil-making process, from choosing the date of the olive harvest to the fabrication method and blending.

The mill produces several types of green-fruity and black-fruity oils using organic methods, as well as a range of aromatic oils – herbs, citrus or spices are crushed together with the olives.

Their products have won numerous medals both in France and abroad. In France, in the Concours Général Agricole 2022 in Paris, Castelas won no fewer than 7 medals: 3 gold and 4 silver.
In USA in May 2019 in the NYOOC – New York Olive Oil Competition – La Castellines Classic won a Gold medal.
Tel +33 (0)4 90 54 50 86  


Two traditional fairs take place every year in the Valley of Les Baux.

The Festival of the Green Olive takes place on the third Sunday in September; the Salonenque olive has been used in the preparation of cracked olives, protected by an AOP, for over 20 years. The world championship of olive-crackers and costumed processions take place during the day.

The first Sunday in December sees a gathering of olive-millers for the New Oil Festival.

Olive mills in the vicinity

Moulin Cornille


Moulin Cornille, AOC Vallée des Baux-de-Provence Olive oil producer.

This Co-operative Olive Oil Mill is one of the most important mills in France. The Mill Jean Marie Cornille has been preserving the ancestral making of, with grinding stones and hydraulic presses, but uses in complement a new modern production tool since 2003.
Tel +33 (0)4 90 54 32 37

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For one night or a few weeks, Les Baux-de-Provence offers relaxation, cultural and historical visits, arts and outdoor excursions. Find the accommodation and restaurant that will make your stay an unforgettable experience. Download the hotel and B&B availability in Les Baux-de-Provence

Tourist Office

Maison du Roy, Rue Porte Mage,
13520 Les Baux-de-Provence
Tél. +33 (0)4 90 54 34 39

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Opening hours
Monday to Friday: 9.00 am to 6.00 pm
Weekends & public holidays: 10.00 am to 5.30 pm
Closure: 25 December and 1 January