The former olive press

Today a visit to Château Puech Haut has to include a visit to the old, totally authentic olive press. Starting in February 2014, visitors can come admire this 18th century grindstone that hasn’t changed since antiquity, as well as a complete 19th century olive press powered by a steam engine and still in use.

Before Puech Haut became a vineyard, it was just an olive grove planted by the father of Gérard Bru. He had come here to tend the olive grove during his student days, long before he ever thought about becoming a vintner here.
He fell in love with these lands and was able to buy them back in 1981 after a successful career in industry. Since then, grapevines have replaced the olive trees. But a few hectares are still producing the olives Gérard Bru harvests to produce olive oil every year.

Olive oil is a product that has been in use since antiquity. Like wine, it can come in a number of different varieties, because of the variety of types of olives grown. The taste and flavors differ according to the grove they come from, the climate, and of course the variety of olive grown and its maturity at harvest, a period of time lasting from November to February. With a naturally bitter taste, the quality of oil is evaluated according to the intensity of the bitterness and acidity content. This is one of the elements that distinguishes virgin olive oil from extra virgin olive oil. So olives and grapes, like olive oil and wine, have a lot of things in common. They are both products whose origins are deeply intertwined with the land, and they have been grown for centuries. Their juices are bottled and distributed to the great delight of consumers. Finally, just as with a bottle of wine, when you uncap a glass top from a bottle of Puech Haut olive oil, you are sharing in a piece of the heart and soul of the estate.