The cradle of olive culture can be found in the Iranian high plateau. From there the Phoenicians carried the tree to the Mediterranean region. Olives have been cultivated for around 6000 years, making them the oldest cultivated plant in the world. Today, olive groves are mainly found in Spain, Greece and Italy, but also in Portugal, Croatia, Tunisia, Morocco, USA (California), South Africa, Chile and Turkey. The olive tree needs the Mediterranean climate with mild temperatures and moderate rainfall, then it can be over 1000 years old and bear fruit. Crete offers the perfect growing conditions. The predominant variety 'Koroneiki' thrives here.