A tasty Poitou walnut oil

You may not know it, but Poitou was a territory particularly known for its cultivation of walnuts and the production of walnut oil. And even if the past has mistreated this tasty tradition, it nevertheless continues in the region. Discover its history and its craftsmen with ancestral know-how.

©Agence Zébrelle - Thomas Jelinek

The story of a turbulent tradition

In the past, the people of Poitevin harvested walnuts in order to produce the oil used for their food. The cultivation of walnut trees was then important for the inhabitants of the region.
But at the beginning of the last century, the tree was a victim of its own success. He had become a wood sought after for the manufacture of furniture, but also for rifle butts used in the First World War. The demand was considerable and many trees were felled.

This is why, over time, only a handful of local institutions have been able to survive. And this, to the delight of lovers of a tasty and quality walnut oil.

Walnut oil mill©CCPL

A well-oiled production

The production of walnut oil is done in several stages:
   • After the harvest from September to October, the fruits take time to dry.
   • Two months later, the hull is separated from its kernel during hauling.
   • The kernels are then slowly ground under a stone grinder to obtain a homogeneous paste.
   • Cooking follows to subtly toast the dough and make the aromas explode.
   • The time comes for the passage to the press where the precious liquid will be extracted.
   • Let stand to make it settle and reduce the impurities.
  • A final filtering of the oil and off you go to bottling.

The essential craftsmen to delight you

The department of Vienne is full of oil producers, all equally delicious for your culinary creations!

The emblematic Neuville oil mill

Neuville oil mill has been located in Neuville-de-Poitou since 1850. The production site welcomes curious and gourmet visitors all year round. As soon as you enter, take the time to observe the machines dating from the 1920s, accompanied by the famous mill and its 2-tonne stone taken from the Moulière forest. Depending on the operating season, site visits are organised.

Of course, don't forget to stop by the shop to stock up on local condiments: oils of course, but also vinegars, mustards and even flavored salts.

The delicacies of the Lépine oil mill in Availles-en-Châtellerault

Situated at Availles-en-Châtellerault, this family farm harvests its precious fruits directly in its 200-foot walnut grove. Since 1850, 8 generations have succeeded at the Lépine oil mill in order to perpetuate quality craftsmanship. In 2021, the company proudly won the silver medal at the Saveurs Nouvelle-Aquitaine competition.
It mainly develops virgin and natural walnut oil, without chemicals or preservatives. But also other varieties to delight all palates!

The Roches oil mill, or the youngest one which already has everything of a great

It is with the aim of keeping this regional tradition alive that the Roches oil mill was founded in 1994. It is established in the Loudunais, north of the Vienne, 3 km from Loudun. We had to dismantle 3 old sites to found this workshop on the family farm! Since then, the Roches oil mill has been inviting cooks and gourmands to feast on its wide choice of oils and other condiments, as well as flour and walnut kernels. And of course, the manufacture is guaranteed to be artisanal.

You may have a treasure growing in your garden

If you are the proud owner of a walnut tree, try homemade walnut oil! At the Neuville oil mill, you can bring your precious harvest in order to sell it or make make your own condiment! As an indication, approximately 2 kg of kernels are needed to obtain one liter.

To discover the local oil mills, do not forget to take a tour of the surrounding towns: Loudon , Chatellerault , Neuville-de-Poitou…

Find oils of choice on the Comptoir du Poitou website .