In 1868 César Martin left the family laundry business, to purchase a few old mills in Nice and pursue his real passion in the olive oil making. In 1900, his successor and son in law, Nicolas Alziari, recognised early on that in order to stand out from his competitors he would need to focus on excellence and, adopting terminology from the Champagne world, he created his "grands crus" olive oils.
In 1920 Alziari set up his eponymous shop in the centre of Nice. Following the war, the next generation of Alziari took over the reins and successfully guided the business through to the 1980s, period which heralded a boom in the sector when the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil became more widely documented. Subsequently, the Alziari product range was extended to include gourmet products such as foie gras, confiture, honey, and Champagne; as well as olive oil-based beauty products.
One of the secret of the Alziari brand is the use of an old mill and the so-called "Genoese" method which they are the lasts to be using in Europe: After a slow grinding of the olives from two to three hours in the mill, the stone basin is filled with cold water; the olive oil which is brought to the surface is immediately recovered to be decanted. The rest of the pulp will be placed in the scourtins (filters of coconut fiber) to be pressed there. This is what they call the first cold press.
Today Alziari olive oil is sold in speciality boutiques in 19 countries from Tokyo to New York. The shop in the old town of Nice still exists and is popular with tourists and locals alike, who seek out the Alziari olive oil sold in its distinctive and attractive tins. The Alziari Grand Crus range from: "fruitée douce" (mild and fruity), through to "fruitée intense" (intense and fruity).