PGI Valtellina Apple have been registered under the European Union PGI scheme (protected geographical indication) since 2010.
Even though this variety of apples is cultivated in the hills, it has the same characteristics and high quality of the apples grown in mountain areas.
One of the main qualities of this apples is that they can be stored for months without losing their properties, including crunchiness, preservability and taste.
There are 3 types of Valtellina apple: Gala, Golden delicious and Red delicious.
All of them have their peculiar aroma and a juicy flesh. For example, Red delicious is highly aromatic due to its scent of honey, jasmine and apricot.
Other characteristics of the PGI Valtellina apple include its vibrant colour and its elegant elongated shape, enchanced by several factors: a unique natural sunlight resulting from the east-west exposure of the Valtellina valley; the temperature differences between day and night during harvest time; the land conformation, with its perfect soil structure and exposure to the sun; the regular rainfall and the influence of the breeze of lake Como, which blows in the early hours of the afternoon.
Fruit growers are the key to a high quality product, despite working in an environment sometimes unfavorable to agricultural mechanization.
They chose to adopt low environmental impact tecniques, such as integrated and organic production methods, which promote alternatives to chemicals and foster biodiversity. Therefore, even soil fertilisation follows the principles of environmentally friendly agriculture.
The orchard floor is grass covered in order to preserve the organic matter of the soil, avoiding its excessive compaction.
Furthermore, an accurate use of water resources helps restore the correct soil-water balance to obtain the perfect amount of organic nutrients for the growth of this particular variety of apple.
When the apples reach the right ripeness, they are ready for harvest. The ideal time for harvesting varies depending on the variety of the apple:
– Red Delicious: Second 10-day period of September – second 10-day period of October
– Golden Delicious: Second 10-day period of September – end of October.
– Gala: Second 10-day period of August – second 10-day period of September.
All PGI Valtellina apple producers are recognised and controlled by a third party designated by the Ministry for Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, in order to comply with the highest standards by ensuring the observance of the criteria we have just described.
For further information, visit the website of the consortium: http://www.meladivaltellina.it
A video-spot of the Valtellina apple: