The apple of South Tyrol’s eye
A precision product
In the valleys of Italy’s South Tyrol region, you’ll find a special, historic fruit that’s cultivated with care and meticulous detail
The apple is a true precision product, as you will discover on a journey through the idyllic South Tyrol region of northern Italy on the Porsche Travel Experience Central Alps. It starts with the planting of trees. To find the perfect location for the variety in question, soil samples are taken and their composition is calculated with centimetre precision against the prevailing climatic conditions. This ensures the perfect basis for optimal enjoyment.However, the conditions alone do not produce apples. During the changeable spring in particular, the farmers fight around the clock against wind and weather to protect the delicate buds from the elements. Two extremes come together in South Tyrol: the effects of the high mountains in the north and the Mediterranean effects in the south. Combined they make for extreme changes in weather: temperatures can fall by up to 20°C at night-time here. When this happens, the farmers operate at the limits of physics, using the phenomenon of freezing heat. The fields are artificially irrigated using hoses, with the flowers ‘shock-frozen’ in this way. And the real kicker: the ice that surrounds the flower never gets colder than + 0.6°C in the middle, thus protecting the bud from frost.
A shot through the leaves of the dense apple trees
A shot through the leaves of the dense apple trees
When the buds turn into small fruit, the farmers’ work is far from done. From now on, they check the condition of the growing apples on a daily basis. With a sophisticated synergy system consisting of strategically placed bird incubators, bee colonies, beneficial species and pests, they ensure that the young fruit can grow safely.After harvesting, the apples are then stored using a specially-developed storage technology. The apples are put into a sort of dormant state through a dynamically-controlled atmosphere consisting of 97 per cent nitrogen. The apples wait here until they are ordered. Once this happens, the fruit is picked up and prepared for dispatch. In addition, each apple is photographed with a laser 32 times – 16 times to ensure the quality of the apple and another 16 times to match the apple perfectly and ship it with a practically identical batch of apples. They then end up in our supermarkets, and subsequently on our plates.We were there and spoke with Christine Schönweger and Toni Jöchler about the apple "precision product".
Toni Jöchler from the Tschiedererhof
Toni Jöchler from the Tschiedererhof
By the way: apple growers from South Tyrol traditionally wear a blue apron. The shade of blue and the apron style vary from region to region, as does the type of apple to which it is connected. Experts can therefore use these nuances to identify the exact origin of the wearer down to their village.
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