California Apple Season
California apple season is relatively short and fills the niche market between import apples ending and the beginning of Oregon and Washington apples in the Pacific Northwest. The California apple season starts in late July with Gravensteins and most growers will finish picking by the end of September/beginning of October. An exception is Cuyama Orchards in Cuyama, CA who will continue to pack fresh apples through April.
California growers want to get the most money for their apples so they want to get in and out of the market before the Pacific Northwest season starts. Once the market is in full swing, California growers will receive less money for their apples. California used to be a big player in the apple world until competition forced growers to rip out what they couldn’t sell. The most popular varieties grown in California are Gala, Granny Smith, Fuji and Cripps Pink also known as the Pink Lady.
Due to the short season, California apples are always sold fresh and are not put in controlled atmosphere storage. One of Earl’s growers, Rider and Sons in Watsonville, CA, picks their apples at optimum maturity with the highest flavor profile to give their customers the best apple experience. Susan and Christie visited Rider and Sons for a tour of their apple orchard. More on their visit including a video with Jim Rider in Earl’s next blog!