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Holidays for the palate

Holidays for the palate

22 degrees and a light wind – it’s spring in Fenazar in southern Spain. And we’re overjoyed.This is because the apricot trees are so loaded with fruit that the branches are bending from the weight. In Fenazar, we test new varieties of apricots and other fruits. Why there? The region is one of the warmest in Spain. Apricots are particularly fragile. They love cool winters, a dry spring and a warm summer without much wind. But where do you find such conditions and which apricot variety is suitable for which region?

This is the job of Wil Lemmer. As Varieties Manager, Wil looks for new fruit varieties for SanLucar and finds out where they can best be grown. To do his job well, he needs, above all, good taste. Because first Wil travels to the companies that grow new fruit and tries varieties that could be suitable for SanLucar.

“I must be excited about a fruit myself,” says Wil. “Only when everything comes together perfectly, do we plant some trees of the new variety on our own farms, for example in Fenazar, and test whether they work well for us.“


This is how the young apricot trees made it to sunny Fenazar and developed well despite some freak weather conditions.

Wil: “Working with nature makes you modest. We had a late frost which destroyed part of our harvest. In addition, the pollination did not go as we would have liked it to”. Varieties that develop well are sent as samples to the SanLucar headquarters in Ettlingen. There, the colleagues from the quality team and the office staff are already looking forward to the new apricots and the tasting process begins. Everyone in the office then becomes a tester and documents everything that draws their attention.This gives us a good idea of how the fruit will develop on our farm, how well it will survive transport and most importantly – whether our customers will like the new variety. Wil Lemmer: “When the fruit gets the thumbs up with the quality team in Ettlingen, it can go to market.

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