The hills and plain surrounding Mount Etna
Unique microclimate suitable for red oranges
There are around 58,000 hectares of orange groves in Sicily (ISTAT 2011), 60 per cent of which grow red oranges during their December to May growing season.
The red orange varieties (Tarocco, Moro e Sanguinello) can be traced almost exclusively to the hilly areas and plains surrounding the Mount Etna volcano. Here, the unique microclimate and mineral-rich volcanic soil give Sicilian blood oranges their distinctive color and flavours.
All blood orange varieties require strong day-night thermal clines for intense color formation in fruit flesh. They therefore offer a very clear example of the strong link that exists between the climatic conditions of a growing area and the characteristics of the product. In fact, the same varieties of orange grown in other climates do not possess the characteristic color and specific organoleptic properties to which the «Arancia Rossa di Sicilia» owes its reputation.
Varieties: Tarocco, Moro and Sanguinello
Area: 32 municipalities in the provinces of Catania, Syracuse and Enna
Producers' organisation: Consorzio di Tutela Arancia Rossa di Sicilia IGP
The Red Orange of Sicily has enjoyed PGI status since 1996. The Consorzio di Tutela Arancia Rossa di Sicilia IGP is an association of 600 producers and 65 packaging firms.
For Red Orange of Sicily, PGI status guarantees:
- A minimum sugar content and a good balance of sugar to acidity, giving excellent flavour;
- Environmentally sound growing practices;
- No degreening is allowed;
- A limited production: the maximum yield per hectare is 25 000 kg/ha (Tarocco), 35 000 kg/ha (Moro), 32 000 kg/ha (Sanguinello).
PGI: PROTECTED GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATION
Products whose quality or reputation is essentially attributable to its geographical origin, and at least one of the production steps of which take place in the defined geographical area.
Reg.(EU) No 1151/2012 (art.5)