The cherry blossom begins in the Jerte Valley

The Jerte Valley in north Extremadura is famous for its cherry blossom in spring; an incredible spectacle of more than a million cherry blossom trees dyeing the valley slopes white. The blossom signals the arrival of succulent cherries and picotas in just a few weeks’ time.

With the rising daytime temperatures of the last few days, the first blossoms have appeared, and the peak of the blossom explosion is expected next week. Flowering lasts between 12 and 14 days.

Following a centuries-old family tradition, the cherry trees are cultivated by hand on terraces carved out of the high mountains of the Jerte Valley, amidst springs and fresh air. The best cherries in Spain and the Picota del Jerte, a variety native to the Valley, can be grown only in this unique environment with its privileged microclimate. There are only five varieties with the Protected Designation of Origin certification. Four of them belong to the Picotas del Jerte group and feature similar characteristics: Pico Limón Negro, Pico Negro, Pico Colorado and Ambrunés, as well as the only variety with a stalk, Navalinda.

This particular type of terraced cultivation, a skill handed down from generation to generation, also has a significant impact on the quality and health properties of the picotas and cherries. These fruits are an incredible source of goodness, containing 8 vitamins, iron, magnesium and calcium, a large number of antioxidants and fibre, as well as few calories.

Picotas del Jerte are a unique product distinguished by their sweetness and flavour. They’re the only variety that comes off the tree without a stalk, and feature a number of characteristics that set them apart: a fleshy and crunchier texture, a smaller size – from 22 to 26 millimetres – as well as a sweeter flavour and different colouring. Their natural cultivation and traditional harvesting and processing multiply their properties, meaning they reach the market at exactly the right time for consumption.

This product is increasingly in demand both in the national and international markets, particularly Germany and the United Kingdom. 60 per cent of Picotas del Jerte production is exported. Source: