Vipava Valley Apricots
Amazingly aromatic apricots from Budanje
The first pale pink blossoms that usher in spring to the Vipava Valley are on apricot trees. They seem to thrive on the rolling hills of the Vipava Valley, even though this type of fruit is quite demanding in terms of the microclimatic conditions it prefers. In the Vipava Valley apricots have been traditionally grown in the hamlet of Budanje, halfway between Vipava and Ajdovščina. In recent years, apricots have been planted in Planina nad Ajdovščino.
A very special fruit, apricots have a slight sour tang to them, and very distinctive aroma. The characteristic flavour is preserved even when thermally processed, making apricots a popular fruit for jams, juices and other fruit-based products. Apricots are rich in vitamins and minerals. Reportedly, they contain ten times the amount of Magnesium than other types of fruit. Due to the range of different nutrients, apricots are lauded for their purported health benefits.
Ripe apricots are a delicious treat available in early summer. Cherries and apricots were grown back in the 19th century to be sold on the market. The apricot production hub in the Vipava Valley is the hamlet of Budanje, which lent its name to the indigenous variety “the Budanje apricot”. The intense aroma and delicious flavour make this golden fruit a popular healthy treat among the locals as well. This particular apricot is smaller than other varieties, but the flavour is unparalleled.
From early June to mid-July, just as apricots abound in the Vipava Valley, make sure to take a pit stop at any of the farms growing this amazing fruit. It's best to call or e-mail the farms in advance to inquiry when the fruit will be ripe and ready to pick. Traditionally, the farmers in the Vipava Valley have made it a point to pick only the ripest fruit, sun-soaked and nutrient-rich.
If you happen to visit the Vipava Valley in any other season, you can check out the local stores with a year-round assortment of carefully selected products made in the Vipava Valley. Small-batch artisanal apricot jam and a variety of juices, either farm-made or from the local fruit-processing company Fructal, will conjure up flavours of summer in the Vipava Valley even in deep winter.