A certain special selection of high-quality apples and pears of the Savoie region of southeastern France benefit from a protected geographical indication status. Sixteen different types of apples and six varieties of pears are produced under this label in orchards located in the valleys of this mountainous area of France. The orchards are all located between 400 and 800 meters of altitude and produce very firm fruits that have an incomparable crispness.
The natural range of temperatures present in the Savoie climate gives the apples and pears beautiful colors and encourages a longer shelf life than other fruits. The diversity of soils present in the various orchards of Savoie gives a large choice of varieties. Rich in mineral salts and water, they allow the fruits to grow at a long and harmonious pace.
Not all apples and pears produced in this area benefit from the protected geographical indication label. Of the 30,000 tons produced here each year, only 4,000 receive the right to carry the PGI label. The fruits must meet extremely precise criteria to earn the label, which are rigorously maintained and based on years of tradition and fine-tuning by local farmers.
In order to ensure the highest quality of fruits, producers limit the harvest from each tree to only the finest apples and pears. They are only picked from the trees at maturity, when their taste qualities are ideal, and the majority of the steps after harvest are done by hand by local farmers to ensure soft handling that will not damage the fruits.
Some varieties of apples produced under this label include the Savoie Golden, Gala, Jonagored, and Pinova. For pears, the types include the Conference, Doyenne du Comice and Passe Crassane.