Pera de Jumilla
These pears contain a juicy, white pulp with a very sweet, sugary taste, lightly perfumed and with an excellent taste. Their colour is a yellowish-green with a reddish tinge where they have been ripened by the sun.
The product has unique properties compared to pears from other regions: a reddish tinge from sun-ripening due to the large amount of sunlight they receive and higher levels of sugar. It also reaches maturity earlier and is firmer and larger.
As regards size, pears in the Extra category have a diameter greater than 58 mm, while those in category 1 are over 52 mm in diameter. Its firmness is over 11 lb/cm measured by penetrometer with an 8 mm penetration cone.
As regards acidity, the fruit contains over 1,5 gr/l of malic acid.
The fruit contains more than 10,5° Brix of soluble solids.
For each of the above parameters there is a tolerance, providing this does not mean that more than 5 % of the fruit (by number of pieces or weight) does not meet the requirements of the categories (either Extra or I).
The area in which the fruit is produced, conditioned and packaged is the municipality of Jumilla in the province of Murcia.
The area under pear trees in this municipality is currently 932 Ha.
Method of production
This consists of two stages:
CULTIVATION: The product is produced using environmentally-friendly techniques. The plant material has a phytosanitary passport and is adapted to local conditions.
Both thinning and harvesting are carried out by hand, with harvesting being performed in two passes to avoid the main hours of sunshine. The pears are harvested when sufficiently mature and when specified by the inspection body. Maturity is measured by analysing parameters such as: size, skin colour, seed colour, firmness and sugar levels.
The fruit is harvested by carefully applying pressure to the point where it is attached to the tree and pulling upwards to avoid damaging the peduncle.
Once harvested, the fruit must reach the processing plants within no more than 8 to 10 hours.
PROCESSING: When the fruit arrives at the plant the following data is logged: the consignment details, the plot from where it came, the name of the producer and the date of arrival. The lorries are weighed and samples of the product are taken to check the quality of the fruit. The fruit is then placed in a refrigerated storage area.
After being harvested the fruit is not treated directly with artificial chemical products.
The packaging is labelled by sticking on both the brand labels and the numbered secondary labels issued by the inspection body.
HISTORICAL: The first evidence of the cultivation of this pear dates from the 16th century during the reign of Phillip II.
This variety's successful adaptation to the characteristics of the area, climate and soil, and the know-how of the farmers who over time selected trees from the Ercolini variety that had the best fruit as regards size, thickness of stem, round or pear-shaped form, productivity and taste, contributed to a distinct clonal selection from that performed on varieties in other areas, and led to the development of an Ercolini pear different to any produced elsewhere.
The Pera de Jumilla is ready for harvesting early (in the last third of June), is larger than typical pears of this variety, is yellowish-green with a reddish tinge that makes it particularly attractive and has a very sweet and sugary texture and taste. When allied to its susceptibility to keep for a very long time, these are the reasons why traders are prepared to come to Jumilla to buy Ercolini pears at prices higher than those for pears from other areas, knowing that they can also sell them more easily and at higher prices.
NATURAL: The climate of the area in question contributes significantly to the quality of Peras de Jumilla making them mature earlier and ensuring they are larger and have a better consistency of pulp, as well as giving them their characteristic reddish tinge.
Jumilla's climate is particularly influenced by its proximity to the Mediterranean, which makes it hot, although it is sufficiently high for low winter temperatures to provide the cold needed to grow pears. In the spring there is no frost and little rainfall, which could otherwise hinder the flowering and setting of the pears.
The dominant winds are from the north west, gusting dry and warm at dusk — this helps control disease.
Pear plantations in the defined geographical area are located in valleys, oriented toward the midday sun, and receive a great deal of light due to the incidence of the sun's rays.
The average high temperatures (annual average of 15,7 °C), which do not dip significantly at night, and the absence of spring frosts promote rapid growth in the fruit. But during ripening, the combined effect of the high number of hours of sun and the large amount of sunlight is the main reason why Peras de Jumilla contain high levels of soluble solids, in this case their sugar content, the main measure of internal quality.
The traditional practices in the area are another aspect of the link between the specific features of Peras de Jumilla and their geographic location. Manual thinning and pruning, for example, ensure that the right amount of fruit is grown on each tree, making each piece bigger and firmer without detracting from structure or balance.