Where do California Raisins come from?

It’s a little more complicated than simply saying ‘California’.  The San Joaquin Valley produces 12.8% of the United States’ agricultural production and is often referred to as ‘the salad bowl’ of America.

Seen from space, the San Joaquin is a 240 mile long by 50 mile wide valley lying between the Sierra Mountains and the Western Coastal Ranges.  Around 60 million years ago, the San Joaquin Valley was flooded with ocean water.  However, 2 million years ago the exit to the sea was cut off as sea levels declined and the valley became a fresh water lake.  Sediments then built up over the next generations, the lake became shallower and shallower until it eventually dried up.   The remaining thick layers of nutrient-rich sediments produced soil which is light coloured and rich in potash, resulting in the San Joaquin Valley becoming one of the world’s most productive agricultural regions.

During the summer months, temperatures in the San Joaquin area can reach 44C (110F) and the vines are continually fed by a complex irrigation system of pure mountain water.
This unique combination of quality soil, irrigation and consistent drying conditions all combine to produce the highest quality raisins from California, eaten in over 100 countries worldwide.

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