All our “S” cherries were bred by the Agri-Food Research Centre (PARC) in Summerland, BC, Canada. They are specially suited to the pristine northern growing area of the Okanagan, Similkameen and Creston Valley in British Columbia. The hot dry summer days and crisp, cool nights provided by lake and mountain breezes produce excellent, large and very firm cherries, with excellent shipping and shelf-life characteristics – gaining a reputation for fine premium quality fruit in over 20 countries.
Not all varieties grown in BC are listed here. Some producers have specialty crops and other desirable varieties in various quantities. There are also some non-BC varieties also grown in the region (ie Kordia and Regina)
CHELAN: Chelan cherries are a variety that was developed in the US Pacific Northwest. They are an early variety with large heart-shaped round fruit, with dark mahogany-red flesh.
CRISTALINA: Cristalina is an early season, heart shaped fruit. It has dark flesh and a large size.
LAPINS: A wonderful variety bred by Dr. Charles Lapins (at PARC), for whom it is named. Possibly the best flavored cherry in the orchard, the Lapins can be very large, and is always best when left to ripen on the tree until it is a rich dark red. Lapins season is mid July to early August.
RAINIER: The Rainier variety was developed in the American Pacific Northwest. It is a very sweet yellow cherry with a red blush and firm, fine-textured flesh, and is delicious for eating fresh.
SANTINA: Beautiful heart shaped, Santina is an early fruit that picks well and packs nicely for a great product.
SATIN: A very beautiful early season, dark and large cherry that will extend the Okanagan season with quick start.
SENTENNIAL: A high yielding variety that darkens up early but takes much longer than the rest to sweeten up. Sentennial is often the firmest and latest fruit available, it ships and stores very well. This cherry has a nice round shape and looks good in a bag or box.
SONNET: A very large early cherry – very “cheeky” but it gets the season started with a smile. The Sonnet has a light flesh colour and is very sweet.
SOVEREIGN: Sovereign is heart-shaped fruit on a long stem. It harvests a week to ten days after Staccato, with good firmness, and light red/pink flesh. This is the other latest available cherry variety in commercial production.
STACCATO: A very late cherry, ripens after Sweetheart, a full month after ‘Bing’ and produces a large and firm dark cherry, glossy and attractive in a pack. Size is similar to Sweetheart, with good flavour and sweetness when picked at optimum maturity.
SUITE NOTE: Picked at the right moment Suite Note is a dark, large, firm and delicious cherry. For early markets the potential is great however there is very limited production.
SWEETHEART: One of the best of the late cherries from the PARC breeding program, the Sweetheart is now widely grown around the world. The fruit is very firm, and moderately sweet with good flavour. Harvest follows directly after Lapin, through the first two weeks of August.
SYLVIA: Always a pleasant surprise, hiding under a very leafy branch, the Sylvia is usually well protected from the weather and harvests as a very uniform size and shape that looks lovely in the box.