This is the name given to the different varieties of oranges grown in the Sóller area in northwest Majorca (Balearic Islands). The most characteristic variety grown in Sóller is the Canoneta orange, which is thought to originate in the Sóller valley, from Can Canonet. This variety of orange has a high sugar content and gives large quantities of juice, and is the emblematic citrus fruit of Sóller. The Sóller valley has a tradition of over seven centuries dedicated to the cultivation of citrus fruit –particularly oranges– and produces a citrus fruit with a series of special characteristics due to its geo-climatic conditions and to the technique, common throughout the area, of growing the fruit trees on terraces.
The Canoneta orange belongs to the Blancas group, which is characterized by its flattened spherical shape, and its average to large size.
The distinctive characteristics of the Canoneta variety are its medium size, slightly rough skin and the presence of a few seeds in the pulp as well as the fact that it gives large quantities of juice and has a pleasant, slightly acid taste. It reaches its optimum point of ripeness in summer, although it can be found on the market months earlier.
The Canoneta orange is characterized by its flattened spherical shape, and its medium to large size. The coloring of the fruits ranges from yellow and orange through to a deep orange.
The Sóller valley, also known as the Valley of the Orange Trees, is on the island of Majorca. It is grown in the lower part of the valley, as due to its steep relief the water table does not reach the slopes and peaks of the valley; these areas are covered by olive groves, and holm oak forests further up the mountain, in addition to the recent introduction of pine.
Due to the steepness of the terrain, it is grown on terraces, and irrigated by means of the natural springs in this lower area of the valley. The distinctive features of Sóller oranges are the microclimate, irrigation with untreated natural waters, and the characteristics of the soil, which is very well-drained. All this gives rise to a variety of organoleptic notes depending on the height and the exact site in which the oranges are grown. The municipal district of Sóller includes the locations of Biniaraix, L'Horta, El Puerto de Sóller, Sóller and Alconàsser, although it also covers the oranges grown in the neighboring district of Fornalutx.
The city is located in the northwest of the island of Majorca. The Sierra de Tramuntana mountains, the location of the Sóller valley, is the largest mountain formation in Majorca and its most extensive natural space. It has a length of about 90 km from the cape of Formentor in Pollença to the cape of Sa Mola in Andratx, and an average width of 15 km.
The coast in the Sierra de Tramuntana mountains is steep, with few coves and very sheer cliffs. The climate is Mediterranean with mild average temperatures and a pattern of seasonal rainfall in which the driest and hottest season is in summer. The average annual rainfall is around 1,500 mm in the upper parts of the mountain range. Most of the rain is concentrated in just a few days with heavy or very heavy rainfall in the fall, and with less intensity the rest of the year.
The average annual temperatures are between 16ºC and 18ºC, with average maximums in summer of 29-31ºC and average minimums winter nights of 5-9ºC.The climatic conditions on the rest of the island exert an influence, as they prevent the influx of northwesterly winds.
The Sóller valley, also known as the Valley of the Orange Trees, is on the island of Majorca.