Tarongino: Goodbye Grape, Hello Grapefruit

Tarongino, was awarded a prize at the Anuga Fair held in Cologne, Germany in October 2015, and Europe’s most important for foodstuffs, with over 7,000 participants.

Their flagship product Tarongino Original got the gold, while their Tarongino Clementina  and Grapefruit succeeded with silver.

“Oranges and lemons say the bells of Saint Clements”; an old English nursery rhyme that will change its tune if the people at ‘Naranjas Che’ get their way.

Not content with filling our tired bodies with ample mounts of healthy, sparkling vitamin C, this Valencian family co-operative has decided to challenge the grape and make wine with citrus fruits.

Sacrilege! Blasphemy! you shout. Apparently not; it’s perfectly legal and actually not all that bad at all.

From their orchards in Sagunto the family spent some time contemplating possibilities; orange trees don’t need 24/7 attention and so their carers have ample time for profound contemplation.

They thought about jam, and then they thought about jam some more, and then dried pulp; but all that was just fiction.

Then, like Columbus, they discovered South America; although they actually knew what it was from the beginning, and observed that there white wines were being made with non-grapes.

Brothers Guillermo, Gonzalo and Jaime Antelo and oenologist Juan Alberto Anaya, and field worker Mohammed Ahmed from Pakistan, looked their oranges in the eyes and said “Why not?”

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Obviously they needed help, but scientific help, not medical, and so they contacted Valencia’s Polytechnic University and signed a collaborative agreement.

After a lot of trial and a lot more error, they finally found the formula which, like Doctor Jekyll’s, would transform something healthy into something else.

Already they have three citrus wines on the market, made with oranges, mandarins and blood oranges respectively, and they are building up their courage to confront grapefruits (so named because, like grapes, they grow in bunches).

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It was the Romans who brought grapes to Valencia, and the Muslims who brought citrus fruits, but it is the Brothers Antelo who have turned history on its head with this millennial project.

Seven degrees of alcohol will no doubt dispel the doubts of many, and the quiet orange groves of Valencia might get a little rowdier in future, but citrus wines are here to stay, and already they are exporting to Canada and the United Kingdom, where, rumour has it, they can’t tell the difference between an orange and a persimmon anyway.

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