Villa del Sol Sweet Cherry Farms

Villa del Sol Sweet Cherry Farms
Frequently Asked Questions




1. When is the cherry season?

Although each season is unique, Leona Valley cherries are generally available from the end of May through early July--if we are lucky.  Cherry picking season is a very short season and the trees only produce once per year.  

2. What are some of the nutritional benefits of cherries?

A. Fat-free
B. Sodium-free
C. Cholesterol-free
D. A good source of fiber
E. A good source of Vitamin C.

3. How do I best store cherries?

Refrigerate your cherries immediately after purchase. Cherries can be kept fresh in the refrigerator for several days. Avoid placing cherries in the sun or warm areas, they may go limp quickly. Also, do not store cherries in plastic bags as this will reduce their shelf life.

4. How do I select cherries?

Choose firm, plump, shiny cherries with green stems.  Generally the darker the coloring, the riper the cherry.   Keep Leona Valley cherries refrigerated until consuming.


  5. What types of cherries does Villa del Sol have?
  In the spring of 2001, we planted almost 4000 bare root sweet cherry trees--five varieties: Bing, Rainier, Brooks and Tulare, on the Mahaleb rootstock. We did a lot of research in order to try to do everything right. First we had the soil tested to determine what soil amendments it needed. The tests determined that we needed 21 tons of nitrogen (steer manure) and 3 tons of gypsum. After the nutrients were spread throughout the field, we "slip plowed" the entire field (a process of turning the soil down to a depth of about five feet) to give the roots ease in growing.


Large, uniform, oblate, dark red fruit. Flesh is firm and crisp with variable shades of red and pink. The stone is nearly free. Flavor is superior to Early Burlat and is sweet, rich, well-balanced, and exceptional for early season maturity.

Color: Skin - dark red, Flesh - red and pink
Flavor/Texture: Sweet, rich and well-balanced.


The leading commercial sweet cherry in North America. Fruit is firm, juicy and a deep, mahogany red when ripe. Exceptionally large fruit of finest quality, with an intensely sweet, vibrant flavor. Bing has become the standard to which other varieties are compared.

Color: Skin- Mahogany, Flesh- Mahogany
Flavor/Texture: Sweet, rich flavor (17-19% fruit sugar) Firm


A very attractive, exceptionally large, yellow cherry with a bright red blush. Rainier has a distinctive and superior appearance among sweet cherry varieties. Delicately flavored with extraordinary sugar levels, the flesh is pure yellow, very firm and finely textured. A premium niche variety that ripens about the same time as the Bing.

Color: Skin - Golden with pink/red blush, Flesh- clear-colored
Flavor: Very sweet, delicate flavor (17-23% fruit sugar) finely textured

Gary's Tip
Don't be put off if Rainer cherries have some skin discoloration in the form of scuffing or brown spots. That's often a sign of high sugar content so these cherries are generally sweeter.

6. How are sweet cherries sized?

Cherry sizes are described in "rows," dating back to when the industry place-packed the top layer in the box.  A tight fit of ten cherries across the narrow face of the lug become "10 row" cherries.

75/64 inch
29.8 mm
9.5 ROW
71/64 inch
28.2 mm
10 ROW
67/64 inch
26.6 mm
10.5 ROW
64/64 inch
25.4 mm
11 ROW
61/64 inch
24.2 mm
11.5 ROW
57/64 inch
22.6 mm
12 ROW
54/64 inch
21.4 mm
Sweet cherry sizes per Federal Marketing Order #923



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6989 Elizabeth Lake Road Leona Valley, CA 93551 (map)  Tel (661) 270-1356
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