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LoBue Citrus announced that Heritage Reserve Navel oranges will begin shipping Jan. 17.

Heritage Reserve Navels are grown within a unique sub-section of California's Central Valley citrus-growing region. The orchards were first planted between 1898 and 1960 to the original Washington-variety rootstock, and have never been replanted.

Two critical factors account for the sustained productivity of the orchards: a micro-climate and sandy soils unique to the growing region, which is a narrow, 20-mile long area adjacent to the western foothills of Sequoia National Park; and decades of consistent farming practices aimed at nurturing optimal flavor.

"Sustained by LoBue cultivation practices, these mature trees naturally provide a consistently exceptional flavor experience," Rick Osterhues, vice president of sales and marketing at LoBue Citrus, said in a Jan. 3 press release. “Heritage Reserve Navel oranges are one of our signature items.”

Heritage Reserve Navel Oranges are naturally colored, taste-tested daily, graded tightly for optimal flavor and packed to order.

Supplies are expected through March. Due to restricted acreage and yield, the Heritage Reserve program will be available to a limited number of retailers on an exclusive basis.