Wonderful Citrus plans to grow seedless lemons on what is known as the Bianchi Big Bench. ( Couirtesy The Mendrin Group )

Wonderful Citrus has signed a long-term lease with the owners of an 846-acre tract of land in California’s Salinas Valley with plans to grow seedless lemons on the land.

The Bianchi Big Bench, owned the multi-generational Bianchi family, Soledad, Calif., is among the elevated terraced “benches” in the Santa Lucia Highlands, according to a news release from The Mendrin Group, the brokerage and consulting firm that advised the Bianchi family on the arrangement.

Zak Laffite, Wonderful Citrus president, said the company plans to convert the entire piece of leased land to production of its seedless lemon. Planting will begin in the spring of 2021, with a three-year transition after that for trees to bear fruit, Laffite said.

“It’s a strategic fit for the program as it allows for summer harvests and further supports our year-round supply availability,” Laffite said in an e-mail.

The area is known for vineyards, wineries and lemon and avocado orchards, according to the release.

"The unique micro-climates in the region provide optimum timing for lemon harvests to complement our year-round program of Wonderful Seedless Lemons,” Laffite said in the release. “The Bianchi Big Bench property is a large single block of land along the Central Coast, a very rare find."

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