“Everyone starts out small” as an old saying goes. But with the apple tree, the opposite was actually the case: in ancient times, large trees were planted and over the years they were attended to and cared for. But anyone who assumes that we are talking about South Tyrol/Südtirol in antiquity would be mistaken. The apple does not have its origins in Europe, as many might presume, but rather in the mountainous region of Kazakhstan. Witnesses of that epoch can still be discovered there today: giant forests with so-called “wild apple trees”, and even the former capital city of Almaty, which in ancient times was known as Alma Ata, meaning “father of apples” in the Kazakh language.
And via the Silk Road, the old trade route between China and Greece, the apple found its way into Europe. First to Greece, then on to Rome, and from there to us in South Tyrol. During Roman times, approximately twenty-one apple varieties were cultivated around Rome. In the Alpine region, and consequently in South Tyrol
, the apple was planted for the first time in the thirteenth century.