Named after the Canton (and capital city) in which it is located, Finca San Isidro sits in the highlands northeast ofHeredia; famed as one of the exceptional coffee growing regions ofCosta Rica. The Ruiz family has now tended FincaSan Isidro for four generations, with Ernesto carrying on the Ruiz family’s legacy of producing a fantastic cup.
The region of San Isidro de Heredia focuses heavily on agricultural activates as its main source of income. Although in recent years new industries such as construction and commerce have emerged, the Canton still relies on vegetable crops, coffee and cattle farming. This lot in particular from Finca San Isidro, named El Potrero, translating as ‘thepaddock’, takes its name from its history as land reserved for cattle grazing. Although a history of producing other produce, today the Ruiz family only produces coffee at Finca San Isidro. The family do, however, cultivate cocoa on land in other parts of the country.
Finca San Isidro faces challenges similar to many farms in the region, such as an ageing and unproductive tree population, as well as the threat from disease. In a market already squeezed by high production costs and low prices,unproductive trees can exacerbate existing issues. For some plantations, the age of tree dates back to over 40 years.Ernesto and the team at Finca San Isidro have been combating this issue over the last four years, by slowly renewing the farm four rows of trees at a time. This has drastically decreased the average age of the tree at the farm from 40 years, closer to 2 years, with many trees now aged between 2 months to 3.5 years. For varieties, many farms in the region are mostly populated by Caturra and Catuaí, known for their inefficiency at combating leaf rust. New varieties such as Centroamericano, Obatã and Marsellesa are becoming increasingly popular in the region. These new strains are chosen on recommendations from Icafe (Coffee Institute of Costa Rica), due to their resistance to the disease.