"With color reminiscent of a rose-hued sunset, sublime honey-like flavor, and royal roots, the Blenheim apricot has a lot going for it.
It is also disappearing from California's bountiful orchards.
Blenheims were grown in Europe nearly 200 years ago and flourished in the garden at Blenheim Palace in England, birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. They arrived in California in the 1880s and production spiked during the World War I era, after a stoppage of imported dried fruit from Europe. The largest farming areas for the variety were the Sacramento and Santa Clara valleys.
The 32,000 tons of Blenheims produced in 1988 dropped to 4,000 tons last year, according to Bill Ferriera, president of the Apricot Producers of California, and other industry data. Ferriera said Blenheims account for less than 2 percent of overall production, and the number is expected to dwindle further as more trees may soon be uprooted." - http://www.californiabountiful.com
Another reason they are disappearing is their fleeting nature. Once picked, they last for a mere few days, making it a challenge for big chain grocery stores to carry such a flavor packed variety. Instead, markets go for the shelf stable, water-rich and flavor lacking varieties of Apricot.
Blenheim are only around for 4 weeks. We can as many as we can, but they go quickly...sigh.