A visit to Apple Hill is more than a simple visit to a farm store. Apple Hill is an experience. It is the real deal, albeit, a touristy deal.
The Apple Hill growers association was formed over 50 years ago. Originally, the area was a huge pear producer. That changed about 36 years ago when a blight wiped out a large portion of the areas’ pear crop. Several farmers joined together to save all the farms and decided to change the primary crop from pears to apples. They formed the Apple Hill Growers Association and it has grown to over 50 farms, orchards, Christmas tree farms and a spa. There are still a few pear trees in the area and their fruit is delicious.
We stopped at Boa Vista first, but unfortunately their bakery was closed. (i.e. no apple donuts.) We went a few miles further to High Hill Ranch. This stop has enough craft vendors to form a small village, everything from home made soaps and candles to water marbled silk scarves. Plus, they have an Apple Barn where fresh apple donuts were available. Yumm! Sadly, the cider press wasn’t operating during out visit so we had to settle for day old cider. Oh well. Still wonderful.
Our next stop was to be at several of the vineyards and tasting rooms in the area. Right next to High Hill Ranch is Madroña Vineyard. We sampled eight, ok, ok, nine or so (11) of their wines. Overall, the wines were very good. The surprise was the New World Port. I am not a port officionado, or if fact, you might even say I don’t like port, but this one was exceptional. It didnt have that sweet, heavy taste. It was delicious. The drive through the orchard and vineyard was both pretty and pretty short. I am also not a Rosé officionado, but ditto above. The Grenache Rose-Hillside would be the perfect drink on a warm afternoon watching the sunset from our deck. In fact… I think that’s all for today. We decided to skip the other vineyards. The back deck is calling.