Apple Hill – A Fall Favorite   Leave a comment

By Michelle Portesi

The Apple Growers of Apple Hill California

The Apple Growers of Apple Hill California

 

Nestled just off of Highway 50, from South Lake Tahoe past Pollock Pines is the area known as Apple Hill.  Hidden behind the pines is a thriving community of apple growers, cider pressers, wineries, eateries and more.

The popular area’s season got off to a rough start with the King Fire nipping at its doorstep and the smoke making any foray outdoors hard on the lungs. Mercifully that didn’t hurt the harvest and blue skies and fresh air greeted us once the fire was snuffed out. (Thank you to all the fearless firefighters!)

A recent trip down to the area showed the fires vast expanse of devastation along the highway, but just past that it didn’t take long to realize that it didn’t dampen the desire for the freshest apples around by the general population. It was Saturday. It was a glorious fall day. The town was PACKED! (Do yourself a favor. Don’t go on a Saturday.)

 

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Our first stop graced us with a riot of fall mums, marigolds and a plethora of apple varieties I’d never heard of before. I had to buy some, and I will tell you honestly, they were DELISH! Nothing beats a fresh, unbelievable crisp and sweet apple. I may never buy store bought again.

From there we followed the trail map to several other growers, quickly realizing we couldn’t buy every single variety at every single orchard and still make rent. Fortified with a tasty lunch from one of the orchards, sitting under the apple trees on picnic benches, we planned our route to a variety of places that offered different treats. One offered an on site cider press, and I couldn’t resist a freshly pressed half gallon of it. This too was marvelous, and I have just the recipe to use it for. (Chicken brined in cider with a reduced cider gravy. Yum!)

 

A man and his emu...

A man and his emu…

 

Several had craft fairs, pick your own produce and orchards, petting zoos and gift shops (Grandpa’s Cellar) offering a wide array of apple inspired motifs. Interspersed amongst the orchards were several wineries, and we did get to sample from one that carried hard cider.

But the best treat of all was a stop at an unassuming orchard named Honey Bear Ranch, with the best caramel nut apple pie ever baked. We sat under a beautiful outdoor gazebo adorned with vines, listened to some great music, and savored every mouthful.

Apple Hill is best visited in the Fall, however the area is also a major Christmas Tree grower, and some orchards are open year round.

I’m thinking I’ll be having a serious need for more of those Caramel Apple Holiday Pies…

To learn more and plan your trip, visit their website here: Apple Hill

Be sure to download the Apple Hill map.

 

The size of a dinner plate!

The size of a dinner plate!

 

THINK OF ME, LYNN RICHARDSON, FOR ALL OF YOUR LAKE TAHOE AND TRUCKEE REAL ESTATE NEEDS!

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