[Delfino Farms’ selection of mini pumpkins, gourds, and random green lumps that I have no clue what the hell they actually are]
Okay so I wanted to go to Apple Hill so badly once I found out about it. I love hills. And apples. So clearly it was made for me.
But let me tell you – it’s much more than that. Although there are many apples and hills involved. And apples in so many forms – (hard) cider, beer, strudel, pie, freshly picked, it goes on and on. We couldn’t actually do any apple picking while we were there (all the apples are gone by like September, news to me), although we did go rogue and pick some off the ground on the side of the road. There were a ton of them and they looked like they were going bad! So I was doing them a favor! Otherwise they’d attract deer and other unwanted pests and the like…
[Prettiest vineyard across from Chateau Davell Boutique Winery]
Side note tip: Go when the weather is less than ideal! It was cloudy and semi-rainy when we went and there was basically no one there (even on a weekend!). It was amazing and we didn’t get any traffic whatsoever. And if you go later in the year (i.e. not September or beginning of October), it’s not as crowded, and the fall colors are prime.
Here’s where we went (recommended by my friend’s roommate’s sister, who is an Apple Hill Expert; she suggested you go in this order to avoid traffic):
DENVER DAN’S APPLE PATCH
They cut apples with an old fashioned apple slicer and you eat it off your thumb! It’s super fun and also free. So there’s that. They also have bomb pies and other fun foods (their Apple Crisp Sundae is LIFE my friends). It’s just an all around cute little place! They also have apple picking, but no apples were left when we arrived.
Their labels are the cutest. Their cider is amazeballs, as is their hard cider (not gonna lie, def bought it 99% because of the label, #basic), and their apple cider doughnuts are delish and I don’t even usually like doughnuts. They also have apples you can purchase, among other baked goods. It has a “farmer’s market” feel, but it’s not too big of a place.
JACK RUSSELL BREWERY
Even though it’s named after a dog breed, they don’t allow dogs. LOL. Go figure. We did the beer sampler, and tbh their beers weren’t that great. BUT they have pumpkin beer which is fun (although they were out when we were there!), and the apple beer was cool. They do have a “cave” though which is super cool! Basically a winery in a cave-like room. If I went back, I’d def do the wine tasting instead!
This was by far the cutest farm we went to. They have a little nature walk (which we didn’t do due to the mud), but it’s on a hill overlooking a vineyard and a ton of trees, so I can imagine the walk is really pretty. They also have farm animals, decomposing pumpkins (although I’m sure they’re fresh if you go before Halloween lol), a little bake shop, and fall gourds and mini pumpkins for sale.
A really large farmer’s market type set up. I’d say only stop here if you have specific items in mind you’d like to buy. They have lots of veggies/fruits and specialty items, like pickles in vinegar and old fashioned apple slicers. There’s also wine and beer tasting, but I’m not sure how good it is. My friend and I were going to try it, but my dad is a wine snob and insisted we go to a real winery instead.
HIGH HILL RANCH
Make sure you go to High Hill Ranch and not High Hill Farm – they’re different places! This place is HUGE. Lots of vendors selling things (that you probably don’t need, if I’m being honest, lots of little decorations and kitschy items etc.) and lots of food/desserts to buy. I wasn’t the biggest fan and would probably skip this if pressed for time.
Then we went wine tasting! We were only supposed to go to one winery…But then we went to three…
We mainly went here because it was close to High Hill. And it was free! We did quite a lot of tastings for it being free – I was impressed. And a little drunk. But the wine was not that great, although the location is really pretty!
The wine was better here and the tastings were also free! Although I think they gave you a little less than at Madroña, but still a good amount! And the location was also really pretty, too. To be honest I haven’t really ever visited an ugly winery, so….
You should 10000000% go here. It’s outdoors, but they have heat lamps when it’s cold. Plus you’re drinking wine so is it ever really cold? And the stand is ADORABLE (see above). This one costs money ($5) but they give you samples to try with your wine! Each wine is paired with a little bit of cheese, crackers, or chocolate. And the wine is goooood. But that also could have been due to the fact that this was the third winery we visited…
The whole area is just so damn cute and pretty. Driving on the roads (especially during fall, eeeeek) is basically a destination in itself!
Have fun on your own Apple Hill adventure! And if you have extra tips/favorites, feel free to share! I want to go back next year in time for the apple picking, so I don’t get stuck with leftover pity ground apples.
[Fall in partial swing]