Saturday we made our annual trek to Sierra Glen apple ranch in the hills above Sonora, CA. Just getting there is an adventure. The ranch is on Big Hill Road, between Columbia and Twain Harte. The trip involves several miles of winding mountain road, before emerging on a jewel of a foothill valley, with the ranch nestled into it.
This season, they have about a dozen varieties of apples--the usual Delicious, King David, Pippin and Granny Smith for baking, Braeburn (I had one today for my break, and it was exquisite), deep port-wine-red Staymen (a personal favorite), Romes, Fujis, Spitzbergen, and some fabulous Arkansas Blacks. Apple "tasting" is encouraged--any variety you are interested, they will cut one up and offer you a slice.
Earlier in the season they have berries, cherries, pears, & peaches, but I've never managed to get there except in Oct-Nov.
We took home a gallon of their wonderful fresh-pressed cider. A small kitchen is attached to the sales building, and serves some excellent pies.
The apples are the real thing. They will make your heart sing. They'll do everything groovy...(oops, carried away again...) Anyhow, if you're in the area, this is well worth a trip.