Fall is officially here and that means apple season has arrived! The Apple Hill Growers are looking forward to the most popular time of year, but this year is a bit different. In an effort to make the Apple Hill experience as safe and stress-free as possible for visitors, the Growers are sharing their tips on the best way to visit area farms and wineries this year.
How are the Apple Hill Growers adapting to COVID-19?
COVID-19 is impacting all of us and the Apple Hill Grower farms have implemented some changes to maximize the health and safety of all guests and employees. Guests will still be able to enjoy the same, freshly harvested fall fruits and vegetables, mouth-watering baked goods and first-class wine, but there are a few tips that every visitor should know while planning their visit.
*Masks are required. Guests and employees will be wearing them.
* Please consider keeping groups to household members only.
* Maintain social distancing in all areas
* Businesses are implementing safe payment options.
* Some farms and wineries are taking reservations for visits and you-pick activities, so call ahead to be sure.
When is the best time to visit?
Apple season is already underway and can continue well into December. At the same time, there are plenty of other crops being harvested at our farms, providing many opportunities to visit the area.
The Apple Hill Growers are encouraging visitors to come up starting in September when the majority of farms are open to get a head start on their apple cider, donuts and pies. Farms are still open in November when the vineyards are golden and the orchards are crimson and orange, creating the perfect backdrops for autumn photos. It’s a great time to visit and pick up fresh or frozen pies and wine for your holiday menus. Don’t forget that ten Apple Hill tree farms open the weekend after Thanksgiving. Visitors can pick their own Christmas tree, and in many places, cut it down themselves. Our wonderful wineries are open year-round as well. Guests are also encouraged to visit during the week. A visit during the less popular days makes social distancing easier and visitors will have the same quality products that are available on the weekend.
Where are best u-pick experiences?
Most of our farms are open through the fall and some stay that way into winter. The fall is the best time to pick your own apples, pears and a variety of fresh vegetables. It’s also pumpkin season and eight farms offer you-pick for your autumn and Halloween gourd needs. For more information on what’s available at each farm, check out our You-Pick Guide.
What else is happening at farms?
For everything from wreath making classes to bottle your own wine experiences, be sure to check out our event calendar. You can also download the free official Apple Hill app in the App Store or on Google Play for updated information on every farm, plus area food, lodging, events, activities and more.
Any road closures to be aware of?
There aren’t any road closures or traffic flows specific to Apple Hill Grower farms this year. However, it is important to note that the Echo Summit Bridge Replacement project is underway on Highway 50. The highway will be completely closed over the summit from September 18 to October 2. Daily construction updates can be found online, so be sure to check it if you’re coming to visit us from the Tahoe area.
With all of the fires in California, is the air safe?
California is in the midst of fire season so the situation could change at any time, but there are resources that visitors can use to check air quality before their visit. PurpleAir.com has regularly updated information. Just search for Placerville or Camino, California for a sense of conditions in our area.