Apples Abound in Door County

There’s a crispness to the air, a sweet, smoky scent on the breeze, and leaves crunch under your feet. Though your arm is starting to feel the weight of the fruit in your basket and your neck is stiff from looking up, you’re lighthearted, basking in the change of seasons. Picking apples feels like the perfect activity to usher in the fall. It’s a last gathering of nature’s summer bounty and a celebration of the cooler months to come. Door County is known for her cherry trees, but the peninsula’s climate lends itself to growing apples as well. In September and October, there are plenty of opportunities to celebrate the classic fruit.

 

Pick-Your-Own

If a morning in an orchard with pounds of fruit to show for it is your aim, several orchards offer pick-your-own experiences. Picking begins in mid-September and extends to mid-October. If you’re looking for a particular type of apple, be sure to check the website or call ahead to find out when your favorites will be ready. Door County’s many orchards sell their pre-picked apples in dozens of varieties. However, only a few places allow you to choose your own.

Lautenbach’s Orchard Country Winery & Market in Fish Creek invites pickers to mosey through rows of Honeycrisp, Macintosh, Cortland, Macoun and Jonagold. They celebrate the season with Fall Harvest Fest, a weekend in mid-September; guests enjoy wine and farm market fare tasting, tours and horse-drawn wagon rides. There is live music in the afternoon.

Distance from the Blacksmith Inn: Driveable in 14 minutes (9.6 miles)

Pre-registration required: None

Cost: Varies based on purchase

Choice Orchards in Sturgeon Bay also offers daily pick-your-own Gala, Macintosh, Macoun and Snosweet apples. They also feature a wide selection of pre-picked apples; check their schedule for availability.

Distance from the Blacksmith Inn: Driveable in 27 minutes (19.6 miles)

Pre-registration required: None

Cost: Varies based on purchase

 

Have Your Apples and Drink Them, Too!

Door County has come to be known for its fruit wines and plenty of visitors come to follow the “wine trail.” Island Orchard Cider breaks from the wine tradition to recreate French cidre, common in the Normandy and Brittany regions of northern France. The alcoholic cider can be brut, rather tart and dry or more doux, sweeter.  Island Orchard makes very traditional French ciders with apples and pears as well as those with a hint of Door County, including a cherry apple cider. Apples are grown on Washington Island and in other Door County orchards, and the cider is pressed, fermented and aged in Ellison Bay. The cidery in Ellison Bay opens its tasting room year round where guests can enjoy a glass or a flight of their authentic, local cider. It’s delicious paired with lots of foods, and the cidery staff can recommend items from their small menu. Enjoy a slow tasting at indoor or outdoor seating in a relaxed atmosphere.

Distance from the Blacksmith Inn: Driveable in 21 minutes (14.3 miles)

Pre-registration required: None

Cost: Varies based on purchase

After your apple quest, you’ll need a snug place to get some rest. Check the Blacksmith Inn’s availability for your harvest weekend.

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