Distillery Tour at Gold Harvest Farms / Harvest Spirits

— Our last “official” stop of the Cider Doughnut Tour brought us to Golden Harvest Farms in Valatie. Like any red-blooded American male would, Jon and I headed to distillery while Elise and Danielle made their rounds about the store front. No visit to the distillery is complete without a few tastes of their new spirits and grabbing something to take home as well.

It seems like there’s always something different or new going on every time I stop by Harvest Spirits. This time for me was watching them fill their bottles for the first time and checking out some of their infusion experiments that were tucked away on the wall right past their array of artistically decorated barrels.

Like I said, it’s almost impossible to walk away from their glassware and other trinkets without getting at least something before walking out the door. I had a tough time putting down the leather-bound Cornelius AppleJack hip flask gift set, but the rocking tumbler was my weakness of the day.

After meeting up with the girls in the country store, we grabbed some of their cider doughnuts which ended up being the best of the day. Some of the ones we had earlier in the day were cold, which is a huge pet peeve of mine, especially if I go out of my way to ask for warm ones. Some had gigantic holes in the center which led me to believe they were cut wrong or the dough didn’t expand as expected. These ones were just right, served at the right temperature, with the correct amount of fluffiness and just a little hint of grease from the frying. It was the best way we could have ended the tour.

Harvest Spirits (link) | 3074 U.S. 9, Valatie, NY (map) | All Cider Doughnut Tour Posts

Wine Tasting at Goold Orchards

— Elise had the idea to stop at Chatham Brewing when we were done with the our cider doughnut tour, so we stopped back home to pick up a couple of growlers and then made our way to the third stop, Goold Orchards.

Now we almost didn’t make it to Goold’s. There was a bit of a blowup on the Facebook about there being no pick-your-own this season, honestly, things could have been handled a little better on their PR side. The whole fiasco kinda set Elise off a bit, but after some convincing we ended up going anyways.

We had a few of the wines. Some were better than others, but honestly at this point the only thing in my head was “Chatham Brewery, Chatham Brewery, Chatham Brewery”. Knowing we were going to get growler fills there later I held off on getting any bottles of wine.

The Joe Daddy’s hard cider on the chalkboard piqued my interest, as it was the first time I had seen it offered. We all got a taste to try it out, but it was a bit of a let down. It was sweet, it wasn’t dry, it wasn’t spiced, it wasn’t flavored. Supposedly it had some 8 or 9% ABV, but even that wasn’t really present in the flavor. It was just… there.

At this point of the day, after eating doughnuts from three different orchards, I’ve carb-loaded so much I need anything other than doughnuts. Luckily Goold’s had hot dogs and offerings from the grill to fit the bill.

And I couldn’t end the post without a couple of pics from the oh so controversial apples. Apples are apples to me, and while I can see that some families in the area could be disappointed in not being able to Pick-Your-Own this year, have a little sympathy for the families and businesses who depend on you year after year and had a tough crop this season. Going ape-shit over it on Facebook doesn’t really help either party involved.

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Goold Orchards (link) | 1297 Brookview Station Rd., Castleton, NY (map) | All Cider Doughnut Tour Posts

Cider Doughnut Tour at Altamont Orchards

— The second stop of the tour was the nearby Altamont Orchards. It was a short visit, with us grabbing our next round of doughnuts, cider and of course, more cheese. The hot apple salsa was great, too. I tried coercing the group into heading to Altamont Vineyards afterwards, having enjoyed the HalloWine Festival, but no dice.

Daytime in the fall is probably my favorite time of the year to take photos, even if it was a little overcast that day (and rainy a little bit later on). There’s different and more vibrant colors everywhere you turn, like with the pumpkins out front.

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Altamont Orchards (link) | 6654 Dunnsville Rd., Altamont, NY (map) | All Cider Doughnut Tour Posts

Cider Doughnut Tour at Indian Ladder Farms

— This is our third year of the Cider Doughnut Tour. We’ve done some crazier ones in the past where we’ve driven all over Upstate NY but we’ve kinda settled into just a few closer orchards that get us the maximum amount of cider, doughnuts, cheese, wine, beer, and spirits in the shortest period of time, while leaving us the evening to have some chili to offset the sweetness of the day and a few beers around the fire pit when the sun goes down.

Any visit to Indian Ladder isn’t complete without going over to take a look at the animals (and me talking about how delicious they would be). 

This one’s my favorite. Loved the expression on his face. (He really just wanted to eat my camera.)

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Indian Ladder Farms (link) | 342 Altamont Voorheesville Rd., Altamont, NY (map) | All Cider Doughnut Tour Posts