This past weekend Shira and I visited family in Rochester. Sunday arrived and we weren't quite sure what activity would work for everyone. After a bit of research, Shira suggested the Annual Apple Tasting Tour, an event nobody in the family had ever heard of. The goal is to visit a bunch of apple farms in the area (specifically in Wayne County) and, well, taste the apples. We figured the scenery alone would be worth the trip. So, we all crammed in the car and off we went.
We ended up making it to two farms and a distillery (more on that in a minute). For once, Rochester weather cooperated, and we were treated to a perfect fall day. Slightly crisp but with lots of sunshine. The apples were quite tasty, and the foliage along the way was downright stunning. While the notion of heading off to Wayne County evoked images of trekking out in the wilderness, it was actually all of about a 25 minute drive. It continues to amaze me how little of the Rochester area I've seen, even though I grew up there (or perhaps, because I grew up there).
An unexpected find in the area was Apple County Spirits, a distillery that specializes in fruit based spirits. They offered tastings of various hard ciders as well as an Apple Vodka and a couple of other hard alcohol choices; one from apples and one from pears. My Mom, whose favorite drink is hard cider, was in heaven. And then there's this thought: when Passover rolls around, most hard alcohol is off the menu because it contains grain. But these varieties come from fruit! With the right certification, they could be the perfect Passover option. Not to mention, without grain, they are gluten free. Regardless, my parents and I quite enjoyed the distillery.
We made one other stop along the way, though this one wasn't on the Tasting Tour. We stopped by our childhood Buddy, Aaron's house, which happens to be just a couple of miles from the farms we were visiting. It was a huge treat getting to catch up with him, and I'm still trying to fully process the fact that not only does he have a 2 story former barn as a garage and a riding lawnmower, but he's got chickens in the backyard! He even gave us a dozen fresh eggs to drive home the point. I'm impressed!
All in all, everyone had a great time. Apples were tasted, alcohol was drunk and I got to take lots of photos. It was a perfect day!