If you’re in the mood for a ripe red apple or a refreshing taste of fresh-pressed apple cider, you simply must visit Hilltop Orchards in the Berkshires. This 100-year-old apple orchard grows 27 different apple varietals and produces small-batch ciders with bold, crisp flavors. Open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, you could easily spend a few hours touring the cider mill, sampling the cider and wine, and strolling through the well-marked trails to scenic vistas.
Spectacularly beautiful during fall foliage season, the orchard is equally appealing when snow covers the ground and the onsite hiking trails open for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Hilltop is our go-to spot when the craving for fresh apple cider and cider donuts becomes irresistible. And we highly recommend a visit to guests of our bed and breakfast in the Berkshires.
Apples, Apples, Apples
From great apples comes great craft cider. That’s the secret to the success of Hilltop Orchards. Growing 27 apple varietals, including heritage and heirloom apples, that when blended create the perfect balance of sweet and tart. Carefully tended and picked at the peak of ripeness, then stored on-site in ideal conditions, means that the apples retain that crisp, tart goodness throughout the year.
Apple Cider Donuts
The scent of apple cider and cinnamon fills the air around the farm store, making it nearly impossible to leave without sampling their cider donuts. Made fresh daily, the sugary goodness of these warm doughy treats cries out for a chaser of fresh apple cider. Considered by many to be the “best donuts ever tasted” you could try to bring some home with you, but the temptation to devour them all could prove to be overwhelming.
Hike the Hillside Trails
Nestled in the foothills of the Berkshires, Hilltop offers more than just apples and cider donuts. Bring along your hiking boots, snowshoes, or cross-country skis for an exhilarating trek through their network of woodland trails. The view of 3 states from the summit is well worth the effort.
Tour the Cidery
Take a tour of the state-of-the-art cider mill that produces craft cider in small batches. The goal is to produce bold, crisp ciders that mimic the sensation of biting into a tree-ripened apple. The transformation begins with traditional cold-press methods to squeeze every drop of juice from the home-grown apples. Once the fermentation process begins the cider is transferred to oak barrels to age slowly and gracefully. A combination of great apples, an ideal climate, and abundant water creates a truly artisanal craft cider.
Taste the Wines
While famed for its craft ciders and cider donuts, Hilltop Orchards is also home to Furnace Brook Winery. Producing award-winning wines from grapes grown in the northeast and California, the winery features both red and white wines that are all-natural and gluten-free. Join owners Sara and David as they guide you through a wine-tasting experience that feels as fresh as their home-grown apples.
Visit the Farm Store
At the end of your visit, be sure to stop by the farm store to pick up homemade jellies and jams, hot sauces, canned cider, and wines. If there’s a nip to the air when you visit, you’ll appreciate the warm fire that glows in the fireplace. Put your feet up on a leather couch and relax for a while. The folks are friendly here and want you to feel at home.
If you want a taste of the Berkshires, Hilltop Orchards delivers that and more. The owners’ passion for growing and fermenting apples shines through every aspect of the operation. Take our advice the next time you visit our luxurious retreat in the Berkshires and make time to visit Hilltop Orchards. You won’t be disappointed.