Sunday, October 28, 2012

Field Trip! Harvest Spirits Distillery

While my sister Nancy was here for a visit from Florida a few weeks ago, we took her on a field trip to Golden Harvest Apple Orchard and Harvest Spirits Distillery in Valatie, NY. This for me is a fasinating place and i wanted to share it with my sisters(my sister Kathy could not join us, so i am looking forward to a "field trip" with her sometime soon) 

The story behind this place is wonderful. The orchard and farm has been in this same family for many years. The current owners have found a way to use up the surplus apples by making their own vodka and spirits, and selling them to the public. They open their doors and offer tasings and sell their wonderful creations every weekend.
This is my sister Nancy standing in front of a wall of shelves, holding oak barrels filled with their Core vodka, Cornelius Applejack and brandies
The machinery that makes up the distillery is HUGE and very impressive.

And here is the little kitty greeter who welcomes all visitors

There are sample test jars with herbs and spices steeping in their vodka and brandy
They may or may not be put into production on a larger scale
and then there were jars put up just for Halloween...jars with eye of newt and wing of bat.
I've visited this place twice and both times i left with a bottle of their excellent Cornelius Applejack.

The Golden Harvest Farm stand was very busy that day

Families were there picking out their pumpkins and apples, and snacking on bags of cider donuts. The air around the farm stand smelled like sugar and cinnamon Heaven. Before we left we loaded up the car with all sorts of goodies! I made sure to buy some apples for my applesauce, maybe a pie, and for my own experiments at home....
 For some time now i have been making my own homemade spirits i call "Mare's Moonshine" At first i made a coffee flavored cordial, but all Summer and Fall i have been using local farm fresh fruits to make more varieties. I use an old Polish recipe i found online, and have been playing with the amount of fruit and sugar, vodka or brandy added. So far we have local strawberry, cherry, sour cherry(an old Polish recipe) mixed berry made of blueberry, blackberry and raspberry, sugar plum(another old recipe) peach and several different batches using differerent kinds of apples and vodka or brandy. I also made some Limoncello using Meyers lemons. All of these lovely bottles will sit and steep until near Christmas time, and then they will be strained and rebottled for Christmas gifts.I will let you know how it all turns out! In the meantime, i am having so much fun!
To hear more of the story of Golden Harvest Farm, click here


Dip-Dip and the Bridge said...

That looks so interesting. I love to visit places like that. We went to a distillery in Scotland a couple of years ago and sampled the whisky.
Lynne x

Mare said...

Hi Lynne, we have a new whiskey distillery closer to home here that just opened and i want to visit that place too! I find it so interesting how these things work!

Mare said...

Hi Lynne, when you read this post, was it the full post? I had SO much written on this post and now all that is left is the first paragraph....

Paula said...

This was a lovely trip, dear friend.... thanks for taking us along!

Mare said...

Thanks as always for visiting Paula!