Fritz and Catherine Gusmer moved to South Carolina in the late 1970s and received a cider press from Fritz’s mother as a gift.
It instantly brought the Gusmers and their children closer together, and the family spent hours at a time perfecting the art of cider making.
The hobby was the end of the road when it came to trying to find something to do that involved his entire family and kept him close to home.
So were the treats that came with it. The apples they grew and the cider and donuts they made with them led to the creation of Windy Hill Orchard and Cider Mill in York, South Carolina.
Apple picking (during the season) and the furry friends you’re sure to make both make for a Norman Rockwell-esque Saturday afternoon.
But if you need something a little more adult, skip it all and head for the hard cider.
Glasses are $5 for 12 ounces and $6.50 for 16 ounces while pitchers are $20.
Can’t decide? No worries. For $12, you get a flight of six samples of Windy Hill’s signature ciders.
From left to right: Ginger Peach (on rotation), Strawberry Pippin (cider with strawberry juice blended in before fermentation), Gala Peach (Hard Cider and local peach juice), Hoppin Johnny (infused with citrus flavors), Rusty Gold (cinnamon, nutmeg and orange peel) and Ginger Gold (the original, it’s a take on English Style Cider and fermented with ginger).
Windy Hill’s own Hoppin Johnny was the first commercially produced dry-hopped hard cider ever made on the East Coast.
Don’t forget the apple cider donuts.
Flavors vary by day and each half-dozen is $5.
When you’re done with your flight and wishing you could take the ciders home with you (which you will), head back to the counter and take your pick of bottles ($10 each).
You’ll also find things like t-shirts, jams, butters and fire starters.