Is there anything better than a warm, ripe peach in the summer? South Carolina has an abundance of peaches, and is the number one peach producing state in the southeast. But how can you get that sweet, almost intoxicating taste of a fresh peach in the winter?
Well, the Carolina Cider Company of Yemassee has an answer: peach cider. And that's not the only flavor they offer. Have you ever tried strawberry or muscadine cider? Head to their welcoming store in South Carolina's Lowcountry and you can try any of the more than half-dozen ciders they make and sell.
While you wouldn't be wrong to think of peaches when you think of fruit from South Carolina, the state also has a wonderful and abundant apple crop. And what do you make from apples? Apple cider, of course. South Carolina has some beautiful places that make and sell apple cider and its grown-up cousin, hard cider (which is apple cider that has been been fermented and is now alcoholic).
Most of the cider producers in South Carolina are orchards located in the upstate region, in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The area is so pretty, filled with waterfalls, state parks and hiking trails that you'll probably want to make a whole day of visiting.
Bryson's Apple Orchard in Mountain Rest presses cider right from their own apples. They also make their own jams and jellies. You can also pick your own apples and then sit down for a picnic lunch.
Perdeaux Fruit Farm in Travelers Rest also offers fresh cider pressed right on site. They also grow 13 other fruits on their farm and produce their own honey. Make sure you have plenty of room in the car for bringing all that good stuff home.
Chattooga Belle Farm is quite possibly the most beautiful farm you will ever visit. You can pick your own apples and eat lunch in their lovely little bistro, all while looking out over one of the most beautiful views in all of South Carolina. Stock up in their store on produce, cider and even wine made from their fruit.
Windy Hill Orchard in York offers both fresh apple cider and hard cider. They even have a Hard Cider Bar, open on weekends, where adults can try out different varieties of the alcoholic beverage. The family-owned orchard also offers pick-you-own apples in the late summer and early fall, and hosts their annual Apple Harvest Festival in October.
The Ciclops Cyderi is the only other producer of hard cider in the state. Housed in the Hub City Tap House in Spartanburg, this hard cidery makes more than 30 different styles of ciders. Unlike Windy Hill, Ciclops Cyderi isn't an orchard. Instead, it's right in downtown Spartanburg. They make their non-filtered, unpasteurized hard cider right on site, using local apples. Most of those ciders don't taste all that much like apples at all. Instead, their ciders combine a variety of flavors, ranging from maple syrup to lychee fruit.