2899 See Canyon Road, San Luis Obispo, CA
Summer Hours: Monday-Saturday 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
Sundays 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
CLOSED FOR WINTER, open again in JULY
Roll over each variety of apples below to read a detailed description.
Our newest breeding selections are too numerous to mention. Crosses between Burgundy and Gala are becoming available. Come and taste!
Click here to see the list of ripening dates
The apple season usually begins the last week of July and runs through mid December. Our roadside stand offers a wide choice of apple varieties, sizes and prices. The dates of ripening listed below are only approximate since timing varies somewhat each year, depending on "mother nature."
APPLES, APPLES, APPLES - Did you know there are thousands of apple varieties? We have tried hundreds of them here at Gopher Glen and kept the ones we like the best. We also grow many other old-fashioned varieties such as Rhode Island Greening, Skinner, Missouri Pippins, three Limbertwigs and other uncommon varieties not mentioned on our list. Experimental trees with eight or ten varieties each, as well as thousands of seedling trees grown from our own crosses, are beginning to produce totally new and never before seen apple varieties. It is all great fun! You never know — on one of your visits you may find yourself a guinea pig for one of our brand new varieties.
Winesap Turley: Tart and strong flavored. A little like an Empire or a Mohawk, but is more juicy and crisp than the classic Stayman Winesap (see above) which has more of a wine-like taste and is a harder apple.
Winesap Stayman: Another old favorite. Dark red, hard, dense, late apple known for its sharp wine-like flavor. A good keeper. Makes an interesting pie.
Tohoku: Uniquely flavorful with bright pinkish-red skin and a white flesh that stays white when cut. This Jonathan-Pearmain cross is not particularly crisp, but its non-browning quality makes it perfect for drying, salads or for a lovely white applesauce. Moderate keeper. One of our family favorites, and in a class by itself for pies.
Sundowner: More body and longer keeper than the Pink Lady, but it doesn’t have the commercial push that Pink Lady has. Tart, with some sweetness.
Splendour: An unusual big, pink apple from Tasmania. Wonderfully sweet and mild. Extremely delicate to handle, but this one stays crisp forever while stored in the refrigerator. An amazing combination of tenderness and crispness. Some people go wild over them (we whisper when we tell customers we have some). However, they are unfortunately not good for pies.
Spitzenberg: An oldie from Europe proving itself popular here. A nice big apple, characteristically a non-glossy orange-red. Lots and lots of flavor, slightly tart. Good for cooking too. Thomas Jefferson’s favorite apple. High in Vitamin C.
Russets (Roxbury & Golden): Old-fashioned apple much prized for cider in past times. Ugliest apple going: small, brown, rough russetting all over a yellow background. Not especially crisp, but GREAT flavor and intense sweetness. One of the parents of Golden Delicious.
Rome Beauty: Plump and pretty, deep rosy-red apple with green undercoat. Heavy, firm but not very crisp, has mild flavor. Is not a good keeper. Easy to peel these big fellows for pies. King of the baked apples!
Red Yorking: Late red Apple. Trying to fill that last season red spot. May do the job. Good flavor and color, tart but sweet. An old Northeast Favorite.
Red Gold: This is a very popular lunch box favorite. It’s sweet and mild in flavor, with not a bit of acid to it. It’s small with a very pretty deep red blush over a gold background. No wonder kids love it. A Golden-Red Delicious cross that is a real winner. 20
Red Delicious: Classic Red Delicious. A firm, sweet, mild tasting flesh makes this a good choice for snacks, salads and fruit cps. A tough-skinned apple, hearty for shipping. We tested 25 strains of Red Delicious here at Gopher Glen, and kept the best eight.
Pippin: Everybody knows this one. Very firm, tart but sweet, long-keeping, and sunny green color. Good cooking and eating fresh if you like to chew. Old time favorite for pies, sauce or winter storage. More flavor and firmness than Granny Smith.
Pink Lady: If you eat with your eyes, you’ll love this apple. Here on the coast, it’s not pink at all, it is a dark burgundy-red color.
Northern Spy: What can we say about this one with the intriguing name? An old-fashioned apple with a strong superb flavor and texture when right on and slightly green — but a hair too ripe, and it’s mush. A Northern Spy pie has a distinctive character you will remember.
Nittany (Gettysburg): A crisp apple, sweet and spicy flavor with a hint of nutmeg. This unique little apple from Pennsylvania, has a distinctive orange-coral striping. Nice for eating.
Mutsu (Crispin): If picked slightly immature, Mutsu has plenty of flavor and a bit of a tartness. Top choice for pies, sauce, salads, and baking whole. Excellent all-purpose apple. Good keeper, and can be frozen. It’s a great big green apple that is easy to peel. When Mutsu is ripe, we’re less enthusiastic. It’s a bland version of Golden with a smoother skin.
Mollie’s Delicious: Like Red Delicious in shape only; it’s much more crisp, juicy and tender. Mild, sweet, pear-like flavor with a fruity aroma. Short season, high demand. Generally not considered a cooking apple and a poor keepe, it does make a very good pie. Large apple with soft pink stripes and a yellow undercoat. Gopher Glen has the largest planting west of the Mississippi.
Mohawk: This one was named by us. Experimental station in New York only gives it a number. We like it! It’s a lot like an Empire only later and bigger. Crisp, tender and juicy — tart but sweet. We like it best just for eating. Not the best storage apple in the world, but you have a week or two in the fridge. Good size — deep maroon stripe.
Mary’s Unknown: Another of our own breeding varieties discovered as a root stock seedling from a dead apple tree. A pippin type that is firm, long keeping and extremely late.
Little Gem: Very late, sweet, crisp, great keeping little apple. We think it’s sweeter, prettier, and crisper than Fuji (but much smaller in size). Wonderful in lunch boxes until Christmas, since they stay crisp in the fridge virtually forever. More punchy flavor than a Splendor and it survives lunch box banging better.
Limbertwig: A popular old-fashioned Southern type apple, grown on weeping trees. Sweet-tart licorice flavor. There are over 100 Limbertwig varieties, but we have selected the best 3 for your enjoyment.
Lady Williams: This tart apple was discovered in South Africa and is the mother of Pink Lady and Sundowner. The latest available variety we’ve found. We sold it as the Christmas apple for many years.
Jonathan: Old time schoolboy favorite. Bright red in color, lunch box size. Tart and sprightly in flavor, but turns sweet when cooked. Good for applesauce, pies, eating, salads, baking whole and freezing. Firm, but not truly what we would call crisp. (We like an apple to snap when we bite into it!)
Jonalicious: An exceptionally crisp, tart-sweet apple! Possibly the best apple you have ever eaten, but it’s flavor is not always consistent. Good for cooking, too. Shiny and red. A chance seedling was probably a cross between two backyard trees of Jonathan and Golden Delicious found in Abilene, Texas in 1940. So much better than Jonathan that we have no major Jonathan planting. Keeps well in the fridge.
Jonagold: Same Jonathan-Golden cross as Jonalicious, Jon-a-del and California Crisp. (Same parents, different kids — right?) It’s crisp for fresh eating, not as tart as Jonalicious, flavor always dependably good. Big in size and more golden than red in color. Excellent for salads, good for pies, baking whole, and makes wonderful sugarless applesauce. Doesn’t store well, but good to freeze.
Jonadel: Another one of those great, crisp Jonathan-Golden crosses. Forget the cooking — best to just eat it fresh. Pinker, sweeter and milder than a Jon-a-gold. Lovely shape, lovely color.
Heaven Sent: It is the most tender and crisp apple we have seen in our breeding program. Small size, exceptional keeper, sweet. Oct 15
Hawaii: Very pretty yellow apple. Crisp, sweet and tender skinned. Supposed to taste like a pineapple but you have to use your imagination. Strictly for eating. Related to Golden.
Gravenstein: Perfect all-around apple to start the season. Crisp, juicy, tender and tart. World over, the premier pie apple. Makes outstanding, tangy applesauce -- but one of the best for fresh eating too. Cooks quickly, good keeper for pies, but doesn’t store well for eating fresh. Plump, green with bright red stripes here at Gopher Glen. An old-fashioned favorite.
Granny Smith: Everyone knows about this apple, but just wait until you taste this one grown in the mild micro-climate of See Canyon. Very tart, crisp and firm, this makes it a good all-purpose apple. Long keeper.
Golden Delicious: Was our most popular versatile apple in our early years. These are NOT grocery store Goldens. They are highly flavored, juicy and CRISP!. An outstanding all-around apple for drying, cooking, freezing, canning or eating fresh. So flavorful and zesty that no sweetening is needed at all in applesauce or apple butter. Get them early in their season for maximum zip. Some national apple experts have acclaimed See Canyon Goldens as probably the best in the world for taste, crispness and firmness. A must apple to try.
Gala: Outstanding lunch box apple with a sweet spicy aroma and flavor all its own. Now the second most popular eating apple in the world. Especially crisp and good for cooking and baking. This Golden Delicious and Cox-Orange Pippin cross is exceptionally bruise-resistant and good keeping. Grows to absolute perfection here in See Canyon, crisper here than anywhere else.
Empire: A cross between McIntosh and Red Delicious. Maroon-red, especially crisp and snappy. Tart like a McIntosh, but sweet. Excellent for eating. Also good for salad or sauce. Great lunch box apple because of their size. Good keeper. We can’t grow a good McIntosh here, but the Empire loves See Canyon soil and weather.
Chieftan: A nice, big, beautiful red apple of classic shape. Looks like Fall. It’s a hearty man-size apple, popular for dad-size lunches. This Red Delicious crossed with Jonathan make a sweet apple with more tart than a Red Delicious. This apple can also be used for cooking.
Chesapeake: Crisp, hearty, plump. This striped apple makes you think of Autumn just to look at them. Excellent for eating, pies, sauce, or baking whole. Doesn’t keep crisp in long storage. Related to Rome and McIntosh apples. You will not find this apple anywhere else in the USA.
Caville Blanc: Now this one will wake you up! Twice as much vitamin C as an orange, and the acidic taste to go with it. It’s green and has the old vertical ribbing of a quince. Tough skin like that too. A conversation piece. This is the classic dessert apple of France.
Burgundy: Not an all-around apple, but it’s our pet apple to eat anyway. They go to mush if over-ripe or stored, so keep refrigerated. Tart with McIntosh bloodline. Good pie apple with a kick for flavor. It is a gorgeous, plump, glossy deep burgundy colored apple with streaks of red pigments in the flesh. It’s sharp flavor is so strong that all other apples taste flat after a bite of burgundy. Most selected variety of apple for connoisseurs. This was Bobbie’s favorite specialty apple.
Braeburn: This apple is at the top of our list for all-around good guy. It is our single best apple. CRISP, FIRM, slightly tart but full-flavored. A perfect apple to eat for those of us who like an apple with zest, wonderful for pies and sauce, and stores well. It is the best apple for baking whole. Discovered as a chance seedling in Braeburn County, New Zealand, we think it grows better in See Canyon for taste and crispness than anywhere else in the world. The demand for our Braeburns is so great, they command premium prices in Europe and on the East Coast. If we could only have one apple tree, it would probably be a Braeburn. It is also the only apple that makes an outstanding cider all by itself. High in Vitamin C.
Black Amish: Big, flat, purple-black apple. In flavor and texture, it reminds us of a tart Cox-Orange Pippin, if you are familiar with that variety.
Bell Fower: A pie-maker’s delight and a blue ribbon winner. This great big yellow-green, 18th century French apple shows its old line parentage by its distinctive quince-like vertical ribs. Not crisp, but perfect flavor and texture for pies. (See our Sandi’s Grandma’s Pie Recipe on our old favorites recipe sheet.)
Baldwin: Here’s a crisp, hearty, red, plump, old-fashion apple with a sweet-tart flavor. One of those all-around apples you can do everything with — like grandma used to have in the backyard. Popular Mid-West apple.
Fuji: Currently the most popular eating apple in the world. Developed at the Tohoku Experimental Station, Japan in the 1940’s as a cross of Red Delicious and Ralls Janet, it now accounts for over one half of the world’s apple acreage (primarily in China). Crisp sweet flavor, no tartness. Sugar can sometimes reach 20%. It loves a long, cool growing season, so tastes much sweeter when grown in California than in Washington. They grow small here, but they are flavor-packed (if you like an ultra-sweet apple). The best keeping apple, and since it is late season, you can take a lot home to store in the fridge for good munching a month or more after apple season is over. Beauty and color are not its strong suits.
Arkansas Black: Dark red, almost 1 apple. Big, hard, fairly tough skin. Very different dry wine taste. Related to Black Twig. Polishes to a high-gloss and looks super for autumn decorations. Keeps very well and actually gets better (sweeter and juicier) in storage. Very popular!