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Frequently Asked Questions about apples - Gays Mills, WI | Sunrise Orchards, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

What are your hours? 

We’re open daily from August – December

9 am – 5 pm: August – October

9 am – 4 pm: November – December (Closed Thanksgiving)

Where are you located? 

We’re located in Gays Mills, Wisconsin on the beautiful bluffs of rural Southwest Wisconsin. Visit us: Sunrise Orchards, Inc., 48340 State Highway 171, Gays Mills, WI 54631.

How do we contact the orchard? 

You’re welcome to call us when we’re open August – December at 608-735-4645, or write us on Facebook Messenger, or email us at We look forward to hearing from you!

When are your different apple varieties available?

Discover when our 21 different varieties of apples are ready for sale, sold out, and best use, by visiting our up-to-date Apple Availability chart on our website:

Keep in mind, that these are approximate harvest dates and weather plays a very important part, as to when the apples are picked and available to purchase. You are welcome to contact us, by telephone or Facebook Messenger regarding availability, before making a trip out to Sunrise Orchards.

What are the various ways to use your apples?

Sunrise Orchards grows 21 different varieties of apples throughout the season. Our apples are grown for eating fresh, pie, sauce, baking, freezing, jelly, salads and pickling. To discover specifically which varieties are best for different applications visit our Apple Availability chart on our website:

How do you freeze apples?

Freezing apples for use in cooking and baking, is a great way to keep apples fresh – all year long. Sweeter apples than as Fuji’s and Galas, are more likely to hold their flavor, than tart varieties. Any apple will keep well in the freezer however for 6-9 months. The texture of the apple, will be altered by freezing, leaving the flesh spongier than that of a fresh apple. That change in texture, doesn’t affect cooking and baking applications. How you freeze them, depends on how they’ll be used later.

Peel, core and slice apples. Use later by the handful or bagful, in any cooked recipes. Pies, muffins, cobblers and even applesauce, can be made from frozen apples. Use a swivel peeler or a sturdy slicer/corer, make peeling so much easier.

Once sliced, dip the apples in a bowl of water with a little lemon juice stirred in (about a tablespoon per gallon) to prevent browning.

To prevent clumping, arrange slices on a plate or baking tray lined with parchment or waxed paper. Pre-freeze the apple slices between 4 hours – 24 hours, before bagging them in airtight containers or freezer bags. Date and label contents. They can be frozen for up to 1 year.

What kind of donuts do you offer?

That’s what we’re known for! At Sunrise Orchards, we offer a selection of apple cider donuts that are sugared or plain. We make our Sunrise apple cider donuts daily, in our Apple Corner bakery kitchen. Our fresh-pressed Sunrise apple cider goes into each batch of donuts. Some say our donuts are legendary!

Do your donuts freeze well?

Sunrise apple cider donuts – sugared and plain, freeze very well. To freeze our fresh-baked donuts we sell in boxes, remove donuts from the box and place in a heavy-duty freezer bag, or plastic freezer wrap, or foil. We also have them for sale in our freezer in a container suitable for freezing. They will maintain best quality for about 2-3 months, but will remain safe beyond that time. Thaw them in the refrigerator or in the microwave, 10 – 15 seconds. Reheat donuts in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, for about 5 minutes

How long do donuts last at room temperature?

We recommend that our freshly made apple cider donuts are enjoyed within a couple of days. To extend their freshness, refrigerate them up to 1 week. To maximize the shelf life of our donuts, keep them in the box or bag they were purchased in, or place them in a plastic bag, to prevent drying out.

How long do donuts last in the refrigerator?

Our freshly baked apple cider donuts will keep well for about 1 week, in the refrigerator when properly stored.

What cookie flavors do you offer?

We offer mouth-watering caramel apple oatmeal, cranberry walnut oatmeal and raspberry filled cookies! All our baked goods are made fresh and irresistible!

Do apples need to be refrigerated? 

Apples keep longest in the refrigerator held at 34-38 degrees Fahrenheit. So, keep them in the coolest part of the refrigerator. They do best in an environment with 90% humidity and unfortunately the refrigerator is a natural dehydrator, which means apples can even shrivel up. Therefore, store your apples in the crisper drawer in the refrigerator, with a wet sponge or wet paper towel, in the crisper.  They can be stored with or without the plastic bag.

If you’re planning to use your apples within a week and you don’t have that much space in your refrigerator, then store them on the counter. After that, they need to be refrigerated.

Apples continue to ripen long after they’re picked off the tree, unlike other fruit. This ripening or over-ripening affects the texture, not the taste of the fruit. This ripening is due in large to a harmless, colorless gas that apples emit called ethylene. The release of this gas, is slowed by the cooler temperatures of a refrigerator, causing apples to last longer. Not all fruits and vegetables are friends with ethylene gas. In fact, it can cause some produce – mostly vegetables, to rot very quickly. It’s wise to separate your crisper drawers by ethylene loving and not loving foods. For example, don’t store apples and oranges together, in the crisper drawer or on the counter because they will spoil faster.

What if you don’t have space, in your refrigerator, for all those apples? You can keep them in a cellar or unheated garage. Just be sure to insulate against freezing and keep them wet.  Measure the temperature to be sure you're providing a 34-38 degree Fahrenheit environment. 

Can apple cider be frozen? 

Yes. To freeze apple cider, store it in the Sunrise container you purchased it in, leaving at least ½ inch head space at the top by removing some of the cider, as apple cider will expand when frozen. Properly stored, it will maintain best quality for about 8-12 months, but will remain safe beyond that time. Apple cider that’s been kept constantly frozen at 0° F will last indefinitely.

How long does apple cider last after being frozen and thawed?  

Apple cider that’s been defrosted in the refrigerator, can be kept for an additional 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator, before using. Apple cider that was thawed in the microwave or in cold water, should be used immediately.

How long does apple cider last once opened?

Apple cider that’s been opened, kept in the refrigerator tightly closed and continuously refrigerated, will keep for about 7 – 10 days after opening. To further extend the shelf life of opened apple cider, it can be frozen.

Is the apple cider pasteurized?

Our apple cider is flash pasteurized and bottled at Sunrise Orchards, all season long. Apple cider that’s available August – October, has no preservatives and a shelf life of 45 days. This may be extended, with freezing the cider.

Do you have pumpkins for sale?

Our pumpkins have already been picked and ready for you to select your favorite ones!  Located at the end of the main parking lot across from the retail building. 

Do you have a children’s area?   (Closed for 2020)

Children and families love playing at our outdoor Sunrise Family Park! Our lawn checkers game is sure to please the entire family. Horse-play allowed on our horse tire swings at the Sunrise Corral. Plus, the lawn bowling lanes are set up for fun!  Inside Sunrise Orchards, is the Children’s Corner, for exploring apple-related fun books!  

What events do you offer and is there an admission?

Each year at Sunrise Orchards we offer weekend events for our customers. All our events are FREE and include:

Labor Day Sale, Donut Weekend, Honeycrisp Weekend, Honeycrisp Sale Weekend, Caramel Apple Weekend, Honeycrisp #2 BOGO, Trick-or-Treat, Evercrisp Weekend, Pre-Thanksgiving Sale, Black Friday Sale, Customer Appreciation Dinner & Shopping and Christmas Celebration at Sunrise.

For more details on all these events, they can be found on our website at  and on on our Facebook Events page.

Do you offer parking?

Parking is conveniently located in our north parking lot. Handicapped parking is immediately in front of the Sunrise Orchards building. Motorcycle parking has moved this year to the south end of our building across from our retail building. Tour busses may park in the east parking lot and pull up to the building. The east parking lot provides easy accessibility to the dog walk park.

Are dogs allowed at Sunrise?

Our Sunrise Orchards Memorial Dog Walk Park, is a designated area to walk your dog. We all love our pets and want them to enjoy a trip to our orchard as well. We’ve even provided pet waste bags and a trash can, for convenience in cleaning up afterward. Located on the east-end of the building; the east parking lot provides easy accessibility to the dog walk park.

Due to health regulations, only service dogs are permitted inside the orchard building. All other dogs are only permitted in the Sunrise Orchards Memorial Dog Walk park.

Do you offer Gift Boxes?

Yes! At Sunrise Orchards, we hand-select each item and create a customized gift box. With mouth-watering fresh picked apples and specialty food products, we create the ideal gift for everyone on your list. We also offer business apple gift boxes, for when it’s time to send something special, to your clients and employees. Place gift box orders by calling us at 608-735-4645 or online at:

Do you offer online shopping?

Yes, and you can enjoy the “taste of Sunrise” throughout the year when you shop our Sunrise Orchards Online Store, 24-7 – 365 days a year! Here you’ll select from: jams and jellies; syrups; pie filling; salsa; specialty items; butter and sauces. From our orchard to your table, you’ll enjoy these favorites!

What restaurants are closest to Sunrise Orchards? 

The closest restaurants near Sunrise Orchards in Gays Mills, Wisconsin are in Soldier's Grove: McCormick's Bar & Grill Rolling Ground* (7 minutes away) and Country Gardens (13 minutes away). In Readstown, Kickapoo Corners Family Restaurant (17 minutes away) and Kickapoo Creekside (17 minutes away) . In Boscobel, there are several restaurants (24 miles away). *McCormick's Bar & Grill Rolling Ground was just sold and may be changing their name.