Fourth generation family- and veteran-owned, North Georgia’s Mercier Orchards has grown from a simple apple farm into an iconic local staple. From the U-PICK events to the Bakery & Market Cafe to the Market Store, it’s a travel destination with a treat for just about anyone. One of the most impressive offerings of the Georgia farm, however, is the cidery.
“Hard Pressed Beverages are available year-round at Mercier Orchards,” according to the orchard’s website. “We were one of the first apple orchards in Georgia that grew, pressed, fermented, and bottled their own product, leading to a booming industry. Our winery pours our very own seasonal wines and hard ciders all pressed in-house, as well as a variety of wines and mead from local vendors.”
To get the most out of the experience, Mercier Orchards offers tastings from 11 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. on Sunday. Wine flights cost $15, while hard cider flights are $12.
Taking advantage of the farm’s homegrown strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, peaches and apples, Mercier Orchards offers a number of different flavors — including a 1943 reserve featuring apple win blended with a rich, smooth bourbon. It’s the hard cider, however, that truly stands out.
Jalapeacho is a seasonal offering featuring peach cider flavored with a secret pepper blend. Cold Day in Hops is a semi-sweet variety with dry hops. Old #3 is the orchard’s original hard cider and is made with Gold Rush apples for a crisp flavor with a hint of tartness. With five seasonal offerings consistently being rotated on and off the menu and 15 different beers on tap, Mercier Orchards always has something interesting to try.
After grabbing a drink, visitors can stop by the bakery for a quick treat and the in-house market for locally-grown fruits and jellies. Or, they can sign up for a U-PICK event to hand pick their own fruits strait from the stem.
Hunter Boyce is a writer, digital producer and journalist home grown from a Burke County, Georgia farm. Throughout his career, Hunter has gone on to write sports, entertainment, political and local breaking news for a variety of outlets.