Mercier Orchards In Blue Ridge Is A North Georgia Wonderland

You can get your fill of fresh fruits and much more at this beloved Georgia farm.

Mercier Orchards
Photo:

Courtesy Mercier Orchards

North Georgia is known for its apples, and locals will tell you that you can find the best in Blue Ridge at Mercier Orchards, a farm with a long history and deep family connections. It’s also a destination for local produce year-round. The farm stretches over 300 beautiful, rolling acres, and while it’s best known for its apples, you can also find strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and peaches here too, depending on what’s in season.

Mercier Orchards is a fourth-generation, family-owned spot with a history reaching back more than eighty years. It was founded in 1943 by Bill and Adele Mercier, a husband-and-wife team whose legacy can be seen in the mission and operations of the farm all these years later. According to their son, Tim Mercier, Bill brought in new varieties of apples to plant, and Adele sold them during apple season. Mercier Orchards is still a family owned and operated business, and these days, visitors flock to its fields for autumn apple picking and cider sipping. You can learn more about the history of the farm and the Mercier Family in this video

There’s lots to keep you busy on a trip to the orchards. In addition to U-Pick events, they run a bakery, cafe, market, and farm winery too. After gathering your requisite basket of apples, you can browse freshly baked goods and gifts from the market for sale. The market has shelves upon shelves of produce, pastries, preserves, and apple butters, as well as apples galore–including Arkansas Black, Crimson Crisp, GoldRush, Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Yates and Rome varieties. The orchard grows over 50 varieties of apples, so you’re sure to get a taste of something delicious in season. Next to the bakery is the Candy Kitchen, which turns out candy apples, peanut brittle, and fudge to savor. And the cafe, which is open on the weekends, has fried pies (peach, blueberry, chocolate, and coconut), cinnamon apple bread, apple fritters, and apple cider doughnuts on the menu. The sample counter is another must-stop spot; that's where you can taste-test apples alongside local honeys, jellies, and sauces.  

That’s not all. If a sip of something stronger is what you’re after, Mercier offers hard pressed beverages year-round. According to their website, they “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.” You can stop by the Farm Winery and Tasting Room to try ciders and wines made from North Georgia fruits.  

Be sure to check for upcoming U-Pick opportunities, and don’t miss the opportunity for a tractor tour of the farm. You can walk through the orchard on Saturdays and Sundays, but during the week it’s closed to visitors because it's busy with farm crews and equipment. You can always make a trip to the market, though, which is open from 9 to 5 every day. On the website, they keep an updated list of the produce that's available in the market, which includes apples in addition to potatoes, garlic, onions, tomatoes, and other in-season fruits and vegetables.

Georgia’s agritourism business is thriving, and places like Mercier Orchards, which introduce people to the joys (and fruits!) of the landscape, are prime examples of those important and continued efforts. It doesn’t get much sweeter than that.

mercier-orchards.com, 706-632-3411, 8660 Blue Ridge Dr., Blue Ridge, GA 30513

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