Since apple season is still around the corner, Carter Mountain Orchard also offers summertime peach picking from its rows and rows of peach groves. Located on the same mountain as Monticello, Carter Mountain Orchard is the perfect afternoon out. Rob and I headed there on a Saturday afternoon to pick a dozen peaches. The staff are very helpful in pointing you to the properly ripened peaches up the mountain. If there’s any “tennis ball green” on the peach, it’s not yet ripe. However, a buttery yellow color to the peach is just right. We had fun picking the perfect peaches together and even soaked up some gorgeous views – Blue Ridge Mountains to the west, and flat land to the eat.
After peach-picking, we did a wine tasting of Prince Michel wines right there next to the main barn/store. Carter Mountain plays a role in Virginia’s nationally-acclaimed wine scene, thanks to the Carter Mountain Vineyard. Since its planting in the spring of 1998, their vineyard has produced a variety of grapes. You can see the vines as you drive up the mountain.
Carter Mountain Orchard has partnered with Madison County’s Prince Michel Vineyard and Winery. Prince Michel has been using Carter Mountain grapes to create their award-winning wines for years. The tasting room is quaint and well-stocked with wines. We did a sampling of about 7 wines for just a few dollars apiece.
We also sampled some peach frozen yogurt made right there on-site, as well as some apple cider doughnuts (a specialty!). They were so delicious! I also stocked up on peach cider and apple cider after sampling their concoctions in their store – couldn’t resist! Their store is filled with all things apple and peach.
Once home, I decided to make my very first peach cobbler with all our fresh peaches. We also pureed some peaches and raspberries to pour into our popsicle molds (wedding gift!). Both turned out so great! Carter Mountain Orchard was the perfect outing for a Saturday afternoon. I can’t wait to go back this Fall during apple season!