While strolling through the Wayland Farmer’s Market, eyeing stalls boasting their beautiful heirloom produce, a chalkboard easel advertising ‘Wine Tasting’ in neat handwritten block letters stopped me right in my tracks and reeled me in like a fish on a line. The sign and the wine were property of Charlton Orchard, which hosts Obadiah McIntyre Farm Winery. The family has been growing fruit for half a century, and ventured into the wine making process in 1999. Not only do they produce the traditional grape varietals, but their niche lies in their uniquely crafted fruit wines which was precisely what had me salivating as I walked up to their booth.
The orchard’s wine list features a huge array of fruit wines, mostly on the sweet side ranging from Plum, Blueberry and Cherry, to Strawberry Rhubarb and Pear. For research purposes, of course, I had to test every one of them. The pear and cherry versions were true to their fruit essence, but a little to sweet for my taste. I found the Shiro Plum to be just as it is described by the winemaker: ‘delightful’, and would surely pair nicely with a pork loin.
The Peach Wine won my prize of the day with its distinct, tangy sweet flavor meld. I brought a bottle home with me, and decided that it would be delicious as an apertif or mixed with a bit of seltzer and fresh ginger or lime as a refreshing spritzer. Their Carbonated Apple Wine was a close second, evoking the crisp feel of fresh fall cider interlaced with the bubbly effervescence of sparkling wine.
Charlton Orchards is currently open Wednesday-Sundays through October where you can ‘pick your own fruit’, and hosts wine tastings on the weekends.
44 Old Worcester Rd.
Charlton, MA 01507
Phone: (508) 248-7820 / (800) 649-1476