Stone fruit is always a slow starter each year as the sunshine doesn’t really heat up until January, but cherries are always a Christmas favourite. This year we are really excited to have, from Alexandra, Central Otago, in a season that runs from mid-December to early February: McIntosh Orchard sweet red cherries.
We are delighted to be working with a single orchard to bring you some of the best cherries in the country this summer.
Located in sunny Central Otago, the McIntosh family farm has been in the family since 1881. The first fruit trees were planted on the property in 1910 although it took a few more years for the first cherry trees to arrive in the 1960s. Today, Stuart and Sharyn McIntosh, and their son Wayne and partner Jacky, own and operate the orchard. They are third and fourth-generation McIntoshes, continuing a very proud family tradition.
Sustainability and a deep respect for the unique region they live and work in is at the heart of everything they do and in 2014 they were recognised for their efforts with a Ballance Farm Environment Trust Award for Otago.
The orchard is nestled amid schist hills covered with tussock and snow-fed streams. The contrast of bitterly cold winters and hot summers make Central Otago the perfect climate for growing stone fruit. The cold winters help the buds form, the orchard comes to life in spring with cherry blossom when the warm days and cool nights develop the fruit and flavour, and then hot, dry summers sweeten and perfect the harvest.
It’s a short but much-anticipated season and when the cherries are ready to harvest, from mid-December to February, they are hand picked and carefully tended.
The McIntoshes aim to provide a consistently exceptional eating experience, capturing sunlight in an edible form for your delight. Rich red, firm and juicy with a flavour that bursts with the first bite.