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When it came to wine production, Georgia was the sixth best in the country—before Prohibition. The Appalachian Mountains in northern Georgia serve as fantastic grape growing land thanks to its rich soil and plenty of slopes, thus the industry has been growing since the 1980s. Number one in the country for muscadine wine, vineyards in Georgia offer native flavors and unrivaled views.
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Simone Bergese, hailing from Italy, is a renowned winemaker who’s now created 27 different wines for Chateau Elan in Braselton, many being highly awarded. Muscadine grapes are harvested on site, and varietals that do not grow well in the region are sourced from the very best vines in California. The result is an expansive, elegant winery, which is tied into a 16th century-styled French château—with a luxurious spa, golf course and fine dining, it’s the ultimate wine lover’s getaway.
With a tasting room overlooking the vines in addition to a panoramic patio, Frogtown is made for “drinking” in Dahlonega views, and European style wine. Tannat and Applause varietals receive high praise, as does the weekend bistro menu with artisan paninis.
Ellijay’s best live music venue also happens to grow wine grapes, which turn into incredible fermented beverages. Vidal Blanc, Merlot, Traminette, Norton, Catawba and Cabernet Sauvignon vines span over the hills, creating a beautiful backdrop. On Labor Day weekend, Cartecay invites enthusiasts to stomp grapes the old fashioned way, at the 2018 Crush Festival.
Located near one of the quirkiest places in North Georgia, Goats on the Roof, this vineyard is equipped with a boutique style tasting area to show off unique wines, not often attempted by others in the area. Tiger Mountain Vineyards was the first in the state to establish vinifera vines, and now the owners are working toward chemical-free production. They are also the one of the few in Georgia to produce Petit Manseng, a white wine more common in Virginia.
The roots at this family operated vineyard date back to 1921, when the founder traveled from Switzerland, to his new home in the US. Vines that now span through Meichtry’s Appalachian hills property were brought here in 1921 from Switzerland. When visiting the Talking Rock location, you are tasting generations of winemaking, and the love that went into that dream. If that doesn’t catch your attention, maybe their double pour chocolate wine glasses will!
Jasper’s Sharp Mountain Vineyards invites guests to help pick grapes for each year’s harvest—they are all about the entire experience of the winemaking process. Detail is everything, thus production here means doing things by hand. European Vinifera grapes, 12 types to be exact, grow along picture-perfect Sharp Mountain and are developed into 15 top notch wines.
Also in Tiger, the Folks at Stonewall Creek work year round to maintain their grapes—grown at a controlled rate, each vine receives the attention it needs to be the very best. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Manseng, Tannat, and the original, Malbec, grow in what once was an old apple orchard. With a focus on the environment, no artificial fertilizers are used, and an effort to keep pesticides at a minimum are constant.
CeNita wines are produced by four-generation farmers who deeply understand what it takes to grow great grapes. Their Cleveland, Georgia location has impeccable wine-growing soil, creating flavorful, balanced Vinifera and hybrid fruit, which converts seamlessly into fine wine.
European, Italian and American grapes grow in Kaya’s modern-rustic Dahlonega setting, and the property will be converting into the largest vineyard resort north of Atlanta. A hotel and several cottages will be added to complete the escape, so you can sip without the worry of calling an Uber. All of the grapes are grown onsite with mastered technique—you’re in for a treat!
There’s no right or wrong way to drink wine, according to Crane Creek’s wine expert, who spent an extensive amount of time in Italy while serving in the army. The casual atmosphere is relaxing, fun and quite refreshing, like the high mountain town the vineyard resides in—Young Harris. Food here is spot on, from Friday night Tapas, to the famous homemade pimento cheese, which goes exceptionally well with several wine selections.
Yes, you get to visit with goats at the vineyard, and kids are welcome along with dogs—a day at the vineyard can be a family affair! Full bodied reds and fruity, sweet wines are created from French vine harvest. There’s always an event going on—sit back, listen to the music, sip wine and enjoy spectacular views of Burnt Mountain.