Georgia might be known for its peaches, but grapes are sitting pretty in our fair state too. And the only way my friends and I truly enjoy grapes is in the crushed, fermented, bottled variety — in other words, WINE! Georgia is home to some beautiful and amazingly delicious vineyards and wineries, less than two hours north of metro Atlanta.
North Georgia cities like Dahlonega, Cleveland, Ellijay and others have become must-visit destinations for picturesque views, lush mountains and, now, sprawling vineyards that produce amazing varietals of wine that lucky visitors can try in their respective tasting rooms.
Whether planning a romantic excursion for two, a weekend with the ladies, an oenophile-only trip or just a respite from the daily grind, read on to discover some of our favorite North Georgia wineries and vineyards that are sure to bring a smile to your face — and your glass!
Physical address: 180 Wolf Mountain Trail, Dahlonega, GA 30533
Directed address: 120 Ridley Road, Dahlonega, GA 30533
Forget hungry — if you’re thirsty like the wolf, visit the stunning Wolf Mountain Vineyards & Winery. Opened in 1999, Wolf Mountain is a gorgeous, 30-acre property that produces some of the best wine grown and bottled in Georgia. The winery itself overlooks the foothills of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and the pastoral fields of grapes growing on every side. Its 10,000-square-foot compound houses Wolf Mountain’s cellar, restaurant, tasting room and even a gorgeous pavilion that the vineyard commonly reserves for weddings and private events.
Let’s get down to what you care about most: tasting the wine! Wolf Mountain Vineyards has a tasting space right as you enter the winery level. Here’s what’s cool: The space offers a 360-degree view of the vineyard and mountain within a space featuring all-natural materials, stone and cedar, and a four-sided bar where you can taste all the fabulous varietals Wolf Mountain creates. Tasting flights vary in price and the number in your group — you may choose from offerings like dry white wines (including Plenitude and Chanteloup), dry rose and red wines (perhaps Sunset Rose or Howling Wolf Red) and many more. And if you don’t want to drink on an empty stomach, the tasting room has a menu of light options including thin crust pizzas and charcuterie plates.
Check the website to find out the hours for wine tastings and tours (it changes every season), as well if you want to make a reservation at the Vineyard Café for lunch or schedule a group tour.
700 Ridge Point Drive, Dahlonega, GA 30533 • (706) 865-0687
Keeping the animal theme rolling, we introduce you to Frogtown! Founded in 1998, this 57-acre vineyard and winery has earned many winemaking awards over the years for their long list of wines, including off dry premium, sweet vinifera, muscadines and premium and ultra premium dry reds and whites. Frogtown’s Dahlonega estate offers bucolic views of the surrounding vineyards, including the property’s serene lake — all looking out from the white, wooden building that houses the Bistro Café and wine tastings. (And if you’re thinking their lakeside pavilion would make the perfect wedding backdrop, get in line — Frogtown hosts many charming events on their property.)
Wine tastings happen every day of the week, so check the website for specific times. If you’re really hungry after all that drinking, the panini bar is open on the weekends for lunch (we recommend the Caprese panini, with mozzarella, tomato and fresh basil, which makes a great complement to Frogtown’s featured wines).
If you fall head over heels in love with Frogtown after your tour of the North Georgia wineries, you can join their Citizen’s Wine Club. For a fee, members receive three bottles of wine (at a discounted price), selected by Frogtown’s winemaker, delivered to your house four times a year, plus tasting notes, invites to special “Citizens Only” events and other benefits.
501 Hightower Church Road, Dahlonega, GA 30533 • (706) 867-4060
Skip the European vacation and head to Montaluce Winery for an experience that seems to have been born out of the Old World. Montaluce Winery resembles a Tuscan estate and offers delicious wines served in a dramatic, palatial setting. The wine tastings don’t require reservations and are available any time Montaluce is open (check the website for seasonal hours). The flights are organized by the type (white, red or mix). Montaluce also offers a selection of craft beers as well as Wild Meadow Sparkling Mead — that’s right, “honey wine” made from fermented local North Georgia Wine.
Guests to Montaluce can take a free, 20-minute tour of the grounds every weekday at 2 p.m. and weekend at 12 p.m. If you’re planning a weekend visit, make sure to make it up for their wine hike — a way to reconnect with nature AND fill yourself with delicious wine.
At some wineries, it feels like the dining element was thrown in as an afterthought, but at Montaluce, the gourmet restaurant is a testament of how they considered food as a crucial part of the winery’s total experience. Order blackened gulf redfish, wild prawns, filets and more mouth-watering menu items, all of course individually paired with Montaluce’s perfect wines.
439 Vineyard Way, Dahlonega, GA 30533 • (706) 865-9463
Inspired by the surrounding Three Sisters Mountain, Three Sisters Vineyards & Winery focuses on the small family farm experience for everyone who visits the lovely property. This 184-acre estate is one of the oldest continuously operated vineyards in Dahlonega. Delicious offerings include cabernet franc, merlot, chardonnay, vidal blanc and others.
Three Sisters offers an intimate setting for tastings — the signature Vitner’s Tasting is $15 and includes a choice of five wines from a specially selected list and a keepsake Three Sisters wine glass. Other tasting options include the Georgia Cuvee Toast at $20, which features two varietals of bubbly as well as special artisan chocolates. Check the website to get dates and times of when tastings are available, and if you’re part of a group, make sure to call ahead and reserve your time.
Even though I’m already married, I sometimes fantasize about planning my wedding all over again. If I had another chance, I would definitely put Three Sisters at the top of my list — they have a lovely gazebo right in the middle of the vineyard, a rustic wooden barn, lovely deck and patio and views that would make anyone gasp.
Other spectacular North Georgia vineyards include Cavender Creek Vineyards & Winery, Kaya Vineyard & Winery, Crane Creek Vineyards, Habersham Winery, Tiger Mountain Vineyards and Yonah Mountain Vineyards, so there is no shortage of delicious options to explore.
If you’re in Atlanta, here’s an option to consider: Hire a driven tour, like that from Georgia Wine Tours, which picks you up in Atlanta (either Dunwoody MARTA station or Cobb Galleria) and will whisk you away for the day to Dahlonega and drop you back off in the metro region — think of it as UberDRINKS!
Learn more about Georgia wine here, and wherever your North Georgia wine tour takes you, just make sure to plan accordingly and always be safe. Enjoy!
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