North of Atlanta, in Georgia’s Appalachian foothills and on your way to the Chattahoochee National Forest, you’ll find acres upon acres of vineyards. Here are five reasons why you need to make a trip to North Georgia wineries this summer:
1.) Do it for the nostalgia. Wineries like Cavender Creek Vineyards in Dahloenga offer up wine with a side of mountain farm life. Cavender Creek’s unique location allows for hand-crafted wines to be sipped while you’re next to a cabin from the 1800s.
3.) Visit something new. The wine business in North Georgia is rapidly expanding. You can’t say “been there, done that” when new wineries are expanding and opening their tasting rooms. Stay tuned for news from CeNita Vineyards in Cleveland which already has a booming event space and soon will have their tasting room open and serving.
4.) There’s more to the mountains than hiking. If you’re not much for the outdoors but your companion loves a good hike, a day hiking and sipping is a great compromise. Visit the peak of Brasstown Bald then head to local wineries in Hiawassee and Young Harris like Cane Creek Vineyards and Hightower Creek Vineyards for tasting with a view.
The Story: Come discover the surprisingly flavorful wines of the Chattanooga Valley’s oldest and most celebrated winery- The Georgia Winery and Vineyards. Established in 1983, the Georgia Winery is the first of its kind in Georgia and is the only winery in the North Georgia and Chattanooga area. Serving as a pioneer in the farm wine-making industry, Georgia Winery has lead other vineyards and wineries to open across the state in recent years.
Georgia Winery is a family owned and operated facility producing award-winning fine wines. Specializing in capturing the fresh flavor of the fruit results in unique wines that explode with flavor and tantalizes taste buds across the nation.
If you are planning a visit to the Chattanooga or North Georgia area the Georgia Winery is your next stop! Enjoy complimentary wine tasting of all signature wines at the elegant tasting bar. Winery tours are offered every Saturday at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock pm. Peruse through the beautiful gift shop including unique gifts, gourmet foods, homemade fudge, hand-crafted wine, chocolates, and more.
Prepare your palate for a taste of true Southern hospitality at its best. With over 20 different wines to choose from, ranging from dry to sweet, from light to full-bodied, Georgia Winery offers something for every discriminating taste. Bring your taste buds and come on in for a delightful experience.
The Georgia Winery is open Monday – Saturday from 10:00am till 6:00pm.
The Story: In 1995, John and Martha Ezzard, doctor and lawyer respectively, changed their careers and lifestyles to return to John’s birthplace, a 100 -acre farm in Rabun County to a piece of land that Martha says “is part of John’s soul.” People ask if they had always dreamt of having a vineyard, but John says no –they “wanted to save a special piece of earth.” Because the land had always been cultivated, they wanted to grow something –so he stumbled upon wine grapes! John and Martha put the first 1,500 plants in the ground with their own two hands in 1995 and then peddled their first wines out of the back of an SUV all over the state. Less than 10 years later, Tiger Mountain Wine has won more than 170 medals, including a double gold and best of class for its Petit Manseng in the Los Angeles International Competition! Their wines are served in top Atlanta restaurants and can be found in Georgia Fresh Markets in Georgia as well as in Metro Atlanta Whole Foods stores.
Martha’s book “The Second Bud,” a memoir about planting a wine grape vineyard to save a family farm, will be published by Mercer University Press in the the fall of 2013.
Lauren Cleland is the voice of Explore Georgia on social media. She loves ice cold sweet tea, anything peach flavored, channeling Scarlett O’Hara in her daily life and sharing the wonders of her beloved Georgia with all of you!