North Georgia is known for its wines, and a 133-square-mile area known as the Dahlonega Plateau has the official designation of “American Viticultural Area.” That basically means it’s a region good for growing grapes and making wines. See for yourself at one of the many wineries tucked into the foothills and mountains of the Appalachians. Some offer upscale experiences and others relaxed, country living. Discover your preferred tastes.
At Montaluce Winery, visitors can experience fine-dining, flavorful local wine and the nature surrounding the Etowah River. The winery’s restaurant offers seasonal brunch, dinner and menus including dishes like pasta bolognese, Mediterranean grouper and torta de pollo. Those wanting to explore the land surrounding Montaluce can opt for a wine hike, which involves a guided tour through the vineyards and along nature trails. The property is also home to four privately owned Tuscan-style villas available for rent.
Kaya Vineyard and Winery
Kaya Vineyard and Winery breathed life back into the property of the old Blackstock Vineyards that closed in late 2012. When it operated, Blackstock was one of the largest wineries in the area. Kaya offers a wine club for its devoted guests, cottages for short overnight stays as well as a scenic venue for both weddings and private events. The winery also provides a light lunch menu for those wanting to enjoy their wine with food on Kaya’s covered patio.
Yonah Mountain Vineyards
This 200-acre family winery tucked away on the southeastern base of Yonah Mountain offers award-winning wines in a picturesque setting. The Genesis X Classic, a red blend, won double gold in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the largest wine contest in North America. The large patio feels swanky and overlooks the vines growing along the hillsides.
This award-winning winery also has an Italian bistro to pair with your glass. The wines, pastas and pizza doughs are all made on site.
Wolf Mountain Vineyards
This winery, established in 1999, is set on 30 acres in Lumpkin County. It boasts several award-winning wines and focuses on a style that blends European varietals to achieve more complex and intense flavors.
This spot just outside downtown Dahlonega crafts its wines from grapes sourced around the state and country. It calls itself a micro urban winery and has events that seem to fit that designation, including comedy nights.
Since 1983, Habersham Winery has been producing a large variety of wine in North Georgia wine country, just a half mile south of Helen’s Alpine village. Some of its notable collections are the Southern Harvest label, which includes wines made from muscadines, and the Habersham and Creekstone labels, which include varietal vinifera wines as well as blended wines with both vinifera and French-American grapes.
As one of the largest wineries on the East Coast, Chateau Elan has carved a path for itself in Georgia’s wine industry. The winery has crafted over 30 wines with grapes grown in Braselton, southern Georgia vineyards and California’s Lake County and Clarksburg regions. Open daily, Chateau Elan in Braselton invites guests to delve deeper into the wine-making process with a behind-the-scenes tour.
Sweet Acre Farms Winery
This fruit winery set in the rolling hills of northeast Hall County has a low-key vibe, where you can grab a wine slushie and rock on the expansive porch overlooking vines of blackberries. While many of the wines are sweet, there are some drier varieties, including one made from blueberries.
Cavender Creek Vineyard & Winery
This small, family-farm operation experiments with small batches and many grape varietals and wine blends. Most of its wine is aged in either stainless steel or American oak barrels. Its atmosphere is relaxed and ripe for tasting something new.
CeNita Vineyards in Cleveland invites visitors to enjoy a wide variety of red and white wines in its casual setting. People can hang out in one of the winery’s hammocks or enjoy a game of cornhole.
Ever tried mead, also known as honey wine? Here’s your chance to indulge in this sweet “nectar of the gods.” Some of the tasty creations include the Georgia standard, a traditional mead made with wildflower honey and Dahlonega mountain water; Figgy Pudding, made with honey, figs, spices and aged in a charred whiskey barrel; and Stone Pile Peach, a mead made with peaches.
Stoney J’s Farm Winery
Established in 2014 as a farm and orchard, Stoney J’s has evolved into a working farm winery. It offers wine tastings, a gourmet chef’s kitchen with a wood-fired pizza oven and an outdoor courtyard with fireplace. Stoney J’s strives to make wines that represent the local region and cellar well, yet are equally enjoyed in their youth. The farm features animals including chickens, an alpaca, ponies, goats and pigs. Organic seasonal blackberries and blueberries are grown there as well as fresh vegetables and herbs used exclusively in the Tasting Room menu items.
This winery offers red and white blends as well as several sweeter dessert wines, which you can enjoy on its small outdoor patio.