Spring, summer, fall or winter – there is no wrong time to visit a winery! Lucky for us in Atlanta, we have no shortage of wineries located just a quick drive north of the city. You can enjoy a few hours at your favorite destination, enjoy a day-long tour of multiple wineries, or enjoy a weekend getaway. No matter which option is right for you, we highly recommend you plan a time to head to scenic North Georgia and check out the best this southern state has to offer in wine. With so many options and places to visit, we put together a list of our favorite stops on the Georgia wine tour to help you create the perfect wine trail for yourself.
[caption id="attachment_13950" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Photo courtesy Wolf Mountain Vineyard[/caption]
- Wolf Mountain Vineyards and Winery in Dahlonega
Wolf Mountain Vineyards and Winery is an award-winning vineyard tucked away in the North Georgia Mountains. A scenic drive less than an hour-and-a-half from the center of Atlanta gets you to this picturesque and serene winery nestled between rolling hills and beautiful mountains. Guests can experience unique and flavorful wine pairings at Sunday Brunch or the Vineyard Café Lunch. There is no better time to eat and drink at Wolf Mountain, because the Holiday Comfort Food Brunch and extensive lunch menu is ready to help get you in the holiday spirt. After eating as much as your stomach can handle, enjoy a true “Napa Style” wine tasting experience and tours of the vineyard with stunning views. Stroll through the cask room, wine cellar and veranda while enjoying delicious wine. To learn more about Wolf Mountain Vineyards and schedule your day trip, visit www.wolfmountainvineyards.com.
[caption id="attachment_13951" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Photo courtesy Montaluce Winery and Restaurant[/caption]
- Montaluce Winery and Restaurant in Dahlonega
Montaluce Winery and Restaurant is another must-see on the fall wine tour in Dahlonega. This winery is perfect for a day trip and getaway from the regular hustle-and-bustle of Atlanta. Experience no-reservation-required wine tastings that pair perfectly with various appetizers or meals available at this stunning Italian-style villa. Also, be sure to experience the complementary tours through the grounds. For a more in-depth look at the beautiful property at Montaluce, partake in one of the wine hikes on the weekend. Enjoy a 1.8-mile hike across the grounds followed by a wine tasting. This is the perfect way to enjoy the beautiful North Georgia outdoors while sipping on tasty wine. Visit www.montaluce.com for more information.
[caption id="attachment_13953" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Photo courtesy Chateau Elan Winery and Resort[/caption]
- Château Élan Winery & Resort in Braselton
For a more extensive getaway, head to Château Élan Winery & Resort for a weekend stay at the most-awarded winery and resort on the east coast. The most popular event, the Château Tour and Tasting, offers a behind-the-scenes look at the Winery Vat and Production Rooms led by the educated and experienced staff. Learn about the wine making process from the very beginning to the end with tours offered every day except Monday. After the tour, enjoy a guided tasting of select wines in a beautiful room filled with barrels of aging wine. After a long day of sipping and touring, stay in one of the various onsite inns, hotels or villas. Château Élan also offers various packages for wine lovers. For the “Winemaker Wannabe,” spend December 27 blending your own wine and creating a customized bottle specific to your own personal palate. Or, enjoy Christmas or New Year’s Eve at this beloved vineyard. You can even splurge in a day of luxury with a stay at the spa! To find out more, head to www.chateauelan.com.
[caption id="attachment_13954" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Photo courtesy Beechwood Inn[/caption]
- Beechwood Inn in Clayton
Another weekend getaway spot is Beechwood Inn in Clayton. Named “One of the South’s Most Charming Inns 2019” by Southern Living Magazine, Beechwood Inn is owned by a husband and wife team who were raised in the vineyards of California. With extensive knowledge and experience, the innkeepers provide an experience like no other. The 4,000-bottle wine cellar is the perfect place to start a beautiful wine tour ending with a tasting. Enjoy delicious fine dining at the farm-to-table onsite restaurant. Also, make sure to attend the Chef’s Tasting Dinner with beautifully paired wines every Saturday. The incredible seasonal foods are organic and natural and will have you going to bed happy. A night in the rustic mountain setting is sure to be the highlight of your season. Take a look at one of the seven unique guest rooms with fabulous amenities before choosing the perfect spot to spend the weekend. For more information, visit beechwoodinn.ws.
[caption id="attachment_13955" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Photo courtesy Cartecay Vineyards[/caption]
- Cartecay Vineyards in Ellijay
Located just outside the sleepy mountain town of Ellijay, Cartecay Vineyards is a well-known spot at the foothills of the southern Appalachian Mountains. You can enjoy picturesque views from the vineyards, enjoy sampling a variety of wines in the Tasting Barn or sit outside in the sunshine while enjoying local live music. The wines labeled with the Cartecay name are made from 100 percent Catecay-grown grapes, so you’re truly drinking local. Open daily, this vineyard is perhaps most known for the Crush Festival it hosts every August. To learn more or plan your trip, visit CartecayVineyards.com.
Another option allowing you to experience the maximum number of vineyards and wineries in the least amount of time is a wine tour! Several companies offer guided tours that allow you to relax and enjoy your wine tastings without having to worry about driving.
VIP Southern Tours offers a North Georgia Wine Tour that can be a public tour you join up with, a private tour for you and your closest friends, or a custom tour that meets your every need. The public and private tours feature an artisan picnic lunch and tasting at 3 or 4 wineries from the Unicoi Wine Trail or those in and around White County and eastern Lumpkin County, including Yonah Mountain Vineyards, Habersham Winery, CeNita Vineyards and others. Or, create your own tour visiting wineries near Clayton, Gainesville or the Blue Ridge area. Tours start at $120 for general admission or $130 with transportation. Learn more or book your tour at VIPSouthernTours.com.
Pop the Cork Wine Tours is another company specializing in North Georgia wine tours. You’ll be picked up from the metro Atlanta area, Cumming or Gainesville and be taken on a full day of wine tastings with a gourmet picnic lunch included. Tours are priced from $145 per person and include your winery tasting fees, 3 or 4 winery stops, lunch and transportation. To learn more or schedule your tour, visit www.PoptheCorkWineTours.com.
If you don’t have time to experience North Georgia’s fantastic wineries right now, it’s okay! Mark your calendars for the 2020 Wine Highway Week in March – this is an event everyone from the casual wine drinker to the true oenophile will love. From Friday, March 20, through Sunday, March 29, pay $50 at the first winery you visit, and you’ll receive a Wine Highway Week collectors glass and Passport, giving you admission to all participating wineries at no additional charge! Many of the participating wineries will have tastings, food and wine pairings, tours, music, and much more. Find the impressive list of participating wineries here.
To see a list encompassing the majority of the wineries and vineyards in North Georgia, click here.