When it comes to wine-producing regions, places like Tuscany, Napa Valley, and Bordeaux may instantly come to mind, but there is another region that is generating a lot of buzz in the world of wine. With beautiful green mountains and lush, verdant valleys, the North Georgia region presents an exceptional environment for vineyard cultivation. The emerging vineyard region is bursting with potential, and as wineries further perfect their craft, the North Georgia region may not be a hidden gem for too long. Grapes having been naturally growing in the North Georgia region for many years, but it has not been until recently that their capabilities have been fully utilized. A winery movement is captivating North Georgia, and, likewise, is spreading in the form of recognition and appreciation. Three great wineries are leading this movement. The best part is they are all visitor friendly and provide a great excuse to not only taste some fine wine, but to explore a beautiful region.
Habersham Vineyards and Winery is the stalwart of the region’s wineries. The 30-year-old winery produces over 15,000 cases of wine per year. The tasting room is located in the unique, alpine-esque village of Helen. A bustling village full of shopping, outdoors activities, and charm, Habersham compliments the tourist-friendly town by being open to the public. Wine tastings, self-guided tours, gourmet foods, and a gift shop highlight the experience for visitors. Habersham produces a wide-range of wines: Cabernets, Merlots, Chardonnays, Rieslings, Seyvals, Viogniers, Southern Muscadine, as well as a blended specialty. Habersham wines have won over 150 medals in national and international competitions.
Located on a picturesque 197-acre estate between Helen and Cleveland, Yonah Mountain Vineyards offers wine connoisseurs a rich and relaxing experience. Owners Bob and Jane Miller, along with winemaker Joe Smith, have created a wonderful winery that includes tours and wine tasting in their elegant wine tasting room. Yonah Mountain Vineyards holds several special events throughout the year and has a Wine Club in which members receive several perks and discounts. The winery has a wide-range of selections, including several highly regarded red blends. Yonah Mountain Vineyards, while fairly new, has still generated a great deal of buzz by winning several medals at respected competitions. Most recently, they took home six medals at the 2013 San Francisco Chronicle Win Competition.
The newest winery in North Georgia rests in the idyllic Sautee and Nacoochee Valleys. Sautee Nacoochee Vinyards is a small vineyard that began making their “Old World” style of wines in 2009. Handmade and family-owned, Sautee Nacoochee Vinyards offers a wide selection of wines to connoisseurs. Their wine-making processes focuses on traditional methods and the interaction between the vineyard and the land. Their tasting room is located at the junction of Highways 225 and 17 in the Nacoochee Crossings. Wine samples, custom gift baskets, and a host of events, including their monthly “Swinging in the Vines” music series that takes place on their spacious outdoor deck, are some of their offerings. It’s an excellent opportunity for those who are looking to not only taste their wine, but get a first-hand account of the process straight from the people who help make it.
Georgia wineries abound in White County! Not only are these scenic vineyards the ideal spot for a Georgia wedding, they are the perfect getaway destination for a weekend trip.