Road Trip: North Georgia Wineries

This may be the Peach State, but grapes are the unofficial fruit of the North Georgia mountains.

Who says you need to go to Napa for a great wine experience? Fall is the perfect time to hit the road and head up to the North Georgia mountains for a little wine tour! Bring your camera to capture the fall foliage, a designated driver for the trip home and join us as we break down our favorite North Georgia wineries. There are nearly 30 wineries in the area, and while we haven’t visited all of them (yet), here are a few that stand out:

Let’s start with what we’re all thinking: who has the best wine? While cabs have been enjoyed at a number of vineyards, we greatly enjoy Kaya Vineyard and Winery’s 2017 Reserve Oaked Cabernet Sauvignon – medium bodied with medium tannins and hints of black cherry, licorice and blackberry. This red is best enjoyed on their wraparound deck that offers views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. (Inside the winery are large bay windows and air conditioning, if that’s more your thing.)

Speaking of amazing views, don’t miss Yonah Mountain Vineyards. A two hundred-acre family winery nestled at the southeastern base on Yonah Mountain, you may truly think you accidentally wandered into Napa Valley. For an extra special visit, you can join owners Bob and Jane Miller on the second Sunday of the month for a 90-minute comparison wine tasting and gourmet charcuterie pairing, curated by Bob. 

If atmosphere is more your thing, you’ll find live music on a great patio with huge stone fireplaces and intimate seating at Cavender Creek Vineyard and Winery. Also, if you need to take a vino break, they have wine slushies. Apparently that’s a thing!

If you’re celebrating a special occasion, look no further than Monteluce. The perfect combination of Italian architecture and southern hospitality, Monteluce serves brunch through dinner, and everything is perfection. One of our DiGgers declared her birthday meal to be “the best steak I’ve ever had.” The views off the open air balcony are equally spectacular. 

Stay: A beautiful replica of an 1890 farmhouse nestled in the heart of Georgia Wine Country, The Ava House offers modern farmhouse perfection paired with a private shuttle to and from the wineries of your choice. DEAL.

The Ava House

Taste: Since it’s impossible to choose a favorite wine, we’ll go with the perfect wine snack: the charcuterie board (i.e., an adult Lunchable). We can’t recommend Frogtown’s board enough. Three words that will make a southern girl’s heart flutter: pimento cheese soufflé.

Stroll: Earn that bottle of wine after completing 1.8 miles of intermediate terrain on the Montaluce wine hike. A fantastic way to experience the beauty of North Georgia, guided wine hikes take place every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. The hike ends with a wine tasting at a patio overlooking the Montaluce vineyard.Shop: While every winery offers the opportunity to take home bottles of your favorites and most have gift shops, we happen to love Fainting Goat Vineyards solely because you can purchase anything and everything with their upside-down goat logo. And yes, the winery really does feature fainting goats (Ronnie, Reagan, Dolley and Mamie), as well as two Great Pyrenees (Teddy and Rosie – gotta love a strong naming theme).