Meet The First Wineries of the Dahlonega Plateau (AVA)
Wine tasting is a fun way to get to know a new area when traveling. Each winery keeps a unique style, from the architecture and natural landscape to art spaces and incredible panoramas. While places such as California or Oregon come to mind for wine regions, wine enthusiasts in the "know" have long discovered the Dahlonega Plateau American Viticultural Area (AVA), also noted as "The Heart of Georgia Wine Country."
The Dahlonega Plateau AVA is a breathtaking region in northern Georgia's mountains, just an hour north of Atlanta. With gently sloping hills and a moderate elevation, the intervening valleys' floors are not highly shadowed and receive adequate sunlight for the vineyards. The location between higher elevations to the north, east, and southeast and lower elevations to the southwest and west creates climatic conditions ideal for growing grapes— nature's recipe to make varietals such as Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Merlot.
And so, start the remarkable story of this beautiful area with four wineries that are the cornerstones of this unique place named Dahlonega, Georgia.
The Sense of Place
"While Three Sisters wines celebrate "the sense of place" (as our French brethren call it), our wines reflect our family's many hours of dedication, character, and personality." Gracious words from the people who love tending to their vines and producing memorable wines. One of our favorite visitor comments says it all: “Lovely vineyard… we spent some time on their deck/patio overlooking a pond while tasting some delicious wines." A little history: Sharon and Doug Paul harvested their first grapes in 2000, making Three Sisters Winery Dahlonega's first family farm winery. The farm's name is inspired by Lumpkin County's Three Sisters Mountain's beautiful view to the west. Bring your four-legged friends to the patio at Three Sisters Winery, a laid-back winery that offers chocolate pairings (who can resist?!).
The Best Winery View in North Georgia!
Another founding winery is Kaya Vineyard and Winery, a rebirth of the former Blackstock Vineyards. The winery, built upon a ridge's apex topping a 1,600-foot elevation, offers the most remarkable mountain view in North Georgia and inspiring vineyard views from its tasting room. Always a favorite for wine lovers - and selfies!
Food and wine are a natural combination. The Tasting Room features a variety of dishes created by their talented Executive Chef. Share a couple of plates to snack on with a group or come hungry and enjoy one of their specialty paninis. I only have two words: simply divine!
One last comment. The view and the wine are inspiring, making this location perfect for your special day. A wedding at Kaya Vineyard & Winery is the event of a lifetime. Added value? A great place to celebrate many anniversaries.
Dahlonega Wineries - the Gift that keeps on giving
A winery that has no shortage of recognition is Frogtown Cellars. Since 2010, the winery has won 36 gold medal awards and many others in various wine competitions. Craig Kritzer, Frogtown's wine grower and maker, has been named one of the top 100 most influential United States Winemakers by Michael Cervin of intowine.com.
Wine lovers - now, if this does not get your attention, what would?
Perhaps the Italian Bistro with food prepared from scratch the way fine restaurants do, with the freshest produce and ingredients? Good wine - good food. A winning combination!
The secret to their success? The 44-acre property has 23,000 grape vines that produce somewhere around 180 tons of wine grapes each year. With 25 different grape varieties, these folks know their vines. Sit back on the vineyard's porches and taste some of this award-winning wine - until it is time to go home.
"The European-style Georgia winery is located on a mountain ridge and is fashioned after a raised craftsman-style cottage and sits atop the cellar, which is encased in fieldstone." This introduction to Wolf Mountain Vineyards and Winery in their website captures the imagination and inspires one to travel and explore the Dahlonega Plateau AVA.
"We started it back in '99. I was 26", Brannon Boegner said, describing the early moments of Wolf Mountain, the Winery he and his father, Karl Boegner, have been establishing for the past two decades. Wolf Mountain is an authentic family business. Karl Boegner is the proprietor, his wife Linda oversees weddings, his son Brannon is the award-winning winemaker, his daughter Lindsey manages the Restaurant and events, and Lindsey's husband Stephen runs the Tasting Room. Whether you come for a wine tasting or a wedding, there is a sense of well-being at this special place called Wolf Mountain Vineyards. A popular tourist destination and local favorite offering a view and wines that cannot be duplicated anywhere else.
While there are many other great wineries in Dahlonega to explore, these original winemakers underscore why this area is increasingly enticing new visitors to add Georgia-made wine to their bucket-list.