According to a Time + Leisure Magazine survey, the activity that ranks supreme while on vacation is sightseeing by 55% of those surveyed. In comparison, 51% said they feel experiencing local culture and cuisine is important, and 45% said spending time in nature mattered to them. Considering these stats, visiting Dahlonega is a "home-run" considering all these activities are available in the picturesque North Georgia Mountains!
This beautiful area of Georgia offers all the above-mentioned favorite activities. Local culture and history, cuisine, nature, and so much more. An hour north of Atlanta, the historic town of Dahlonega (pronounced Duh-lon-a-ga), Georgia, was the first major U.S. Gold Rush site in 1828. Today, Dahlonega is an award-winning, authentic Appalachian Mountain community.
The Wine Industry Advisor, an online publication, noted that many of the restored wood and brick structures in the Historic District are on the National Register and offer an abundance of dining, live music, and theater. Several of the restaurants in the Historic District have wide porches perfect for taking in the scenery. Boutiques, galleries, and shops attract some of the region's top artists and are filled with art, antiques, unique jewelry, clothing, and collectibles.
Many travelers participate in outdoor activities such as kayaking, hiking, or biking. But for me (and many like me), visiting wineries is the preferred outdoor activity. Dahlonega has been long regarded as "The Heart of Georgia Wine," the rolling hills and high-quality soil are known to be the perfect combination for producing wine grape varietals. As a result, the area offers award-winning wineries and a variety of dining experiences.
Wine and Dine
Frogtown Winery. They take food and wine SERIOUSLY. Not only is the wine outstanding, but you will love the food in the Italian Bistro. Their kitchen takes pride in making almost everything from scratch. From pasta to pizza dough, it's all handcrafted. All of their meats are smoked and cured on-site, except for the Italian imports, of course.
Try their traditional Italian cannelloni with Italian sausage, ricotta, spinach, and mozzarella in homemade noodles, smothered with tomato butter and bechamel glaze. If that doesn't make you hungry reading this description, we don't know what will.
Insider Tip: Make this your last stop for the day because you will want to make sure to have room for their delicious homemade desserts.
Another favorite is Montaluce Winery and Restaurant. Their offerings are locally sourced and made in-house, from the wine to the duck fat potatoes. "Executive Chef Christopher Matson has reached perfection!!!" A review posted on TripAdvisor underscores Chef Christopher Matson's amazing talent. He is known for his delicious farm-to-table plates that perfectly compliment the incredible wine they produce on-site. Matson uses local meats to make unique dishes like braised rabbit, venison tenderloin, and bison ribeye. Delicious when paired with a glass of red 2017 Petit Verdot - wonderfully dark in color with aromas of plums, black pepper, and violets. The tannins are big and chewy yet still approachable.
Their new restaurant, Trattoria di Montaluce is currently being built on the property and is much anticipated by anyone who has tasted Matson's food before. The restaurant expected opening date is planned for April 2021
Brunch is more than just a trend; it's a movement. Brunch is an all-accepting meal. Brunch gives you the best of both worlds – breakfast, lunch, or both. One of our favorite spots for brunch is Wolf Mountain Vineyards. Their Sunday brunch is known to delight every taste. This Winery has a more casual, European feel to it, so taking it in on a sunny afternoon with a winery favorite, a Sparkling Syrah Brut, is a unique and fun North Georgia experience.
Kaya Vineyards and wineries were among the first and largest of the current vineyards in the Dahlonega area. Built atop a ridge that is sixteen-hundred feet above elevation and the Winery offers the most exquisite panoramic mountain view in North Georgia. All KAYA wines are currently made exclusively from estate-grown grapes produced from the winery property.
If you talk about wine, you think of food. If you are not in the mood for a full meal, you will enjoy the appetizer options such as a cheeseboard and Belgian pretzels with dipping mustard that do not take away from the spotlight of their fantastic wine blends.
Options abound to wine and "snack", the Dahlonega Resort and Vineyard is a great choice. Nestled in Georgia's Blue Ridge Mountains foothills, the Resort is a quick drive from Atlanta but a world apart from the noise and sprawl. Try their compressed watermelon with cinnamon, radish, blue cheese, ginger emulsion, and beet. A creative dish you can't just find anywhere. If you are not a “foodie” person, you may prefer some classic truffle fries and garlic mayo. Just a "little-bit-of-this-and-a-little-bit-of-that" makes for a fine pairing with any wine of your choice.
Each winery has a unique way of making wine and delight visitors with creative dishes—a human’s attempt to compliment Dahlonega Plateau's spectacular views and experiences that will last a lifetime