Last weekend I had the awesome opportunity to visit a few North Georgia wineries. Now, for some that may not be a big deal, but I was born and raised in Georgia. Yes, I am a true Georgia peach.
I am used to Georgia being synonymous with peaches and peanuts. One thing I and I suspect others are not used to Georgia being synonymous with is WINE. After this weekend not only do I associate Georgia with wine, I cannot wait for my next glass of these beautiful terroir driven wines.
I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge how I was transported to these lovely wineries. VIP Southern Wine Tours (www.gawinetours.com). Let me say this was no ordinary hum-drum wine tour. I had so much fun! Captain Fireball guided my tour group through an afternoon of beautiful scenery, history, and great wine. I absolutely loved it and I will be taking a group of wine lovers back with me.
The first stop on the tour:
Stonewall Creek Vineyards:
Situated at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Stonewall Creek Vineyards has 5 acres dedicated to Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat, and Petit Manseng.
Upon arriving we were greeted by Michael Fisher aka Captain Malbec. Captain Malbec was a virtual encyclopedia of Georgia viticulture. I was captivated by the narrative he shared about Georgia wine history and its terroir.
I was able to taste several wines all of which were amazing. There were two wines that rose to the top as my favorites the 2014 Boriana and the 2013 Norton.
The 2014 Boriana was delightful. The wine is 100% Petit Manseng (Pe-teet Man-Seng). This full bodied white wine is fermented and aged in stainless steel. I immediately noticed lovely citrus notes and the wine had great acidity. I would pair this lovely porch sipping wine with poultry or seafood.
The 2013 Norton, admittedly was a grape varietal I had not tasted before. The grape varietal is indigenous to the Southeast and Central US. The wine had an enriched deep ruby pigment, fruit forward, great acidity and very good balance. This uniquely vinified wine was a true gem. The wine had good structure which and would be great with lamb or beef.
The next stop…………
2. The Cottage Vineyard and Winery
This lovely winery is nestled beautifully in the North Georgia mountains. The scenery around The Cottage Vineyard and Winery is absolutely breathtaking. We were fortunate to have lunch in this spectacular corner of the world.
Our tour was greeted by a two man band and the most amazing backdrop
The wines tasted:
2013 Chardonnay - Aged in French and Hungarian oak. This wine is full of tropical fruit, vanilla, butter, nuts. This full bodied Chardonnay would pair very well with a seafood dish.
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon- Also aged in French and Hungarian oak, this full bodied red is bigand bold full of black fruits, vanilla, and tobacco. It is delicious.
2012 Syrah - The Syrah was medium bodied with red and black fruits, baking spices, and nuts. I would love a little barbeque with this one.
The owners of this lovely vineyard and winery were so welcoming.
3. Yonah Mountain Vineyards
From The Cottage Vineyard and Winery we wen to Yonah Mountain Vineyards. The landscape on the grounds wer magnificent. Perfectly manicured lawns and beautiful flowers.
I could not think of a better place to sip wine on a hot summer day. We tasted several lovely wines but the one that really made an impression on me was the red blend they call Genesis 6.
This red is big and bold with lots of red and black fruits. There is just enough to add the round mouthfeel. The baking spices were detectable along with tobacco. A lovely blend indeed.
4. Sautee Nacoochee Vineyards
A lovely vineyard dedicated to making great wines that are complex yet not complicated. I actually had the opportunity to explore the actual vineyard – it all starts in the vineyard.
I was captivated as I peered down the row and rows of vitis vinifera. I peeled back the leaves of the first vine I approached to reveal a bunch of grapes waiting to be harvested. I thought about this bunch and the many bunches waiting to be picked and was delighted at the thought one day these grapes would make a great bottle of wine.
Our final stop…………..
Bernies Restaurant & Nacoochee Valley Guest House
Bernie’s is a quaint country inn coddled in the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains. We had a very special meal here. We were greeted by a pristine set table in the courtyard. I ordered the chicken and mushroom crepes- they were delicious.
I paired my crepes with the Viognier which was a match made in heaven.
I was given a tour of the inn which by the way, has its original kitchen. Room after room was filled with character. I am definitely looking forward to returning. Thank you for an amazing time.
Let me end this post by thanking VIP Southern Wine Tours for an amazing time and the opportunity to experience the most beautiful scenery and amazing wines birthed by the North Georgia Mountains.