Best known for growing delicious peaches, wholesome pecans, snappy peanuts, and sweet Vidalia onions, Georgia also produces its fair share of wine grapes.
Besides the Muscadine being the #1 grape in the southern state, winegrowers cultivate many other varieties here. Some well-known ones are Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay.
Most wineries are about an hour and a half to two hours from Atlanta toward the North Georgia Mountains, making wine tasting a must-do activity whenever you visit the state.
Some wineries offer weekend getaways that include overnight lodging. Other favorite spots provide magnificent views of the vineyards and mountain ranges as you sip, relax, and breathe.
Something to think about or discuss as you enjoy wine tasting in Georgia with friends and family is that the tradition of winemaking began 8,000 years ago in the Eastern European country Georgia.
Archeologists discovered that in 4,000 BC, inhabitants in the region near the Black Sea, now Georgia, fermented grapes in clay jars called qvevri.
Here in the USA, Georgia winemaking began in the early 1980s. It has grown to 57 licensed wineries, doubling in the last ten years. Here are some choice vineyards and wineries to visit.
The Best Places to Go for Wine Tasting in Georgia
- Kaya Vineyard and Winery
- Yonah Mountain Vineyards & Winery
- Wolf Mountain Vineyards & Winery
- Crane Creek Vineyards
- The Cottage Vineyard and Winery
- Watermelon Creek Vineyards
1. Kaya Vineyard and Winery
In Dahlonega, Kaya Vineyard and Winery tasting room rest atop a ridge. Here, you can taste some of the best wines in Georgia at 1,600 feet above elevation.
Looking out from the 2,000 square-foot covered deck take in the panoramic Blue Ridge Mountains view while pleasing your palate with wines and enjoying live music.
Known as one of the first and largest vineyards in the Dahlonega region, Kaya makes wines exclusive from their estate-grown grapes grown on their property. They planted their vineyards with classic European, American, and Italian varietals.
All grapes are hand-harvested and gently processed in their facility. Then, the staff places the wine in a climate-controlled barrel room, a perfect environment for integrating aroma and flavor between fruit and wood.
Once the wine reaches the tasting room, the goal is for you to savor some of the best wines in the area and create a passion for learning about wine.
The winery offers a wide range of reds, whites, roses, blends, and sweet wines. Choose five wines from the entire wine list for 1.5 ounces for each pour for $25.00. A variety of dishes created by their executive chef will complete your visit.
Closed on Mondays, and open Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 11 AM to 5 PM, and Sundays, from 12:30 to 5 PM.
The vineyard has several cottages available for lodging and an event team for your wedding, birthday, or special occasion.
2. Yonah Mountain Vineyards & Winery
Nested in the Northeast Georgia mountains are award-winning wines and inspiring views, setting the stage for Yonah Mountain Vineyards & Winery. The vineyard grows over seven varietals on 20 acres or the 200-acre estate.
The tasting room opened in March 2014, featuring breathtaking views of the vineyard, local art displays, a cozy fireplace, and friendly staff.
Take the Cave Tour and Tasting, reservations required, as the only known wine cave in the state. Sample future vintages with daily wine tasting.
Saturday afternoons enjoy live music with outdoor seating on the breezeway or patio under the shadow of Mount Yonah. Plan your wedding day, photoshoot, or proposal here.
Reds, whites, desserts, and specialty wines start with some grapes grown on the estate, including Petit Verdot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Manseng, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc.
The winery’s 2016 Estate Meritage boasts dark berry, vanilla, and spice, expressing the vineyard’s mountain terroir. Layers of flavors comprise black currant, cedar, plum, and dried herbs. A Bordeaux style blend, all grapes come from the estate vineyard.
3. Wolf Mountain Vineyards & Winery
Arrive at the hillside winery and feel yourself decompress from the breathtaking views facing the surrounding mountains.
Besides the gold medals and best-in-class status from California wine competitions, Wolf Mountain Vineyards & Winery is the leader in fine wine production along the East Coast.
In 2003, the family-owned winery opened after the Boegners laid the grown work in 1999. It now rests atop a mountain, producing reds, dry whites, roses, semi-sweets, ports, and sparkling wines. Relax, having Sunday brunch or lunch at the Vineyard Café.
Boegner Family Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is a favorite from 100 percent estate-grown grapes. The 24-month-aged wine comes from a small lot of Cabernet when the vineyard has the proper growing conditions for this level of excellence.
The wine has won many awards from 2010 to 2016 Double Gold San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Claret is another huge winner, from 2006 to 2016 Double-Gold San Francisco International Wine Competition. The Chardonnay is impressive, starting in the 2013 to 2016 awards.
Tasting Room requires no reservations unless it’s a party of eight more people. Hours are Thursdays through Sunday, from 11 AM to 5 PM.
The staff encourages you to come early to avoid the crowds. If the gate is closed, it means the winery is at capacity.
4. Crane Creek Vineyards
On the outskirts of a Young Harris, a small college town, you can relax in the cozy tasting room of Crane Creek Vineyards. Overlook the beautiful grounds.
Part of the lineup includes not your usual reds and whites but different hybrid styles. Start with Apfelwein Apple Wine, Seyval Blanc, Hellbender Red, Villard Noir Rose and Sweet Sally, named after the vineyard’s dog.
Raven is more traditionally vinted from 100 percent Cabernet Franc as is Harvest Red, a signature Chambourcin blend.
The winery combines traditional artisan methods with modern winemaking techniques, which you can witness on their Vinter’s Tour every Saturday at 2 PM by reservation.
While in the tasting room, ask about Small Batches and their limited bottling.
Hellbender is an award-winning wine, 100 percent Norton, a native grape. The tasting notes comprise baking spice, brambleberry, and cedar, producing a full-bodied red wine, almost like Zinfandel, with mixedberry flavors.
Stone House Tasting Room opens Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 11 AM to 6 PM, and Sundays, from 1 PM to 5 PM. Appreciate the wine by the glass, flights, or bottle with no reservations.
The vineyard offers space for weddings and other events like meetings. Visit the Farmhouse Market or have an incredible dining experience at the Paris & Company, an independently owned and operated restaurant on-site.
5. The Cottage Vineyard and Winery
Truly one of the best wineries in Georgia, thanks to being voted one of the top 25 wineries in the USA.
The Cottage Vineyard and Winery is family-owned with vast selections of wineries and has some of the most spectacular views of the North Georgia mountains.
The tasting area has inside and outside spaces, including a swinging chair that faces the beautiful mountainside.
Inside, hold your glass of wine and marvel at the all-around wall of windows. So, you’ll not lose sight of breathtaking views with or without rain, snow, or shine.
Your choices include diverse reds, whites, semi-sweet, sweet, and dry wines. Some worthwhile wines are Syrah, Estate Reserved Chardonnay, and the 2017 Reserve Meritage. You can ask the staff about Slushy Wine, Sunset, and Golden Harvest.
Tastings are Mondays through Fridays, from 11:55 AM to 6:02 PM. Saturdays offer extended hours until 9 PM, with tasting ending at 6 PM with bottle and glass purchases only.
On Sundays, tastings run from 12:30 PM to 6:02 PM. Parties of four or more require a reservation.
Multiple locations on the property offer ideal places to hold your special event while serving superb wine.
6. Watermelon Creek Vineyards
About one hour from Savannah, Georgia, is Watermelon Creek Vineyards. In 1820, it developed into several mills, a post office, a general store, and the Padgett family’s home.
Today, owners Charles and Deborah Tillman live in the restored, original home. In 2012, they launched Watermelon Creek Vineyards, a 15-acre location with The Pond, The Barn Yard, The Mill House, The Vineyard, nature area and Winery complex.
The winery focuses on wines crafted from Noble and Carlos Muscadine grapes, a thick-skinned and large grape for eating and winemaking. The wines are sweet with solid aromatics. Try the Ohoopee Whoope made from sweet Carlos Muscadine grapes with a hint of peach.
Even though the grape is sweet, the winery crafts some bold and dry wines like the Twight, a blend of Muscadines from their vineyard, teasing your palate with natural aromas and acidity.
Wine tasting is Tuesdays through Saturday from 10 AM to 7 PM, with reservations required if you want to include food service.
The vineyard also offers jams, jellies, and preserves from their biologically controlled vineyard.