Although it’s hardly one of America’s most famous winemaking regions, in recent years, the winemaking scene in North Georgia has quietly been making a name for itself, and a number of excellent wineries have begun to appear.
If you’re traveling in the area and would like to know which ones to visit, here’s our list of the best wineries in North Georgia to give you an idea of where to start.
Best Wineries in North Georgia
1. Wolf Mountain Vineyards
Nestled up in the North Georgia Mountains, the picturesque Wolf Mountain Vineyards offers several different tasting packages for you to sample some of their award-winning wines.
They have an indoor tasting room as well as an outdoor veranda and waterfall terrace area with stunning views over the vineyards.
The winery offers tasting by the flight to give visitors a good introduction to the kind of wines they produce, and you can choose between the Estate Tasting Flight or the Plateau Tasting Flight – the second consisting of wines from their reserve collection.
They also offer meals, including a bar menu, a café lunch menu, Sunday brunch and more. For the bar menu, walk-ins are accepted, but for other meals, reservations are required. The menu changes frequently according to whatever is in season.
Note that this winery previously offered guided tours of their facility, but this option has been paused due to covid. However, it is to be hoped that it will become available again soon now the pandemic has been brought under control.
Address: 180 Wolf Mountain Trail, Dahlonega, GA 30533
2. Yonah Mountain Vineyards
The story of Yonah Mountain Vineyards began in 2005 when Bob and Jane Miller purchased around 200 acres of land at the southeast base of Yonah Mountain and started planting grapes there.
Since then, their dream has taken shape, and their endeavor has grown into a fully-fledged winemaking operation that produces a range of exceptional wines.
The tasting room is open daily, and there is also an outdoor tasting area, so you can stop by to sample some of the wines they make against the stunning backdrop of the beautiful Georgian countryside.
The winery also offers a cave tour that involves a visit of the facilities as well as the chance to sample six different wines. However, note that there was some disruption to the tours due to covid, so for the most up to date information, it’s best to contact the winery directly.
Another option is the exclusive reserve tasting held once a month. Places for this are understandably limited, and reservations are essential.
Address: 1717 Hwy 255 S, Cleveland, GA 30528
3. Chateau Meichtry Family Vineyard and Winery
In 1921, a young man from Switzerland named Stephan Meichtry left his native country and travelled to the US to start a new life with nothing more than a suitcase.
According to family legend, in his suitcase, he carried his own rootstock from Switzerland, and vines descended from that original rootstock are still grown in the vineyard.
The vineyard still belongs to the Meichtry family, and the winery now produces a range of different wines, including chardonnay and pinot gris as well as many different blended wines.
Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, you can visit the winery to sample their wines by the flight, by the glass or by the bottle. Reservations are not required.
On weekends, they organize live music events, and they have food trucks too, so that’s a great time to visit for a livelier atmosphere.
If you want to learn more about the winery and its history, you can also join a tour – tickets are available on the website. For private tours, you should contact the winery directly.
Address: 1862 Orchard Ln, Talking Rock, GA 30175
Email: Contact via the website
4. The Cottage Vineyard & Winery
When owner Jim was stationed in Europe from 1980, he developed a taste for wine, and it was a passion that stayed with him until retired, at which point he decided to try his hand at making wine himself.
Later, when he and his wife Sandra had the opportunity to purchase 29 acres of land, they were able to turn their hobby into a winemaking business, and the Cottage Vineyard and Winery was born.
Their wines are made from the chardonnay, viognier, syrah, merlot, pinot meunier and muscat grapes that are grown on the estate, and flight tasting is available daily in the indoor tasting room – or outdoors when the weather is fine.
Along with the great views and friendly welcome, the wine tasting at this winery is fantastic value. You can also enjoy their wines by the glass or the bottle, and there’s live music on Sundays too.
Reservations are required for tasting groups of four and above – but below that, they aren’t necessary.
Address: 5050 US-129, Cleveland, GA 30528
Email: Contact via the website
5. Fainting Goat Vineyards
One of the more intriguingly-named wineries in the area and also one of the more fun to visit thanks to the resident animals – and yes, they do have four fainting goats along with two friendly dogs that all love to interact with visitors.
In terms of their wines, they practice a “minimalist approach”, which involves caring for and nurturing the grapes and allowing nature to do the rest.
The fruit is then carefully harvested and handcrafted into small batches of high-quality wine.
At the winery, they offer several flight options that give you a broad introduction to the wines they produce there. Reservations are not required or accepted, and availability is on a first-come, first-served basis.
For a more special moment to remember, they also offer a “Picnic in the Vines” experience, which involves picnic food and a bottle of wine for two, to be shared out in the grounds of the estate. Tickets need to be purchased in advance to participate in this experience.
Address: 201 Vineyard Wy, Jasper, GA 30143
Email: Contact via the website or by phone
6. Habersham Winery
Among the oldest and largest wineries in the area yet still family-owned and operated, Habersham is a place that takes pride in the welcome you can expect to receive when you visit.
The main tasting room is located in the Nacoochee village and offers great value tasting options for individuals, small groups and tour groups. The regular tasting includes five different wines – reservations aren’t required, but for larger groups, they are highly recommended.
As well as the wines, you’ll also find a gift shop with gourmet foods from around the world.
The winery is almost always lively, but for an even more bustling atmosphere, visit on a Friday or Saturday evening when they organize live music events. Full details are available on the winery’s Facebook page.
Address: 7025 S Main St, Helen, GA 30545
Email: Contact via the website
7. Cartecay Vineyards
Cartecay Vineyards occupies land that was once a farm dating back to around 1890, but it was long since abandoned before the first vines were planted there in 2008.
The unique combination of elevation, soil and climate allows for the production of exceptional grapes, and the resulting wines can be tasted on-site in the converted tasting barn that has been there since the days of the original farm.
Inside, you’ll find a cozy bar and a seating area large enough for up to 45 guests, and there’s also a patio outside for when the weather permits.
The staff are friendly and knowledgeable, so if you don’t know what you want to drink, they’ll be able to help you with suggestions and will be available to answer any questions you have about the wine or the production.
Address: 5704 Clear Creek Rd, Ellijay, GA 30536
8. Cavender Creek Vineyards
Cavender Creek Vineyards was the realization of the dream of a pair of retired schoolteachers who decided to buy land and grow grapes when they stopped working.
That was in 2006, and by 2009, they began to produce their first wines. A tasting room was then opened in 2011.
In 2015, the winery passed to new owners who nonetheless sought to continue the work done before, and the winery has retained its friendly, rustic charm.
The winery is open to visitors every day, and you can sample the wines by the flight, by the glass or by the bottle. They currently don’t serve food other than snacks like charcuterie boards, but visitors are allowed to bring their own food.
While there, you’ll also get to meet the cute miniature donkeys, something this winery is almost as famous for as its wines.
Reservations are not required for small groups – but if you have six or more in your party, you should let the winery know in advance.
Address: 3610 Cavender Creek Rd, Dahlonega, GA 30533
Email: email@example.com or contact via the website
9. Sweet Acre Farms Winery
A small-scale family winery located in the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains, Sweet Acre Farms Winery is a fun place to spend a few hours or so simply relaxing and sipping on a glass or two of delicious wine.
This winery focuses on making fruit wines. You can choose a flight to sample, and they also serve meat and cheese boards that pair perfectly with the wines you’re drinking.
Furthermore, on Saturdays, the winery organizes live music and other events, so that’s always a fun time to visit.
With a rustic, laidback vibe, traditional southern hospitality and some interesting fruit wines that are quite different to what you are likely to taste in most other wineries, this is a place that’s well worth a visit.
Address: 7584 Bill Wilson Rd, Alto, GA 30510
10. Crane Creek Vineyards
Among the loveliest of North Georgia’s wineries, at Crane Creek, you can enjoy the exquisite views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the surrounding pastoral scenery as you sip a glass of wine and enjoy foods like cheese and other snacks.
Visitors are also permitted to bring picnics, and you can order wine by the flight, glass or bottle.
On Friday evenings, there’s live music to help create a more vibrant weekend atmosphere, and the winery also organizes other events such as the Vintner’s Tours on Saturdays from June to October.
Another on-site attraction is the Farmhouse Market, a boutique shop that sells a range of gourmet foods and other items that would make great gifts. The Farmhouse Market also has a large lawn that’s the perfect place to enjoy your wine and picnic.
Address: 1040 Crane Creek Rd, Young Harris, GA 30582
11. Hightower Creek Vineyards
Hightower Creek Vineyards is a small, family-run operation that began in 2009 when the first vines were planted and now comprises a seven-acre estate.
Grapes currently grown in the vineyards include cabernet franc, merlot and pinot gris along with American grapes and American-French hybrids.
The original owner, Liz Green, sold the vineyard and winery in 2018, but the new owners have remained true to the traditions of good wine, good, friends and great service that Liz created, and the winery continues to offer a warm and friendly welcome to all those who wish to visit.
At the winery, you can sample the wines they produce either inside in the tasting bar or outside on the deck with its spectacular views over the surrounding countryside.
Interestingly, the winery also produces its own meads with names like “Fields of Yore”, “Dwarven Reserve” and “Druids Blend”, so that’s something else to make sure you taste before leaving.
Address: 7150 Canaan Dr, Hiawassee, GA 30546
Hard to know where to go first
As you can see, North Georgia is home to several wonderful wineries that are happy to welcome visitors who hope to sample some of their excellent wines. In fact, probably the hardest part will be deciding which one to go to first.