Italy, France, Spain, and even California are all well known for the wine they produce. They are a world away from the heart of Georgia’s wine country, Dahlonega.
Yet, this small town in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains is also known as the “Wine Tasting Room Capital of Georgia”. In all, there are more than 40 wineries and tasting rooms in the North Georgia mountains region, but the Dahlonega wineries cannot be missed.
You’ll find a dozen tasting rooms and eight wineries serving up award-winning wines to visitors from around the world lucky enough to stumble across this Southern secret. There’s even a famed wine trail that leads to the town, for those looking to sip and sample in the city with the highest concentration of wineries, vineyards, and tasting rooms in the state of Georgia.
It’s the mountain elevations that make it possible to grow the American, French-hybrid and European grapes, with hundreds of acres of them produced each year. The vineyards and wineries have become quite the hot spot for day trips and weekends away, along with serving up popular wedding venues.
You can plan to be part of the Dahlonega Wine Trail Weekend held each August. Or any time of year stay overnight in the nationally registered Historic Downtown District or just take a short tasting tour. The vineyards and wineries offer hospitality along with each glass, paired with some stunning views.
Ready to learn more about these amazing Georgia wineries? Here are 9+ of our favorite Dahlonega wineries that you and your crew will adore.
COOLEST PLACES TO STAY IN DAHLONEGA
- Best at a Vineyard. Unwind and relax at Dahlonega Resort and Vineyard with your choice of any of their 14 signature guest rooms or any of their eight secluded two bed private cabin rooms. Enjoy the vineyards, the restaurant, and the property with a stay here.
- Best in the Square. Stay right in the middle of the historic downtown Dahlonega area with a stay at The Dahlonega Square Hotel and Villas. This hotel features 1880s grandeur with 21st century convenience. After you’ve enjoyed the wine at the vineyards, continue the fun at the Tasting Room here featuring Kaya Wines.
- Best Tried and True. The Holiday Inn Express & Suites Dahlonega is brand new and features a heated indoor pool and a complimentary buffet breakfast each morning.
- Best for Groups. If you’re planning a large family or group gathering for your wine vacation, then a stay at this Large Dahlonega Home is the perfect choice. With five bedrooms, this home sleeps 12. You’ll love the outdoor fireplace and hot tub!
Accent Cellars can be found near the Dahlonega town square and boasts its top quality grapes, which it sources from the state, along with North Carolina, Texas, Washington and California.
Though the grapes aren’t grown there, the wines are made on premises at Accent Cellars. They offer a red wine called Underdog, along with a house favorite dry riesling.
The winery is open seven days a week and offers live music on Friday nights and Saturday afternoons, and stays open later than most area wineries, closing its doors at 8pm most nights. Many people choose to pack a picnic lunch or order a cheese tray to eat with the wine they offer.
The husband and wife who founded it with their brother are focused on making this the kind of place where you can meet up with good people, family and friends for a great experience. The guys (Tristen and Tyler) focus on creating good wine while the gal (Katie) puts her heart into the art on the walls.
This winery has an urban, youthful feel with its vibrant energy and offers more than a drink; they often host art classes on the deck and sometimes even comedy shows. Expect to pay $20 to $24 for tastings.
CAVENDER CREEK VINEYARDS & WINERY
Cavender Creek aims to keep it casual at its small farm winery just outside the city. Comfort is the number one mission, and you can tell it’s geared to families with its picnic tables, playground, and even kid slushies, served up right alongside the frozen wine slushies that their parents will enjoy.
It’s open seven days a week, closing at 6:30 most nights, and 7pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
The original owners were teachers in nearby Gwinnett County who came from farming families. Once they hit retirement, they chose to grow grapes and make wine, buying the land from the man who still owns the cow pasture next door.
The current owner (Claire) is a retired college professor who bought the property in 2015. She turned part of it into an event venue and it now hosts weddings, among other things. The tasting room was remodeled in 2019 and provides much more space for sampling the wine created there, though the owner made a point of holding on to its rustic feel.
Part of the renovation was adding a kitchen, so this location doesn’t allow outside food of any kind. There’s not a full restaurant yet, but they do sell snacks, including cheese and charcuterie, dips and chips, cookies, soft pretzels and flatbreads.
There’s lodging on the property, too, including a 200-year-old cottage, so you can stay a while and even get to know the resident alpacas and donkeys.
DAHLONEGA RESORT AND VINEYARD
The Dahlonega Resort and Vineyard offers an entirely different vibe from the vineyards we’ve already mentioned. It serves up serenity along with its sips. You can rock on the porch and take in the views and get lost in the sounds of the wind chimes.
And speaking of getting lost, you can wander through its wooded trails and meditation labyrinth. The resort also offers massages and other body treatments, including massages and space for yoga.
After working up your appetite all day, you can dine in the restaurant that serves up fresh, seasonal, locally sourced food. You can stay overnight (or all weekend) either in the main house or one of the cabins situated on the grounds. It all sounds so serene, right?
The grounds are available for weddings and retreats, both for corporate meetings or yoga weekends. It really looks like a slice of heaven tucked away for guests to getaway for an afternoon or entire weekend.
Stay Here: Dahlonega Resort & Vineyard
If you want to go somewhere a little different, head to the Etowah Meadery. It has a very interesting back story, being based on land the founder’s wife’s Cherokee ancestors owned on the Etowah River.
The land had several fruit trees and was a good spot for fishing; in fact, the founder had been there with friends as a teen. You could say it was destiny that they’d come together to use it for a new purpose so many decades later, as they launched the Etowah Meadery.
And now, they brag that they sell a wine with a “buzz”, since it’s made with honeys, fruits and spices. If you haven’t tried mead before, know that it’s honey-based and goes way, way back in time, thousands of years (some say 9,000 while others claim it goes back more than 20,000 years) and was popular in China, Europe and Africa.
It’s technically the oldest known alcoholic beverage in the world and was the drink said to be the choice of royals and gods in Greece, Rome and Egypt. The Irish say there’s a river of mead running through heaven. And the term “honeymoon” comes from the notion of parents gifting a month’s worth of honey wine to promote fertility in newlyweds. Fascinating, huh?
Well, not that we’re saying you need it for fertility, but the Etowah Meadery offers up about 20 options, from traditional to barrel aged, including flavors like blueberry (called Got the Blues), chocolate raspberry (Coco Raspise), and of course, peach (Stone Pile Peach). They have hopped meads and sparkling options you can even buy in a can, and even a Mead-Ahh-Rita. The founder of Etowah Meadery claims it tastes like “kool-aid for kids”. Sounds delish to me.
If there’s one winery doing the most to get Georgia recognized as a wine contributor, Frogtown Cellars, and its founder Craig Kritzer, would be it. He’s won medals for it, including one at the 2016 San Francisco International Wine Competition.
He uses only Georgia fruit here. The winery sits on a 57-acre estate and produces more than 30 different wines. It’s a tri-level gravity flow winery that helps make what they produce unique.
The muscadine is a must, though there are many other options to sample. There’s a tasting room open daily and an Italian bistro where you can get Sunday brunch, or lunch Thursday-Sunday. Early dinners are also an option on some nights, so check their site to see if it works with your schedule.
Come for the award-winning wine, but also appreciate the views.
KAYA VINEYARD AND WINERY
Speaking of views, you can catch quite a few of the surrounding mountains while you’re at the Kaya Vineyard and Winery. This is the largest vineyard in the area and they offer something for every palate.
You can do a tasting of Kaya wines, along with some from its sister winery, Twisted, and end up being able to pick from 20 different wines. They have everything from a dark dry pinot noir all the way to a very sweet rose.
And if you can’t get to the vineyard, you can still try their samples at the tasting room at Dahlonega Square Hotel and Villas. If you do get to the Vineyard, you can opt to stay overnight with a group of friends or family and stay in one of the four Craftsman-style cottages. They sleep up to eight people, so make it a party.
MONTALUCE WINERY & RESTAURANT
Montaluce Winery and Restaurant is the winery most likely to remind you of the versions you’d see in Italy. The land is peppered with Italian architecture, including a Tuscany-inspired building where you’ll find the tasting room, wine shop, wine cellar, and restaurant.
Here they say it’s all about the culture and passion in wine and with that, the vineyard produces about 10 wines from its grapes. You’ll want to come around dinner time to experience the true Tuscan feel of its restaurant.
The house-made pastas, cheeses and brick-oven pizzas are made with hand-crafted ingredients. They’ve perfected farm-to-table in their open-concept dining room. It offers a cozy and relaxing experience. And there’s a more elegant option upstairs if you’re looking for a more memorable evening out.
If you’re only coming for the wine, that’s fine, too. In fact, the winery has traditional wine-tasting options, along with wine hikes (how fun does that sound?!) and fly fishing along the river. It’s a very unique experience.
They host weddings too, for those who love the Italian vibe and want to create something memorable without going all the way to Italy.
THREE SISTERS VINEYARDS
Speaking of weddings, Three Sisters Vineyards offers up more of that Southern feel with a white gazebo where weddings are hosted. And in the distance, you’ll see three mountain peaks, which is where owners found the name for the vineyard.
When it was founded in 1995, it was the first family-farm winery and the first legal winery in the county post-Prohibition. They produce 16 different wines on the nearly 200 acre farm. You’ll find dry rose, pinot blanc and cabernet, along with others. You can take part in tastings or buy full bottles.
WOLF MOUNTAIN VINEYARDS AND WINERY
Wolf Mountain Vineyards and Winery is another award-winning spot, the first Georgia one to win Best in Class and double Gold Medals at the San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles International wine competitions. And it’s family-owned at that.
They grow six kinds of red grapes at the vineyard and also use grapes from nearby farms for its white wines. They create 17 wines in total, including whites, reds and sparklings. They pride themselves on serving up the same caliber of wines that you’d find in Napa.
And as much as they brag about their wines, the Sunday brunch also really draws people up to the area. Lunch is also a highlight, especially if you try their famous grits fries. Just trust us on that one.
THE COTTAGE VINEYARD AND WINERY
The Cottage Vineyard and Winery isn’t in Dahlonega; it’s found in Cleveland, but worth a mention, if for no other reason than its Sunday program.
It’s called “Jesus n’ Jeans” and invites visitors to attend worship service at the chapel on the property before partaking in the main draw of the property, the wine. I say that sounds just heavenly.
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO GEORGIA
- YOUR GEORGIA VACATION
- CANE CREEK FALLS: Explore Beautiful Cane Creek Falls In Dahlonega GA
- DAHLONEGA RANGER CAMP: 5 Tips To Enjoy Dahlonega Ranger Camp
- HIAWASSEE: 52+ Things To Do In Hiawassee GA On Beautiful Lake Chatuge
- DAY TRIPS: 31 Day Trips From Atlanta That Should Be Top Of Your Bucket List
WHERE TO STAY IN DAHLONEGA
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