Vineyards, Microbreweries & Distilleries
From peach wine and hard apple cider to blueberry beer and flavored moonshine, locally-made beverage choices are almost endless.
Raise a glass to “locally made” with a visit to one of our unique wineries, craft breweries or distilleries. Winemakers, in particular, are busy as North Georgia comes into its own as a wine-making region (much of the area is part of the new Upper Hiwassee Highlands American Viticultural Area). But winemaking has long been a traditional art form in the mountains. In fact, before Prohibition, Georgia ranked sixth in wine production among U.S. states. These days, it’s American and European wine grapes — not scuppernong — at the heart of the premium regional wines being produced locally.
Not to be outdone, passionate local brewers are also doing their part, from IPAs and amber ales to lagers and hard ciders. Many of the microbreweries provide taste & tour events on a regular basis, so you can sample the flavors before you buy. And you’ll find that many stores and restaurants on the North Georgia Farm Trail carry locally-made wines and brews, too. Of course, you might even find a little moonshine along your travels!
Bear Claw VineyardsNew Vineyard Opening in 2017
Opening Fall 2017! Bear Claw Vineyards is located in Blue Ridge, Georgia. Just a short road trip to the vineyard can be an interesting day out to enjoy the beauty and history the Blue Ridge area has to offer. The vineyard land also sits inside the Chattahoochee National Forest area and will remain protected for many decades to come. Bear Claw Vineyards is in a prime location — the elevation is at 1832 feet above sea level (which is optimal for producing great wines). Lots of sunshine during the day, cooler temperatures at night, and the plentiful cool mountain air and breezes combine with the very rich and unique soils to produce a wine grape with true quality and superb characteristics. The vineyards are densely planted — vines are planted 3 feet and 4 feet apart. This dense planting actually produces fewer grapes. Why is this good? It’s about the quality — these grapes will be of a higher quality and, when harvested, have a larger natural sugar content. This will yield an exceptional wine compared to others. Bear Claw Vineyards, Inc’s. original acreage was planted by the Swim family in the spring of 2015; they are currently still the majority stock […]
Grandaddy Mimms Moonshine DistilleryMoonshine • Tastings • Tours
Jack “Mimm” McClure (1/25/14 – 6/26/69) was an Appalachian moonshiner and local philanthropist from Young Harris, Georgia. Stop in for authentic moonshine based on Mimm’s recipe from the 1930s and take a tour of the distillery.
Mercier OrchardsU-Pick • Bakery • Market • Farm Store • Restaurant • Farm Winery
Once upon a time, there was a magical orchard in a quiet little mountain town in North Georgia. Only the most wonderful things grew there — apples and strawberries, peaches and blueberries, all kinds of things. You could even pick your own apples! People came to the little town from all over because it was so much fun to visit. That magical orchard is still here: It’s called Mercier Orchards. And it’s located in the mountain town of Blue Ridge. Mercier Orchards is a fourth-generation, family-owned and operated apple orchard. Started back in 1943 by Bill & Adele Mercier, Mercier Orchards is now celebrating 70+ years of fruitful harvests! Of course you’ll want to visit for the U-Pick events, whether it’s apples in the fall, strawberries in the spring or blueberries and blackberries in the summer. But there’s so much more to do and see anytime of the year, including: Tractor rides and farm tours Delicious fried pies, cakes, donuts and more in the bakery Tasty breakfast, lunch and dinner served in the on-site restaurant Huge store featuring jams, jellies, honey, fresh produce and more Made-on-site farm wines, hard ciders and fresh ciders Tasting room with wines from other local […]
Paradise HillsFarm Winery • Tastings • Accommodations • Spa
Paradise Hills is the perfect starting point to taste, tour and explore the magic of North Georgia. Or, stay right where you are and enjoy the resort’s distinctive spa and sip local wines, all while you enjoy world-class service. The spa facilities include a steaming rock sauna and an aromatherapy lounge in a European style, offering massage, face therapies and body treatments. The vineyards and winery enjoy the distinction of lying entirely within the newly designated Upper Hiwassee Highlands American Viticultural Area (AVA). But the best part of a visit to Paradise Hills is that you don’t have to leave! Owners Robert & Ilke Lander are happy to set out the welcome mat at any of their charming 1-4 bedroom cabins — many pet-friendly! — and share their piece of “paradise.” Farm Winery • Tastings • Events • Accommodations • Spa
Serenberry VineyardsVineyard • Tasting Bar • Events
Looking for a chance to pause and appreciate nature’s sweet — or perhaps, dry — gifts? Serenberry Vineyards’ vines look forward to meeting you! Tucked away down an unassuming road just 10 miles from downtown Blue Ridge, Serenberry’s Tasting Barn dates back to the 1920s. You can still see the original barn wood that silently connects you to a bygone past. Serenberry Vineyards offers a wide range of wines to satisfy a variety of palettes. The winery is open all year, Thursday through Sunday. Whether you choose to relax on the patio or stroll through the vineyard with a glass of your favorite wine, you can take in nature the way it was meant to be — one sip at a time!
Blue Ridge BreweryBrew Pub • Craft Beer Brewery • Live Music
This small brew pub in downtown Blue Ridge, Georgia, is open limited hours and has limited seating, so be sure to call ahead for reservations. When you do, you’ll be greeted with delicious food, weekly specials and, of course, brewed-in-house craft beer specialties!
Cartecay VineyardsTasting Barn • Events • Live Music
Cartecay is a Cherokee word, which means “Bread Valley.” The land that Cartecay Vineyards sits on was originally a working farm (circa 1890) that grew corn and hay, grazed cattle, and raised hogs and mules. When the folks of Cartecay Vineyards bought the farm in 2007, it had been inactive for a long time, and was quite overgrown. Now the vineyard features nearly 13 acres of planted vineyards, including: Merlot, Vidal Blanc, Traminette, Norton, Catawba and Cabernet Sauvignon. When you visit Cartecay in the mountains of North Georgia, you’ll find a Tasting Barn refurbished from the original 1890s barn. The chimney, featured in the logo, also dates to 1890 and sits in the same spot it did then. A patio surrounds the chimney where you can enjoy live music outside while tasting the wines. Be sure to take a walk over the small arched bridge and wonder through the vineyards. Cartecay Vineyards is part of the newly created Ellijay Wine Country group of five vineyards & wineries located about an hour’s drive north of Atlanta.
Chateau Meichtry Family Vineyard & WineryFamily Owned & Operated Vineyard & Winery • Events
Located in the beautiful beautiful foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Chateau Meichtry is a family owned and operated winery and vineyard. The rolling hills of North Georgia provide a perfect location for growing quality wine grapes, with a cool climate and fertile land. The story of Chateau Meichtry begins with Stephan Meichtry, who traveled to America in 1925 from the Switzerland. While he settled in Maspeth, New York, he brought with him his own root stock to begin growing vines in the New World. Some of this stock is now at the vineyard in Georgia, thanks to his daughter Doris and granddaughter Karin. Chateau Meichtry is part of the newly created Ellijay Wine Country group of five vineyards & wineries located about an hour’s drive north of Atlanta.
Crane Creek VineyardsTasting Room • Guest House • Culinary Events
Housed in the old Bryson farmhouse, the tasting room at Crane Creek Vineyards is intimate and charming. In fact, you’ll feel the sense of history as you make your way along the fieldstone path. Here, you can sample wines while browsing through the many gourmet food items. Eric and Deanne Seifarth invite you to pick up some crackers and dip to enjoy with a bottle of your favorite Crane Creek wine on the tasting room decks. You’ll also find great gift selections for your favorite wine lover — including books, wine carriers, picnic backpacks and wine savers. Crane Creek sits high in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia, just 3 miles from the small college town of Young Harris and nearby Brasstown Bald, the state’s highest peak. Thanks to a unique micro-climate — a combination of warm, dry summer days and cool mountain nights — plus well-drained mineral soils, the vineyard cultivates and harvests grapes that produce fragrant, complex wines. If you can’t make it to the vineyard itself, you can still pick up Crane Creek wines at many local and Atlanta-area shops. Or contact the vineyard to have some shipped to you if you live in Georgia or […]
Ellijay River VineyardsSmall Local Winery
One of the newer vineyards in North Georgia, Ellijay River Vineyards was established in 2010 on almost 20 acres of former crop land. The vineyard borders the Ellijay River in the scenic North Georgia mountains, in the Whitepath area of Gilmer County between the towns of Ellijay and Cherry Log. The elevation is about 1400 feet above sea level. The vineyard currently plants four varieties of wine grapes: Seyval Blanc, Voignier, Albarino and Merlot. Ellijay River Vineyards is part of the newly created Ellijay Wine Country group of five vineyards & wineries located about an hour’s drive north of Atlanta.
Engelheim VineyardsSmall Local Winery • Tasting Room • Live Music
Engelheim is German for “Angel Home.” However, the vineyard sits on North Georgia land that once belonged to the Cherokees. Gary and Jan Engel purchased the land in 2007, just a few years after Colonel Engel retired from the Army and wanted to follow their dream of growing wine grapes. They planted their first vines in 2009 and harvested their first vintage in 2011. Today, Engelheim Vineyards focuses on growing outstanding grapes to produce the highest quality of wines. Their objective is to give all glory to God while integrating their German heritage and Appalachian home. For the Engels, it’s all about quality of life and touching other lives. They have established the vineyards, a tasting lodge and the winery, and feature a beautiful venue space for weddings, parties and other events. Engelheim Vineyards is part of the newly created Ellijay Wine Country group of five vineyards & wineries located about an hour’s drive north of Atlanta.
Fainting Goat Vineyards & WineryBoutique Vineyard & Winery
As the folks at Fainting Goat say: Enjoy Earth. Enjoy Life. Enjoy People. While you won’t find any fainting goats (or any goats, for that matter) at this little vineyard and winery in North Georgia, you fill find award-winning wines and a beautiful view. This boutique vineyard is nestled up against the southeast side of Burnt Mountain in picturesque Pickens County, Georgia. It’s a family owned vineyard and winery offering handcrafted wines grown from the finest certified French vines. The wine list boasts a range of full bodied reds, crisp, fruity whites and sweet blends, including silver medal winner 1812 (a Cabernet Sauvignon), bronze medal winner Old Glory (a Sauvignon Blanc) and Constitution, a 2013 Pinot Noir. Part of the newly created Ellijay Wine Country group of five vineyards & wineries located about an hour’s drive north of Atlanta.
Fannin Brewing CompanyCraft Beer Brewery • Tasting Events
The folks of Fannin Brewing Company chose Fannin County for two simple reasons: Fresh air and fresh water make for fresh beer.
Grumpy Old Men BrewingCraft Beer Brewery • Tasting Events
Grumpy Old Men Brewing was founded in 2012 by a couple of old retired guys who were home brewing in an outdoor shower and graduated to this. They are still having fun, which is why they are still open. Their corporate mission is simple: If we don’t like it, we don’t drink it. If we don’t drink it, we don’t sell it.
Hightower Creek VineyardsFarm Winery • Tasting Room • Live Music • Events
Hightower Creek Vineyards is a small, family-operated winery located east of Hiawassee in scenic North Georgia.
Odom Springs VineyardsFarm Winery • Tastings • Events
Odom Springs Vineyards is a family owned estate winery located just outside Blairsville, Georgia, in the rolling hills of Union County in North Georgia.