Courtesy of Chateau Elan
With its long growing season, cool nights, and—according to the Winegrowers Association of Georgia—soil composition similar to that of Italy’s Piedmont region, North Georgia is rapidly distinguishing itself as a wine destination. There is no better time to plan a grape-centric getaway than fall, when blazing foliage makes a picturesque backdrop and lower temps practically require bringing home a bottle to enjoy by the fire.
The farmstay: Cabin in the Vines, Cavender Creek Vineyards
Just steps away from the grapevines at Dahlonega’s Cavender Creek Vineyards sits a restored two-bedroom log cabin from the 1820s, relocated from Tennessee and outfitted for modern times in tasteful vintage style. Sip a glass of Petit Manseng or Norton made onsite in front of one of the cabin’s two wood-burning fireplaces or on one of its three porches. For a wider sample of area wines, visit Frogtown Cellars, Three Sisters Vineyards, and Wolf Mountain Vineyards, all located less than a ten-minute drive away. cavendercreekvineyards.com/cabininthevines
The estate: Château Élan
Braselton’s expansive golf, spa, and wine retreat planted its first vines three decades ago and recently refocused its efforts around producing award-winning vintages from muscadines grown on premises along with imported grapes. The resort will hold its 19th annual Vineyard Fest on November 8, featuring tastings of 75-plus domestic, international, and regional wines as well as craft beers; cooking and wine seminars; cuisine from locally grown produce; live music; and grape stomping. Overnight packages for the Sunday event start at $279. chateauelan.com
The B&B: Beechwood Inn
Beechwood Inn bills itself as “Georgia’s premier wine country inn,” and for good reason. The husband and wife who own it grew up among the vineyards of Northern California and have major wine cred (she served as president of the American Wine Society, he as its general counsel). Enjoy a complimentary glass of one of the inn’s own wines, including a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Chardonnay, at the daily “Wine-Thirty” event, or select from more than 400 small-batch varieties from around the world in the Wine Spectator–recognized cellar. Located in Clayton near Black Rock Mountain, Beechwood Inn is also convenient to Tiger Mountain and Stonewall Creek vineyards. beechwoodinn.ws