Tag Archives: Wineries

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North Georgia Wine Country

Did you know that Blairsville-Union County is part of an official American Viticultural Area (AVA)? You’ve probably heard of AVA’s before, but just didn’t realize exactly what it encompassed. Are you familiar with names like Napa Valley and Sonoma in California or maybe you’ve heard of Martha’s Vineyard or the Finger Lakes region? In a nutshell, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau defines specific regions that are distinguishable by a unique natural boundary and growing conditions unlike any other neighboring region. For us, that region is the Upper Hiwassee Highlands AVA region which includes parts of Clay County and Cherokee County in North Carolina and Towns and Union Counties in Georgia. The Upper Hiwassee Highlands AVA region makes the fourth designation for North Carolina and the first ever for Georgia!

An American Viticultural Area designation is not an easy process and they are not freely given out. It took a group of dedicated wine growers, spearheaded by Eric Carlson of Calaboose Cellars, four years of paperwork, petitions, and substantial evidence that Western North Carolina and Northeast Georgia features the Upper Hiwassee Watershed as a perfect natural boundary and has growing conditions unlike any other neighboring region for the eight wineries that fall into the Upper Hiwassee Highlands AVA.

So, what does this mean to the wineries? It means that each vineyard in the Upper Hiwassee Highlands has a way to point vintners and consumers to a special characteristic or overall quality of grapes grown in the region.  Additionally, they have permission to use a tag on their label called an appellation of origin, which proudly states the wine was made in the Upper Hiwassee Highlands region.

The vineyards that are included in the region are:

Clay County: Eagle Fork Vineyards

Cherokee County: Calaboose Cellars, Valley River Vineyards, and Nottely River Valley Vineyards

Towns County: Crane Creek Vineyards, Hightower Creek Vineyards

Union County: Paradise Hills Farm Winery, Odom Springs Vineyards

Having the AVA designation assures wine enthusiasts of a product’s quality and characteristics. So, take a ride around and get to know the wines of your region. Most vineyards offer tastings and typically have music or other fun events as you sniff, sample, and enjoy each unique vintage.

For a full listing of wineries or other activities in Union County and the North Georgia Mountains please stop by The Welcome Center located in the Union County Community Center at 129 Union County Recreation Road, call 706-745-5789, email tourism@blairsvillechamber.com or visit us online at www.VisitBlairsvilleGa.com.

 

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Blairsville-Union County Wine Country

One of the things that makes us one of the best-kept secrets in the Southeast is our fabulous wineries. As an American Viticultural Area (AVA), our area has the same designation and soil quality as prestigious wine communities like Sonoma and Napa Valley. But it’s not just the soil that make Blairsville-Union County’s Wine Country so special, it’s also the hard work and attention to detail of the wineries in providing their guests with unique experiences as well as exceptional wine. Come and see for yourself…

Learn more about the wineries and distilleries in Blairsville-Union County here.

Odom Springs

Local Wineries & Distilleries

For those who enjoy the occasional drink, the kind that’s a bit stronger than good ole’ sweet tea, there are a number of fantastic wineries and distilleries in the Blairsville-Union County area. Establishments like these are uniquely suited to thrive here, as our area was recently named an American Viticultural Area (AVA) – a distinction carried by regions like Napa Valley and Sonoma. Most of the vineyards frequently host fun events and live music, so there’s plenty to do while you visit. From whiskey with deep roots in the area’s history to luxury vineyards & resorts with European flare, there’s something to suit everyone’s tastes. Here are a few of the vineyards and distilleries close by:

Granddaddy Mimms Moonshine Distillery
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Odom Springs Vineyards
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Paradise Hills
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Hightower Creek
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Crane Creek
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Learn more about the wineries & distilleries in Blairsville-Union County here.

OS Grapes

First AVA Designation in Georgia

Locals have known for a while, but now it’s official. There is great wine coming out of North Georgia.

After four years of paperwork, petitions, and substantial evidence that Western North Carolina and Northeast Georgia has a unique natural boundary and growing conditions unlike any other neighboring region, an American Viticultural Area (AVA) known as Upper Hiwassee Highlands was designated to our region.

This prestigious designation includes parts of Clay County and Cherokee County in North Carolina and Towns and Union Counties in Georgia. The Upper Hiwassee Watershed acts perfectly as the natural boundary for the eight wineries that fall into the Upper Hiwassee Highlands AVA.

An American Viticultural Area designation is not an easy process and they are not freely given out. Regulations require only wine that derives 85% or more of their content inside the boundaries of a designated AVA can use the AVA name.

The majority of AVAs are located in California with notorious names like Napa Valley and Sonoma. The Upper Hiwassee Highlands region makes the fourth designation for North Carolina and the first ever for Georgia!

So, what does this mean to the wineries?

It means that each vineyard in the Upper Hiwassee Highlands has a way to point vintners and consumers to a special characteristic or overall quality of grapes grown in the region.  

Additionally, they have permission to use a tag on their label called an appellation of origin, which proudly states the wine was made in the Upper Hiwassee Highlands region. Having the AVA designation assures wine enthusiasts of a product’s quality and characteristics.

So, take a ride around and get to know the wines of your region. Most vineyards offer tastings and typically have music or other fun events as you sniff, sample, and enjoy each unique vintage. Paradise Hills Farm Winery also has a resort and spa onsite, perfect for a North Georgia getaway.  

For a full listing of wineries or other activities in Union County and the North Georgia Mountains please go to www.VisitBlairsvilleGa.com.

Vineyards included in the Upper Hiwassee Highlands region:
Clay County Eagle Fork Vineyard
Cherokee County Calaboose Cellars, Valley River Vineyards, Nottlely River Valley Vineyards
Towns County Crane Creek Vineyards, Hightower Creek Vineyards
Union County Paradise Hills Farm Winery, Odom Springs Vineyards