Standing next to a wine barrel at Yonah Mountain Vineyards
Journey,  North Georgia,  Revel,  Wine

How to Prepare for a Trip to North Georgia Wine Country

North Georgia has excellent wineries. Yes, I am talking about the U.S. state of Georgia, not the country.

Here, you will find breathtaking views, comfortable tasting rooms, and wine for days.

I have visited many of the wineries, and have learned a few tips and tricks I would like to share with you before you venture out on your own North Georgia wine country excursion.

1. Safety First

I could not continue any further without saying, safety first. Before you go out on your adventure, make sure you either have a designated driver, have arranged transportation, or are taking a wine tour bus.

Depending on the route you take, some wineries are spread out from one another, and you will be driving on winding, two-lane mountain roads.

The cell phone service is also hit or miss, mostly miss, so as long as the wineries have Wi-Fi, you might be able to hail an Uber or Lyft, but ride-shares out in the country are few and far between, so please heed that caution before planning your day.

Be safe. There is a lot of fun to be had, but even a few tastings can catch up with you.

Some Wine Tour Buses to Check Out

Glass of rose wine from Fainting goat vineyards with mountains in background
Glass of rosé wine from Fainting Goat Vineyards near Jasper, Georgia.

2. Check the Tasting Room Hours Before You Go

When out in the North Georgia wine country, prepare to day drink. Some wineries will close as early as 5:00 p.m., while others may stay open until 8:00 p.m. or 9:00 p.m. on weekends during summer months.

Most are not open seven days a week, so if you are going out on a Monday or Tuesday, do your research in advance.

Write down the hours of the wineries you want to visit in case you lose cell phone service while you are out and about.

seyval blanc grapes from chateau meichtry winery
Seyval blanc varietal vines at Chateau Meichtry.

3. Pack a Cooler

Before you head out to North Georgia wine country, pack a cooler with water and food.

Some wineries will have food trucks on weekends, while others may serve food or light bites like charcuterie boards.

Many wineries will allow you to bring your own snacks and picnic, especially if they don’t have a full kitchen.

It is also nice to have a cooler with food ready because there are so many scenic spots to stop at in between wineries.

Things I like to pack in a cooler for wine country include:

  • Sub sandwiches
  • Crackers and smoked gouda cheese dip
  • Grapes
  • Apples and peanut butter
  • Popcorn
  • Lots of water

Out in most areas of North Georgia wine country, there are no fast food places to drive through, and most of the restaurants are in the small towns.

tucker cavender creek winery dog
Cavender Creek winery dog.

4. Check if a Winery is Pet Friendly

While there are plenty of wineries that will welcome your fur baby with open arms, not all wineries are pet friendly.

A few wineries have farm animals or farm dogs that rule the roost and may not be welcoming to your dog. Call ahead before you go.

If you do bring your pup, be sure to bring water or a refillable bowl, and maybe some food too, if you plan on being out all day.

5. Don’t Try to Do All of the Wineries in One Day

If you are set on winery-hopping without a pro-guided tour, three is probably a solid number of wineries to hit in a day.

Prepare to be flexible – you could end up spending thirty minutes at one winery, and three hours at the next. Whether it’s the view, the vibe, or the live entertainment, you never know what might put you off or draw you in.

glass of white wine from the Cottage Vineyard
Glass of Viognier from The Cottage Vineyard & Winery.

6. Write Down the Wines You Like

Take a picture of the tasting menu, or put a note in your phone when you find a wine you like. If you do a lot of tastings, all of the wines will eventually blur together.

Making a note of the wine name, varietal, and year will help you to circle back if you want to purchase a bottle.

glass of red wine with yonah mountain in background at yonah mtn vineyard
Enjoying Yonah Mountain Vineyard’s annual Crush Fest event.

7. Know the Extra Draws of Each Winery

Some wineries put on regular events that will make you want to come back again and again.

For example, Wolf Mountain Vineyards offers an excellent Sunday brunch. Yonah Mountain Vineyards puts on a monthly reserve wine tasting. Cavender Creek offers wine slushies and friendly, furry hosts. The Cottage Vineyard presents a Jesus n’ Jeans sermon on Sundays.

There is something for everyone – so research what events are going on at each winery before you plan your visit.

In Conclusion

  1. Safety First
  2. Check the Hours of Operation Before You Go
  3. Pack a Cooler
  4. Check if the Winery is Pet Friendly
  5. Don’t Overdo It in One Day
  6. Write Down the Wines You Like
  7. Know the Extra Draws of Each Winery

And of course, have fun! When you visit these North Georgia wineries, you are supporting local businesses and local families who have a passion for wine and a love of the region.

Have You Visited a North Georgia Winery?

If you have visited a North Georgia winery and have other tips to add, drop them in the comments!

Thanks for reading, Jenna. @DigitalMolt

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