Do you consider yourself a wine connoisseur? If so, don’t miss the variety of vineyards, festivals and wine education available in Georgia.
Travel down Georgia’s Wine Highway
One of the best ways to discover northern Georgia wineries is to take a drive down Georgia’s Wine Highway, which is sponsored by the Winegrowers Association of Georgia. Enjoy tastings and tours at 10 member wineries: Blackstock Vineyards in Dahlonega, Chateau Elan Winery in Braselton, Crane Creek Vineyards in Young Harris, Frogtown Cellers in Dahlonega, Habersham Winery in Helen, Montaluce Winery in Dahlonega, Persimmon Creek Winery in Clayton, Sharp Mountain Vineyards in Jasper, Tiger Mountain Vineyards in Tiger, and Wolf Mountain Vineyards in Dahlonega. Visit www.georgiawine.com for more information.
The 2012 Georgia Fine Wine Festival takes place June 9 and 10 and features more than 60 wines from a dozen Georgia vineyards. Along with the wine sipping, enjoy live jazz music, arts and crafts, and a petting zoo for the kids. That’s just a sampling of what’s on tap. Tickets are $30 per person each day. Call 706-219-2789, ext. 223 to buy tickets or learn more about the festival at www.bsvw.com/georgia_fine_wine_festival.shtml.
Head to class
The Atlanta Wine School in Roswell features a class on wines and cheeses on June 21 from 7-9 p.m. Michael Bryan leads this class as he navigates students to an understanding of what makes a superior wine and cheese pairing. This class is offered at different times throughout the year. None of the pairings are duplicated, so the class is fresh each time for repeat participants. Check out www.atlantawineschool.com/shop/Wines-Cheeses.html for more.
For those seeking professional knowledge of wines, head to the Vineyard Wine Market Academy in Atlanta. It’s the home of the International Sommelier Guild in Georgia, which offers the only sommelier certification course accredited by the Georgia Board of Education. Course programs include Wine Fundamentals I, Wine Fundamentals II and a Sommelier Diploma Program. Find details at www.internationalsommelier.com.
Head to the aquarium
The Georgia Aquarium hosts a special wine event on November 8. It’s the seventh annual Aqua Vino and features celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck. Participants will have the chance to sample more than 200 wines from around the world along with live music, a wine auction and gourmet fare from Atlanta restaurants. Proceeds from this event support the aquarium’s veterinary services. Admission is restricted to 21 and over. Additional information is available at www.georgiaaquarium.org/aquavino.
History reveals that Georgia came in sixth among grape producers in 1900, but by 1907 Georgia banned alcohol — ahead of national prohibition by more than 10 years. Today, the wine industry is growing and thriving in Georgia.