food · Things To See & Do

Pour Yourself a Glass and Stay Awhile

“Wine makes every meal an occasion, every table more elegant, every day more civilized.”

― Andre Simon

So if you haven’t realized it already, this whole post is going to be wine related. More specifically, about two wineries here in Georgia that transport you to Europe without a passport. Anyone who knows me is aware that I have a love/love relationship with wine. If I want to feel a little fancy, wine is there. If I want to sob about my day after a double shift, wine is there. Do I drink it every day? No, but there’s at least a weekly bottle visit.

Wine has been around since the dawn of freakin’ time with the earliest known winery that opened its doors 6,100 years ago and the earliest known grape fermented drink came out of China around 7000 BC. So yeah, we go way back. It was served casually, at gatherings, and hell, if you believe in it, the Bible claims Jesus turned water to wine at a wedding. He knew how to party.

Still in heavy consumption today, the wine industry is massive with over 900,000,000 gallons of it produced in 2017. While the US is only 12% of the world’s wine productions, we have the most drinkers of it according to WineAmerica.com. Take that Italy. I’m not surprised though, wineries are a huge attraction. Even in here in Georgia. We’ve got a nice 60 wineries to choose from that bring in a hefty number of tourists. For me, two particular wineries stand out. Chateau Elan in Braselton and Montaluce in Dahlonega. From the moment you enter either property, it’s like you’ve been whisked away to a vineyard in France or Italy.

We’re gonna start with my favorite because it tugs at my childhood. Montaluce Winery.

The building itself screams villa in Tuscany. It’s probably one of my favorite buildings in Georgia. If you’re going to go, get in early for wine tasting, but make sure you have reservations for a meal here. The food is exquisite.

If you’re just there for a wine tasting, do yourself a favor and order a cheese and charcuterie board. Not only is it pretty as hell, the selections are fantastic and all locally sourced. I’d also suggest the Mediterranean plate, which has hummus, tzatziki, and house made pita, and a tapenade. All excellent choices.

If it’s warm and weather permitting, definitely sit on the upstairs patio for your wine tasting fun. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see one of the most spectacular sunsets in Georgia.

They even have freaky Italian trees. No, Sandra Oh isn’t included with your wine tasting. Sorry. Maybe if you’re actually in Tuscany.

Moving on to the main event, the food. Now they do have a seasonal menu, so what you have will not be what I’ve had so far. Or maybe they’ll bring back something popular. Not sure. But when I went in 2018, I stayed on the lighter side and had a salad with their butternut squash soup which was to die for.

This year, Alex and I went for our anniversary last month and decided to have brunch (I mean of course we did, y’all know we brunch hard by now). I had the steak and eggs, which was amazing, however, it was one of the very rare occasions that I had food envy. My darling husband ordered the pimento grilled cheese with a bacon and potato soup (if I remember correctly). I just can’t even describe how good it was. Drool. Worthy.

Y’all, I cannot stress enough that if you are in Georgia, you should take a trip out there. It’s worth every minute. You can also rent a villa and just stay the whole weekend. Come on now, who doesn’t want to stay in a Tuscan inspired villa?

Now, jumping into the next winery: Chateau Elan Winery and Resort.

One of my favorite things about it is how conveniently located it is. Just off of 85 in Braselton, it is an iconic site. I can tell how long it’s going to take you to get to me just by telling me you’re passing it. All jokes aside, Chateau Elan has a lot to brag about. While I haven’t seen it, they just completed a multi-million dollar renovation that I’ve heard is spectacular. From their award winning wines to the award winning luxury resort, it’s a wonderful way to spend a day or a weekend. They even have an Irish pub that was designed, built, and furnished in Ireland before being shipped to the property here in the states.

Now I haven’t stayed the night or had a full meal at Chateau Elan, but I do plan to eventually. I have, however, had a few bottles of wine in the main winery that was featured in the first photo, and of course…it included a cheese plate.

Once we had our fill of wine, us girls hopped down to Paddy’s for dessert and even more drinks. I don’t remember what they had…but it probably has to do with the amount of “Irish Roses” I had. We ordered three desserts to share and they were all delicious.

So there we have it, my two favorite wineries and you probably looking at your calendar wondering when you can get out there. I don’t blame you. I actually planned a trip to Paddy’s this weekend as I wrote this post. Do you have a favorite winery? Let me know in the comments and as usual, travel well and travel often!

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