Label Love: Sierra Batuco Carmenere

I just started a job as a server at a country club, and the wine list is impressive. Of course, I had to explore the wine list for myself…and I came across Sierra Batuco Reserva Carménère.

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This is a red wine from Chile; a full-bodied oak-aged wine with structure and exciting complexity. With aromas of white pepper and dry leaves, the taste opens up to a rich blackberry/raspberry flavor. The Carménère has a very smooth and satisfying finish, with just a hint of vanilla on the end. If you want a complex “fill your mouth” kind of wine, I highly recommend you give this one a try. I’ve enjoyed it with beef, or it would also be wonderful with lamb. Bottles are available at most wine or liquor stores. A 750ml bottle will cost between $13-$15, which is a fantastic price.

Until next time, Happy Sipping!

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Label Love: 3 Mile White

This week I chose to feature one of my favorite local wines. I haven’t reviewed Currahee Winery yet, but we have enjoyed going there for years. The 3 Mile White from Currahee Vineyards & Winery is by far one of my favorite semi-sweet white wines. This wine comes from Toccoa, Georgia, near Currahee Mountain. The back label reads:

“From the prehistoric Mound Builders, to the Cherokee, to the 506th Airborne Infantry Regiment running ‘3 miles up, 3 miles down’, Currahee Mountain has witnessed it all. Now ol’ Currahee watches over the sun-kissed Georgia Muscadines growing at its feet. We invite you to taste our wine, gaze at the mountain and become a part of the Currahee story”

3 Mile White has an extremely aromatic nose of muscadine, a locally grown grape. Slightly more dry than most muscadine wines, this taste is light and refreshing. It tastes like you’re eating muscadines right off the vine! It’s fresh, fruity, and slightly sweet.

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If you’re aren’t from or around Georgia, you can order this wine online at Currahee Vineyards-3 Mile White. It’s only $15! Such a great deal for a little taste of the South. Until next time, Happy Sipping!

 

Winery Review: Stonewall Creek Vineyards

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Stonewall Creek Vineyards

Stonewall Creek Vineyards are in Tiger, Georgia. There must be something in the soil in Rabun County, because last week I reviewed Tiger Mountain Vineyards, which isn’t far down the road. Stonewall Creek winery is nestled in a small valley, and is run by the Fackler family. They started growing grapes in 2011, and selling wine in 2012, so they are a fairly young winery. The tasting room is quite small, but there is a large patio area with amazing views.

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Tasting area

Stonewall Creek has 4 of their own wines, along with 2 wines made from grapes at a nearby farm. Their wine selections change based on how their grapes grow. But these were the wines available currently. Wine tastings are $6 for 3 wines, or $10 for all 6 wines.

The Wine

  • Yukari (2016)– the Yukari is a dry rosé made from a blend of 4 grapes (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot). Great crisp and light flavor, perfect for summer. $20 bottle
  • Boriana (2016)– made from Petit Manseng grapes, this dry white wine has an un-oaked (aged in stainless steel barrels) full-bodied flavor. Hints of lemon and lime, and great with seafood. $30 bottle
  • Cabernet Franc (2014)– aged in French oak barrels for a year, this red wine is dry and rich in flavor. Won Best Red Wine made by Georgia grapes (2014). $27 bottle
  • Malbec (2015)– this dry red wine in full-bodied with a smooth finish. Perfect with steak or pasta. Similar to a French Malbec. $22 bottle

  • Norton (2015)– a dark grape, full of tannin, and only found in the United States. Aged in oak barrels for a year, this is a deep red wine. $25 bottle
  • Whitetail Petit (2016)– a semi-sweet white wine made from Petit Manseng grapes. Perfect “sipping” wine, but also great with cheese or dessert. $22 bottle

After our tasting, my husband and I each bought a glass of our favorite and went to the patio to drink and enjoy the view. My husband chose the Malbec (no surprise there!) and I chose the Whitetail Petit. Wine by the glass ranges between $7-$10. Our tasting room attendant brought us some complimentary popcorn to enjoy, which was nice.

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Another great aspect of Stonewall Creek is their tasting rooms. Not only do they offer tastings at their vineyard in Tiger, but they also have a tasting room in Sautee Nacoochee and Dahlonega, Georgia.

Stonewall Creek Vineyards (Tiger, Ga)

APRIL & MAY
Saturday, 11:30 AM – 5 PM, & Sunday, 1-5 PM.

JUNE – NOVEMBER
Thursday, Friday, Sunday, Monday, 1-5 PM, & Saturday, 11:30 AM – 5 PM.

Sautee Tasting Room (at InsideOut Sautee)

2454 Highway 17 | Sautee, GA 30571 | 706.878.0144

Open Year Round 

Monday – 11 AM – 6 PM
Thursday – 11 AM – 6 PM
Friday – 11 AM – 6 PM
Saturday – 11 AM – 6 PM
Sunday – 12:30 – 5 PM

Closed Tuesday & Wednesday during winter.

Naturally Georgia
Crane Creek Tasting Room
94 Public Square North | Dahlonega, GA, 30533 | 706.864.0832

Open Year Round

  • Monday –        12-6 PM
  • Tuesday –       Closed
  • Wednesday – Closed
  • Thursday –     12-6 PM
  • Friday –          11 AM -8 PM
  • Saturday –      11 AM -8 PM
  • Sunday –         12:30-6 PM

Stonewall Creek is a wonderful place for an afternoon trip. They also offer events throughout the year, such as the Summer Solstice Party, Total Eclipse Pre-Party, and a Harvest Stomp. Stonewall Creek is quaint and beautiful, with wonderful wine and very kind, knowledgable employees. We look forward to going back in the future. Happy Sipping!

 

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Another view from the patio

 

Winery Review: Tiger Mountain Vineyards

Just up the road from Tallulah Falls, you will find the quaint town of Tiger, Georgia. This past Saturday, my husband and I took a trip to Tiger Mountain Vineyards, a winery and restaurant nestled beside Tiger Mountain. Owned by two couples, this winery is welcoming and unique in many ways.

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The tasting room is filled with numerous awards and articles about Tiger Mountain wines. These people know their stuff. One aspect of the tasting room that I enjoyed was being surrounded by all the wine barrels.

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Tasting room

A tasting is $7, and you try 8 different wines.

We tasted the Petit Manseng, White Tiger, Malbec, Mountain Cyn, Rosé, Norton, Tannat, and Rabun Red. Each wine was totally different from the next, and they each had complex flavors. My favorite was the Rosé, which was made with mostly Cabernet Franc grapes. This crisp, semi-dry would be the perfect compliment to a variety of foods, but can also be enjoyed on its own. My husband had two favorites: White Tiger and the Malbec. The White Tiger is a special blend of sweet and savory, using Petit Manseng and Viognier grapes. Perfect for a summer day, especially if you like dryer whites.


Winery Information:

  • Tasting room hours are: May-November, Sunday- Friday (1pm to 5pm) and Saturday (11am to 6pm). December- April, Friday & Sunday (1pm to 5pm) and Saturday (11am to 5pm)
  • $7 glasses of wine, or buy by the bottle
  • Reservations for private parties and events are accepted
  • Tiger Mountain hold multiple events throughout the year featuring local musicians and their award-winning chef
  • Their Sweet Petit won “Best Dessert Wine in Georgia” in 2016
  • Red Barn Café Hours: Friday – 5:00-9:00; Saturday – 11:30 – 3:00, 5:00 – 9:00;
    Sunday – 11:30 – 3:30


After our tasting, we each got a glass of our favorite (Rosé for me, Malbec for Eric) and took the gravel path up to the winery’s restaurant “Red Barn Cafe”.

 

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75 year old barn transformed into a cafe

Sitting on the patio of the “Red Barn Cafe”, you have a spectacular view of the vines and Tiger Mountain. With such peaceful scenery and delicious wine, we decided to indulge in a cheese board. The platter had two cheeses, fresh peaches, a sunflower granola, and radishes– it was perfect.

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Cheese board at the Red Barn Cafe

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Vineyard views from the patio of the Red Barn Cafe

It goes without saying, but we will definitely be back here. The tasting attendant and servers were kind and knowledgeable, and you can’t beat that view. The wine is the icing on the cake, each so unique and flavorful. If you ever find yourself near Tallulah Falls or Clayton, give this winery a try.  Happy sipping!

 

Wine Getaway: Lookout Winery

This weekend, my husband and I decided at the last minute to get out of town for a couple of days. We drove to Chattanooga, TN and spent Saturday and Sunday relaxing on a riverboat, eating delicious food, and of course…drinking wine.

While this blog mostly features North Georgia wine, this gem of a winery in Guild, Tennessee just has to be written about.

Inside the tasting room

The Lookout Winery boasts beautiful views, wine from California grapes, and handmade Italian pizza. We shared a tasting of all the wines, rating them on a 1 to 5 star scale. The owner talked us through the tasting. He was personable and quite proud of his wine.

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Wine tasting list

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Our bottle of Margherita (Marguerita)

After trying all the extremely unique and flavorful wine, my husband and I decided to buy a bottle and enjoy a pizza on the back deck. I prefer white wine and my husband prefers red…so naturally, we settled on a rosé called Marguarita. This wine was a 50/50 blend of moscato and pinot noir. Delicious and not too sweet, the bottle of Marguarita paired perfectly with our wood-fired pizza. Our pizza we chose was half “Tuscany” (prosciutto and sausage) and half “Prosciutto con pineapple”. Honestly I can say that this was the best pizza I had ever had. We ate the entire thing.

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Our pizza and a sneak peek of the view

I could go into more detail about the pizza, but this is a wine blog. As well as our pizza and wine, we also splurged (even more) and got tiramisu. There are no pictures of the tiramisu because we ate it so fast. Just trust me…it was smooth and creamy, and went perfect with our last sips of wine. Oh yeah! and the views! I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned the beautiful view of the Tennessee river! Sitting on the back deck, we had the perfect view of the mountains and river.

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So if you’re in the Chattanooga area, go visit this wonderful treat of a winery. We hope to go back, it was just too good to leave behind. Happy sipping!

 

 

Winery Review: The Cottage Vineyard

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For my first official (am I official?) winery review, I chose to start with my favorite local winery. The Cottage Vineyard & Winery is located in Cleveland, Georgia off Hwy 129 North. This family owned winery is laid-back, inviting, and the views are incredible. The winery overlooks acres of beautiful farm land, with mountains just peering over the top.

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I could sit out all day drinking wine and staring at that view.

The Cottage is open 7 days a week from 11:55 am to 6:02 pm (I love that there are no real set times….Just “wine time”), and on Saturdays they are open until 9 pm, with live music every Saturday.

Helpful Information:

  • 5 tastings for $8, 8 tastings for $12 (this is so inexpensive, it’s fantastic!)
  • For the non-wine drinkers, they offer craft beers from Georgia breweries.
  • You can BRING YOUR OWN FOOD. Pack a picnic lunch or bring to-go plates from your favorite restaurant. Papa John’s even delivers to the winery! Seriously, there are very few wineries that allow this.
  • Along with their own wines, they also feature 5 wines from Currahee Winery in Toccoa, Georgia.
  • On the weekends, The Cottage sells gourmet cheese plates from Betty’s Country Store in Helen, Ga. They sell out within the first few hours, because they’re so delicious and a great price.
  • They offer cigars for those who…enjoy smoking cigars.
  • On Sundays at 10:30 am, they have a worship service called “Jeans & Jesus”. I mean, come on! Could this place get ANY BETTER?

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Now, on to the wine! Keep in mind that these are my opinions, not necessarily the opinions of general public. I’m no professional.

The Cottage has 12 of their own wines available to drink and buy. If you ever visit The Cottage, these are the wines I recommend you give a try:

  • The wine they are most known for is Baby Doll Legs. It’s a semi-sweet rosé that gives off some serious grapefruit vibes. Too sweet for my taste, but my mother really enjoys it. It’s a light summery wine, great for a girls’ day by the pool.
  • My favorite is the Vidal Blanc, an “off- dry” wine with just the perfect amount of fruity sweetness. I buy a bottle of this every time we visit. It’s pairs perfectly with seafood or chicken, but it also has enough citrus flavor to be enjoyed on its own.
  • When it comes to red wine, I’m pretty particular about what I like. I highly recommend the Meritage Reserve. This earthy, fruity blend of 4 wines is smooth and sultry. I love this wine with dark chocolate…it’s just so rich in flavor.
  • My husband is a red drinker. He prefers full-bodied wines. His favorite is the Merlot. This wine has a dark berry and deep earthy undertones. Not for everyone, but he definitely enjoys this Merlot the most.
  • I can’t end this post without mentioning the Reserve Chardonnay (limited release). This wine….whoa. It’s very crisp and almost tastes like you’re biting into a granny smith apple. The flavor is so satisfying. I see this wine paired with seasonal veggies and a bowl of fettuccine alfredo, but also enjoyed on its own. I’m not sure how long this wine will be out, so run and try it!
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Full wine menu

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View from the tasting room

I think that about covers it. I can’t wait to explore more wineries and wine for you! This is going to be so much fun! Of course, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to comment below or send me a message. Happy Sipping!

-LeAnne