There’s Gold And Wine In Them Thar Hills!

Actually, Dahlonega Mint assayer, Dr. M. F. Stephenson was misquoted. What he really said that day in 1849, standing on the courthouse steps was, “There’s millions in it!” as he tried his best to persuade miners they should stay in Dahlonega instead of heading out west to California where another famous gold rush was underway at the time.

A few weeks ago some friends and I headed up to the north Georgia mountains to Dahlonega, a little town famous for being the site of the first major gold rush in the United States in 1828. Ever wonder what gold looks like in its natural state. I found this photo on Wikipedia and this is an actual piece of gold ore from a Dahlonega mine. Looks impossible to get the gold out, doesn’t it?

Gold From Dahlonega  Georgia

 

You can still pan for gold on a visit to Dahlonega but most folks visiting this scenic, quaint, mountain town are there to enjoy a quick getaway from the big city life of metro Atlanta, do a little antiquing and enjoy some of the areas wine tasting tours. These days there’s a lot more grape growing and wine making going on than gold mining.

On this trip to Dahlonega, we did a wine tasting in town. I’ve forgotten the name of the store where we did that but we had our picture taken while there. Then we headed out to the surrounding countryside to soak up the views and visit some of our favorite wineries.

Friends

My favorite of all the wineries in the area is Wolf Mountain Vineyards.

Wolf Mountain Vineyards

 

Whenever I visit Wolf with friends, we always have dinner in their restaurant. The food is always good!

Lunch at Wolf Mountain Vineyards

 

Besides the food, the best part of dining at Wolf is the view from the deck. This was my view from the table where we were sitting.

Wolf Mountain Vineyards View Of Mountains For Deck

 

Wolf Mountain Vineyards

 

See the house down there on the left? I’m pretty sure that’s where the owners of Wolf Mountain Vineyards live.

Wolf Mountain Vineyards View From Deck

 

After we finished our meal, we walked around the whole winery and I snapped this picture of the back of the home.

Wolf Mountain Vineyards Dahlonega Georgia 03

 

As you walk around Wolf, you see lots of vineyards, of course. I snapped a few pics of the ones closest to the entrance of the restaurant.

Wolf Mountain Vineyards

 

The grapes were covered by nets, I guess to keep the birds, squirrels and other critters from helping themselves to a tasty treat.

Growing Grapes For Wine in Dahlonega Georgia

 

Let’s take a closer look at the grapes.

Grapes on the Vine at Wolf Winery Daholonega

 

The red clay soil, elevation, steep hills and low-humidity climate in north Georgia are great for growing grapes at the five wineries in this area.

Grapes on Vine at Wolf Mountain Vineyards

 

Apparently, this is where the grapes are initially processed. The sign says, “Crush Pad.”

Crush Pad at Wolf Winery in Dahlonega

 

As we walked around the property, I snapped a bunch of pics to share with you. This is a view of the main building that houses the crush pad, the restaurant where we ate, the bar area where you can partake in a wine tasting, the store where they sell their wines and a small gift shop where you can buy t-shirts and assorted wine goodies.

It is lovely inside with lots of beautiful woodwork and a massive stone fireplace. I would love to have taken photos inside but we were there on a weekend and it was packed with visitors.

Wolf Mountain Vineyards Dahlonega Georgia 11

 

The area you see on the right with the hanging plants…that’s the large deck where we sat during lunch, right along the outer rail. The photos you saw toward the beginning of this post were taken from that deck. The views from there are amazing, pictures don’t do it justice. I’m not sure when they added those windows on the deck. I don’t remember them from my last visit to Wolf.

Wolf Mountain Vineyards Dahlonega Georgia 14

 

After we left Wolf Mountain Vineyards….

Wolf Weather Vane at Wolf Mountain Vineyards Dahlonega Georgia

 

…we headed over to Three Sisters Vineyards.

Three Sisters Vineyard and Winery 1

 

Sooo pretty!

Three Sisters Vineyard and Winery 2

 

The vineyards of Three Sisters Vineyards…

Three Sisters Vineyard and Winery 3

 

What is it about an old red barn that says, “You must take my picture…you must!” So I did.

Red Barn, Three Sisters Vineyard Dahlonega Georgia

 

There’s a pretty little gazebo on the property, too. While we were inside the main building, I purchased a big plate of a dozen assorted truffles and we had chocolate with our wine. Actually, I just had water at Three sisters but the others had wine.

Gazebo at Three Sisters

 

After we left Three Sisters Vineyards, we stopped by Frogtown Cellars, another vineyard in the area. We visited their gift shop, then headed out to the deck you see off the back of their restaurant below.

Frogtown Vineyards

 

As we sipped our wine, this was the view.

Frogtown Vineyards Dahlonega Georgia

 

Dahlonega is a popular area for folks to retire to. Just looking at these pictures makes me want to move there now!

Frogtown Winery in Dahlonega

 

All the vineyards are popular places for weddings and book up way in advance.

View From Frogtime Winery in Dahlonega

 

If you ever find yourself in Georgia, take a trip to Dahlonega and tour all the vineyards. All the places I’ve shared today are located just minutes from each other. Β The views are spectacular and you will feel all the stress of the big city life melting away. Have you ever visited Dahlonega?




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Comments

  1. Elizabeth Savage says:

    Beautiful! I do love that area! Thanks for sharing!

  2. pam ~ crumpety cottage says:

    Hi Susan. It looks like you had a great time. The views alone are reason enough to visit! I’ve never been to Dahlonega and you’ve done a wonderful tourist ad for the area right here! In fact, I’ve never even heard of it, but these pictures sure are enticing. We have some vineyards in my area as well, but none of the ones I’ve visited are as nice as these, nor do they have restaurants. I’m glad you had fun. How could you not? Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure I’d be feeling nice and relaxed if I ‘visited’ 3 wineries in one afternoon! πŸ˜‰ Haha.

    • The views are spectacular! Go if you ever get the chance! It’s not as much wine as you might think. During the wine tastings, they only give you a teensy bit so it’s probably equal to about a glass. I didn’t like some of the wines in the wine tasting we did, so I gave them to my friends who did. So I probably drank about a 1/2 of a glass of wine at our first tasting. And then I didn’t have wine again until the very last winery, so for the whole day I had about a glass and a half. I was too busy taking pictures and soaking up the scenery.

      • pam ~ crumepty cottage says:

        Haha, you are SO good about taking pretty pictures to share. And you’ve become quite proficient at it. I love the idea of a girl’s day out at a winery or two, having lunch, enjoying the views and company. Sounds great!

  3. My husband and I used to make a trip to Dahlonega every fall. We usually hit a small festival and would enjoy that. (“Goldrush Days” are overwhelming, and parking is a zoo.) Our thing to do was to visit the Candy Shoppe on the square (hope it’s still there.) I would indulge in orange creams with dark chocolate. As a native I was always amazed to find the gold rush bug started right here in Georgia. Loved the vineyards–must visit one!

    • Sheila, I’ve never been during Gold Rush Days…when is that? I don’t like crowds so I think I’ll try to avoid it! πŸ™‚ I know, isn’t that amazing! I had no idea it started here until I visited Dahlonega the first time. I don’t think most people know that either. Yes, do visit the Vineyards. Wolf is the one I’ve visited the most and I love it!

  4. Vineyards never disappoint when it comes to beautiful scenery! Even if one doesn’t partake, it’s worth a visit just for that alone.

    One of my favorite vacations was to napa. The scenery was breathtaking and the food! Oh my! The best I’ve ever had, and that’s saying a lot coming from me (a total foodie).

    xxx

  5. Just beautiful! Looks like you had a wonderful time.

  6. Every bit as picturesque as Virginia’s. If we are ever in GA, this will be my #1 must see, so thanks for all the info.

  7. All such gorgeous views!

  8. I have actually been to Dahlonega and I loved going through the antique shops. It is such a picturesque town. It was back in 1996 when I was there and I don’t remember hearing about vineyards but doing a wine tasting trip sounds like such fun. I also love Helen, GA. That is a fun town to visit, too. It looks like you and your friends had a fun time. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Doreen Krajzel says:

    Hi Susan; What a lovely post! I have only passed thru Georgia, never took
    the time to stop and look around. I will have to do that soon, the pics you
    took are just breath taking! Thanks for sharing. Love, Doreen

  10. It looks as if you had a good time, the scenery is lovely, I would love to visit the antique shops there.
    We live in Canada’s wine district, with vineyards every mile or so. Each time we have visitors, they want a tour. I don’t even drink it!! πŸ™‚

  11. Fascinating…I was not aware there were so many vineyards and wineries in Lumpkin County.

    Not sure if you know, but I learned about this when I first came to live in the states in 1960 and was living at my Georgia born grandmother’s house in the Atlanta area…

    The gold on the capitol dome in Atlanta came from the Dahlonega mines and was donated to the State by the people of Lumpkin County. My grandmother also told me that the gold was carried to Atlanta by wagon train and it was a huge production at the time – 1959. The gold-leafing was being applied during the time I was living there…

  12. What a lovely reminder of a fantastic little town! We visited Dahlonega when our kids were out of school on Fall Break in 2010. It was one of the most relaxing trips we have ever taken. We enjoyed Amicalola Falls State Park and did a little overnight hike to the Hike Inn and then recuperated in a B&B on the town square after revisiting the site of my husband’s Ranger training at Fort Benning. The gold museum in the courthouse, the cafes, and shops were a lot of fun. I especially enjoyed the pottery studio of Brad Walker on the town square.

  13. Sounds like a great place to visit…I’ll have to put that on my list of places to visit on our occasional trips to Florida. Thanks Susan! πŸ˜‰

  14. bobbi duncan says:

    Thanks so much for stirring up my memories of beautiful northeast GA. We have wonderful friends still living there, on lovely Lake Burton and nearby Gainesville, not too far from Dahlonega, but we haven’t been back to see them in such a long time. Looking at the pictures made me realize we really need to visit these fine folks, and as we’ll be in NC next month, I believe a little side trip is in order. When I lived in Marietta, we’d always take trips to that part of GA…such fun times. I also love Helen, GA. and Highlands, NC (just across the GA. state line). That area is on our short list of places we could enjoy retiring to…would be nice, especially as we already have a network of friends there.

    • I love all those places too, Bobbi…would be thrilled to retire to any of them! They are great spots to get away when you live in ATL since they are so close by. I need to make a trip north when the leaves are at their peak. I always seem to be too early or a little late.

  15. Susan.
    Thanks for sharing the lovely countryside’s vineyards! Loved your photo
    too! Did you buy any antiques?
    Ann

  16. bobbi duncan says:

    Know what you mean about catching peak autumn times. Those silly leaves should be on some sort of regular schedule, especially as we’re subjected to wait a whole year to see them each time…and I’m getting too old to miss out. LOL. In the fall and spring,especially, I really try to get out every day and just take a little ride or walk so that I don’t let too much of nature’s wonders just pass me by. I have a verse by Ralph Waldo Emerson that is so true: “The days come and go…but they say nothing, and if we do not use the gifts they bring, they carry them silently away”. Sweet dreams.

  17. Beautiful area! I didn’t know that north Georgia wasn’t humid. I didn’t know anywhere in the south wasn’t humid. I will start packing!

  18. We own a cottage in Dahlonega that is available for vacationers anytime! You can find it on airbnb.com or flipkey.com. Just look for Ardwyn Cottage. It was so nice to see your post about this beautiful area. At Christmas time there will be lots of old-fashioned fun at the Square. Come anytime and bring the family, y’all!

  19. Jill Brewster says:

    California is know for their many vineyards around the Napa Valley, however the Sierra Foothills are beginning to give them a run for their money….or to borrow your phrase “there’s Gold and Wine in Them Thar Hills” I so enjoyed your post on Dahlonega and their local vineyards and it brought to mind the Ironstone Vineyards in Murphy’s, California. Thought I might suggest if you get the chance to check out on line Ironstone Vineyards home of the largest Crystalline Gold Leaf specimen in the world. Weighing forty-four pounds it was discovered in 1992 by the Sonora Mining Company, on Christmas Day, just fifteen miles from its current home at Ironstone. “Crystalline Gold is one of the most rare and precious natural gold formations consisting of gold that has been deposited in layers between quartz, clay, maraposite, decomposed shale and pyrite”. There is a picture of it on their website. The little town of Murphy’s is a quaint little mining town with beautiful old homes and a puts on quite the celebration come Saint Patrick’s Day which includes painting the white line down the center of the street green. Or you might want to check out the Murphy’s Hotel and their ghostly residents from decades past. Jill

  20. FELIX HOUX says:

    HI SUSAN LIKE TO KNOW IF THE WOLF WINERIES ARE HANDICAP, FRIENDLY

    • I think they probably are, but I’m not positive. It seems like I remember seeing a ramp leading up to the building where we did our wine tasting and had dinner, but the whole surrounding area around the winery where you do the wine tastings and dine, is super hilly because the winery sits up atop a hill. I just googled for their phone number and it’s 706-867-9862. You may want to just call them and check before you go. The views are stunning so it would be worth the trip just to park right outside the building and go inside for dinner and relaxing on their huge deck. I’d wait until it warms up though, because it can be chilly out on their deck this time of year. Here’s their website: http://www.wolfmountainvineyards.com/ and here’s a drone video that shows the winery and surrounding area: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQWTue-Xl0Y I think I saw some a ramp to the front door in that video, but probably best to call to check before going there. Some of the other wineries in that area are on more level ground…there are several in the Dahlonega area.

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