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?
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.
My favorite of all the wineries in the area is Wolf Mountain Vineyards.
Whenever I visit Wolf with friends, we always have dinner in their restaurant. The food is always good!
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.
See the house down there on the left? I’m pretty sure that’s where the owners of Wolf Mountain Vineyards live.
After we finished our meal, we walked around the whole winery and I snapped this picture of the back of the home.
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.
The grapes were covered by nets, I guess to keep the birds, squirrels and other critters from helping themselves to a tasty treat.
Let’s take a closer look at the grapes.
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.
Apparently, this is where the grapes are initially processed. The sign says, “Crush Pad.”
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.
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.
After we left Wolf Mountain Vineyards….
…we headed over to Three Sisters Vineyards.
The vineyards of Three Sisters Vineyards…
What is it about an old red barn that says, “You must take my picture…you must!” So I did.
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.
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.
As we sipped our wine, this was the view.
Dahlonega is a popular area for folks to retire to. Just looking at these pictures makes me want to move there now!
All the vineyards are popular places for weddings and book up way in advance.
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. The views are spectacular and you will feel all the stress of the big city life melting away. Have you ever visited Dahlonega?