Suburban Wino 2: The Wordpress Experiment

It’s "Drink Local Wine" Week! Get your butt to the mountains! | October 15, 2009

I’ve heard it all before:

“California’s too far away!”

“Ugh, I can’t afford a plane ticket to Oregon!”

“The ‘Finger Lakes’? That’s too cold!”

“I don’t even drink. How did my quote end up on a wine blog. Am I getting paid for this?”

All fair quotes, all completely unsolicited, and more importantly- unpaid. Actually, I promised folks that I pay them the exact same that I get paid from the coffers. Suckers.

So, what was the question? I asked folks why they’re not visiting wine country this weekend. Yeah, folks in Atlanta. They squabbled and squawked; made excuses and reminded me that we’re “in the southeast. No wine around here, unless you like blackberry moonshine and don’t mind ‘squealing like a pig'” to get your trotters, er, hands on it. Ah, Deliverance. Thanks for honoring and portraying my beloved state in the same way The Sopranos represented New Jersey (or From Dusk ‘Til Dawn painted Mexico, for that matter).

But I digress. What these fine folks didn’t realize is that wine country- real wine country- is right in their backyards! As I’ve written several times in the past, Georgia is making some pretty serious wine. The Dahlonega Plateau offers cooling elevation (1800′ above sea level), the slopes and clay soils provide good drainage and rain barrier, and the dedicated vineyard managers and winemakers give every ounce of themselves to turn a difficult climate on its head- providing wines that I’m generally proud to drink outside of a paper bag. And we’re not talking muscadine, scuppernong, and any other vitis rotundifolia grapes that make better names for Hollywood infants than they do wine. They’re making real wine; vitis vinifera (basically, Latin for “wine grapes”), aka Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Sangiovese, Chardonnay, Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Tannat, Touriga Nacional, and some interesting hybrids like Vidal/Seyval Blanc. Yet, while many of these wines express some interesting flavors (some would perhaps say “grassiness”) that you may not find in the true varietal character of “traditional” wine regions, I say what makes them atypical is what makes them unique. Ask a Frenchman, and he’d insist that’s what the hallowed “expression of terroir” is all about. Then, he might celebrate your astuteness with some goose fat and cigarettes.

So go try something unique. Go try something local. It’s good for your state’s economy. It helps some hardworking folks- simply (or insanely) following their passion- succeed. And, doggone it, a lot of times, the wine just tastes good. That’s been my experience with many Georgia wines. They’ve come a long way.

I really appreciate what has done, putting together this week to celebrate regional vino. In Georgia, here are a few wineries that you should check out. Go this weekend. When you taste these wines, you may just squeal…with delight:

Montaluce Winery and Estates
Three Sisters Vineyards
Blackstock Vineyards and Winery
Frogtown Cellars
Wolf Mountain Vineyards
Tiger Mountain Vineyards
Persimmon Creek
…and many more HERE

To the locals: Cheers, Sláinte, L’Chaim, Salud, Prost, Skål, Konbe, and Kampai!


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